Gerard Rebours interviewed by Elizabeth Benson,
in “Guitar International” magazine, June 1988
First I asked Gerard Rebours about the role played by the guitar at the end of the XVIIth century.
Gérard Rebours :Whether we consider the social, the musical or the technical aspect, the guitar was, at that time, under Lully, at its zenith. Its position as the favourite courtly instrument is well known. This was due, among other reasons, to the fact that Louis XIV, just as other foreign sovereigns and members of the aristocracy, were particularly fond of it. Robert De Visée, the greatest guitar composer of this period, was a wonderful and accomplished musician. He left us a legacy of dozens of pieces of a high and constant quality, that can be played on the lute, the theorbo or other instruments. This proves that his music was composed in accordance with musical standards, and not only as purely instrumental pieces, although he used all the range of the technical possibilities of the guitar. But he did so in a very considered way, without looking for pure virtuosity. I feel this man was very committed, because he favoured the musical style before all. Besides these interesting pieces by De Visée, there are also many good compositions in the books of Corbetta, Médard, and those of other...