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The general organization and the titles of each movement refer to the keyboard music of the French Grand Siècle which inspired the various forms and registrations used by the composer.
The dance is emblematic of French culture in the 16th and 17th centuries, and in this setting the development of instrumental music flourished. The Baroque suite stylises the court ballet and binds in a sequence of contrasting tempos, rhythms and characters.
Naji Hakim uses different sources and draws his thematic material from the repertoire of dances from the Renaissance and early Baroque:
1. Branle coupé “Cassandre” (after Thoinot Arbeau).
2. Branle de Village (after Praetorius).
3. Branle d’Ecosse (after Thoinot Arbeau).
4. Mon amy s’en est allé (after Jacques Mangeant).
5. Fas sit, Christe—Prose of the Sacred Heart, parisian rite.
6. Branle des Chevaux (after Thoinot Arbeau).
7. Branle de Poitou (Gervaise).
8. Branle de Champaigne (Gervaise).
9. Horn, arca legem continents—hymn of Lauds of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. 18th Century popular song.
10. Branle des sabots (after Thoinot Arbeau).
11. Les Bouffons (after Phalèse)—Gregorian chant.
12. Bon voyage Monsieur Mollet’s Marc-Antoine-Madeleine Desaugiers, also used by Tchaikovsky in the Nutcracker (Petit Galop des Enfants).
from notes by Marie-Bernadette Dufourcet © 2016