Les Folies Humaines


Les Folies Humaines

It all started one summer evening in Havana in 2000 just after Ronald had completed his studies in guitar and double bass. The French Film Festival in Havana showed a film brought as part of the Chemins du Baroque and his life changed forever. That film, many of you will know, it was ‘All the Mornings of the World’ directed by the late Alain Corneau. As he left the cinema he realized that he had just discovered the viola da gamba and a music whose poignancy created emotions and a sensation of happiness that he had never felt before. Later, in the booklet accompanying a CD by Jordi Savall he discovered a facsimile of Marin Marais’ manuscript in miniature for the Voix Humaines. This miniature reproduction was  his own first copy of what represents one of the most beautiful collections of music for the instrument.

Since then, Marin Marais’ music has accompanied Ronald and continued to draw him further into its spell every day. No other composer has succeeded in giving the viola da gamba a strength of expression that comes so close to human emotion and human folly.

The score makes full use of the instrument’s broad palette of colors, its tonal range and possible different playing styles, the various tricks needed in bowing along with a constant interplay between melody and harmony that results in a music of extraordinary richness. Marais brought the viola da gamba to the very summit of music making and kept it there for almost a century and it is to Marais the composer to whom this recording is dedicated. The form follows the path of the human voice as it goes through the various passions and the follies of the soul, from birth to death.

Ronald Martín Alonso.

Ronald Martin Alonso, viola da gamba

Born in Havana in 1980, Ronald Martin Alonso is a Franco-Cuban viola da gamba player. He started  playing with the Ars Longa ensemble under the direction of Teresa Paz, performing regularly at many of Europe’s most important festivals and working with many prestigious conductors such as Claudio Abbado and Gabriel Garrido. Ars Longa’s recordings Latin-American baroque repertoire are regularly lauded by the specialist music press (Diapason d’Or, Choc from the Monde de la Musique, from Télérama, 10 from Répertoire).

Ronald Martin Alonso graduated of classical guitar and double bass from the Havana Conservatory of Music. He received a bursary from the Centre International des Chemins du Baroque and in 2007 was awarded specialist degrees for Viola da Gamba, (class of Rebeka Ruso) and chamber music (class of Martin Gester) from the Strasbourg Regional Conservatory. In 2010 he received his Higher Degree in Music with a specialization in Viola da Gamba, awarded with the unanimous congratulations of the jury after studying with Ariane Maurette at the Paris Regional Conservatory. He has also participated in many master classes and academies, including Jordi Savall and Christophe Coin at the Royal College of Music in London, Marianne Muller at the Paris Regional Conservatory, the Ambronay Baroque Academy (Mozart / M. Gester), Generation Baroque (Haydn / M. Gester), The Perigord Noir Baroque Academy (Monteverdi / M. Laplénie) and the Montfrin Baroque Academy (Cavalli / G. Carrido). As a teacher, he has participated in projects in Peru, Paraguay and Chile in the form of musical exchange programmes with local conservatories.

In 2011 as part of the Stravaganza ensemble he obtained third prize as well as the Critics’ and Media prize at the Premio Bonporti International Chamber Music competition in Roveretto, Italy, the Graaf Unico Wilhelm prize at the Van Wasspaer competition in Amsterdam (Netherlands), and in 2012 the F.J. Oman prize at the H.J.F. Biber International Competition in Austria.

He regularly works with a number of leading ensembles : Les Paladins (Jérôme Corréas), Il Festino (Manuel de Grange), Elyma (Gabriel Garrido), Capella Mediterranea (Leonardo García-Alarcón), Fuoco e Cenere (Jay Bernfeld), Sagittarius (Michel Laplénie), Les Traversées Baroques (Etienne Meyer), Stravaganza (Thomas Soltani), Desmarest (Ronan Khalil), La Chapelle Rhénane (Bénoit Haller) playing at all of the most important festivals in Europe, Latin America , the Middle East and the United States.

In 2013, he recorded the soundtrack composed by Bernard Grimaldi for the series Odysseus produced by the Franco-German television station ARTE and Italy’s RAI Uno. In 2014, he both recorded for and appeared in the series Versailles for Canal+ and appeared as a soloist in the Chaise Dieu festival long with the Sagittarius ensemble in a programme that included Schütz and Hersant as well as recording his first solo CD of music by Marin Marais.

In 2015 he participated in the prestigious Poznan Baroque Festival in Poland as well as in the Voix Humaines festival in Cuba along with the Desmarest ensemble at the invitation of Leo Brouwer. This year will see him perform with Cappella Mediterranea at the Paris Opéra in Francesco Cavalli's Eliogabalo.
Ronald Martin Alonso is artist in residence at the Prieuré de Saint Michel l’Observatoire since 2010 and records regularly for labels such as Ricercare, Ambronay Éditions, Editions Hortus, K617, Musica Ficta, Muso, BRecords, Brilliant Classics and Aparté.

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