Hotteterre: Complete Music for Flute and b.c.

Floral design

Guillermo Penalver baroque flute, María Alejandro Saturno viola da gamba, Tony Millán harpsichord
137:46 (2 CDs in a jewel case)
Brilliant Classics 95511

Hotteterre’s 1708 publication of flute music was just the second such collection to see the light of day, preceded only by La Barre’s Op.4 and, of course, a basically fine recording is to be welcomed. I especially applaud the decision to decide on a continuo team (in this case harpsichord and gamba) and stick to it: this music is quite strong enough not to need over-dressing with fussy changes of instrumentation. Yet, ultimately I found myself unsettled, frustrated and disappointed by the listening experience because, to my ears it is not quite the right sound. The harpsichord is a Taskin copy – a generation too late for music of 1708, the pitch (415) is too high and the flute itself is a Palanca copy rather than an Hotteterre-style three-piece. But the playing is stylish and affectionate and I’m sure that many will love every note. The booklet is in English only.

David Hansell