Henri Desmarets (1661 – 1741) was a French composer of
the Baroque period primarily known for his stage works,
although he also composed sacred music as well as
secular cantatas, songs and instrumental works.
The rigaudon (also spelled rigadon, rigadoon) is a
French baroque dance with a lively duple metre. The
music is similar to that of a bourrée, but the rigaudon
is rhythmically simpler with regular phrases (eight
measure phrases are most common). Also spelled
Rigadoon, it is a sprightly 17th-century French folk
dance for couples. Traditionally, the folkdance was
associated with the provinces of Vavarais, Languedoc,
Dauphiné, and Provence in southern France, and it
became popular as a court dance during the reign of
Louis XIV (Little 2001). Its hopping steps were adopted
by the skillful dancers of the French and English
courts, where it remained fashionable through the 18th
century. By the close of the 18th century, however, it
had given way in popularity as a ballroom dance (along
with the passepied, bourrée, and gigue) to the minuet
(Cunningham Woods 1895–96, 93).
Although originally written for Violin & Harpsichord, I
created this arrangement at the request of Jason and
Molly for Bassoon and Acoustic Piano.