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date: 06 December 2019

Besson, (Michel-)Gabriellocked

  • Elizabeth Keitel
  • , revised by Bernard Bardet


(bc1689; d Versailles, Aug 22, 1765). French violinist, musette player, flautist and composer. He may have been related to the three Bessons of 17th-century Marseilles described as ‘lieutenants du roi des violins’, or to a family of musicians of the same name living in Lyons in the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1717 he was playing the violin in the king's Musique de la chambre, as a symphoniste, and he was in the orchestra of the royal chapel in 1722. In Paris in 1720 he published his ten Sonates à violon seul et la basse continue. The violin part does not go beyond the 3rd position, but Besson employed the entire technical range of the period, with arpeggios and double stops. In 1723 he acquired the reversion of François Duval's position with the 24 Violons du Roi, and he took up the duties of the post on Duval's death in ...

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