Michel Richard de Lalande: Symphonies pour Les Soupers du Roy

La Simphonie du Marais, Hugo Reyne
300:21 (4 CDs)
harmonia mundi heritage HMY 2921337.40

Please will translators into English of the French word ‘patrimoine’ (and similar words in similar languages) note that the word they want is ‘heritage’. Thank you.

Moving on, this is a re-issue of a monumental (185 pieces) recording from 1990. The discs are in paper sleeves, with a 20-page booklet (track list, four pages in itself; performers; essay in three languages condensed from the original) all enclosed in a reasonably robust cardboard box. Some performers take the view that the surviving source material needs the addition of parties de remplessisage. Here we get the equally valid ‘this is what we have’ approach, except that it isn’t. Unfortunately, to my ears, the melodies have been put through the orchestrational mincer and had percussion added. Scarcely two phrases pass without a change of scoring and I must say that had I been Louis XIV I’d have been sharpening the guillotine at the first sound of castanets during my supper. I enjoyed this in inverse proportion to the number of players employed at any given moment and in direct proportion to the length of time they were allowed to play.

David Hansell