Hotteterre: Complete Chamber Music Vol. 3

Floral design

Camerata Köln
133:51 (2 CDs in a jewel case)
cpo 555 038-2
Suites opp. 4, 5, & 6

I gave warm welcomes to the first two releases of Camerata Köln’s series and I am delighted to say that this is more of the same. The music is delightful and the various scorings (flute + bc, two ‘trebles’ without bass, flute solo, recorder solo, recorder +bc, two gambas, and gamba + bc) keep the ear engaged even when the two discs are played straight through. Other aspects of the performance contribute to this as well, of course. The low pitch (390) produces rich sonorities, the playing is infallibly stylish and the general approach to performance practice is exploratory yet restrained. Thus the ‘recorder’ music is produced by transposing a flute original up a minor third and the ‘gamba’ sonata is a flute original down a perfect fourth. No Baroque musician would have taken exception to this: the transpositions simply involve reading the music in a different clef and imagining a new key signature. The booklet (German/English) is concise but still manages to tell us what we need to know about composer, music and performances. Overall, a most enjoyable package, though I would have welcomed full details of the instruments.

David Hansell