The Parisian Marin Marais’s (1656–1728) Folies d’Espagne
appeared in his second book of Pièces de Viole
. Since the preparation and engraving of that volume took some time, it was long in coming to press, which it eventually did in 1701, the year after Corelli’s Opus 5 was published. It seems probable, therefore, that Marais used the tune first. Perhaps he got the idea from Lully with whom he was closely associated at the French Court. Instead of Corelli’s twenty-three variations Marais has thirty-two, but there is a similar integration of the bass part with the solo, and full use is made of the viol’s superior chordal possibilities. Marais must have known that the original dance was Iberian in origin (hence his title) and on more than one occasion he imbues variations with Hispanic flair, hinting occasionally at the strumming of guitars.
from notes by Tim Crawford © 1987