Carolus Hacquart: le maistre de musique

François Fernandez & Luis Otavio Santos violins, Laurent Stewart harpsichord/organ, Eduardo Egüez theorbo, Rainer Zipperling, Kaori Uemura & Philippe Pierlot bass viol
Flora 0705
+ two sonatas by Philippus Van Wichel

Unlike other Flora releases, this excellent CD (recorded way back in 2005) comes complete with a booklet note, not only telling us all about the composers (in French, German and English), but also with detailed track and cast lists! Two violins, up to three bass viols, theorbo (who also has one solo) and harpsichord/organ perform a range of works including five trio sonatas and two sonatas a4. They are all in the familiar patchwork style of the late 17th century, with imitative sections juxtaposed with more chordal passages. On this evidence, both Hacquart and Van Wichel deserve to be better known; if some of the more dance-inspired tracks are a little four square, the freer movements have a breadth and sense of architecture about them that should encourage ensembles to take up the challenge – with a few harmonic surprises to keep them on their toes!

Brian Clark