Now that the distinction between baroque / pre-classicism is increasingly being abandoned in favor of a stylistic continuum between ca. 1720 and 1780, called the 'gallant style', a re-evaluation of composers who until now were in the twilight zone between baroque and classicism. Henricus-Jacobus de Croes (1705-1786), Willem Gommaar Kennis (1717-1789) and Pieter van Maldere (1729-1768) belong to this important but unknown chapter in eighteenth-century music. From their bases in the south of the Netherlands, the three composers built an international reputation thanks to networks of clients and publishers. But above all, their up-to-date, eclectic composing style seems to have ensured that their works were appreciated by an international audience.
In order to gain insight into the stylistic characteristics of de Croes, Kennis and van Maldere, and to implement these in performances, this project will use three relatively young tools from the music analysis: partimenti, being melodic-harmonic schemes on the basis of which galante composers 'communicated' with their audience; topoi or musical platitudes that evoke reminiscences to the extra-musical; and rhetoric, with which the performer turns out to be a musically eloquent orator. The combination of these three methods should lead to a convincing opening up of this repertoire via a CD, (lecture) recitals, at least one article and score editions.