Marias, Hotteterre, Dornel, Philidor, De Visée
This singularly uninformative title conceals a rather lovely programme of a rather old-fashioned type: no clever theme, no ‘complete’ this or that, just a mixed recital of fine pieces that showcase the taste and skill of both the overall ensemble and its component parts. Even the note is rather quaint though in a good way – a concise and methodical vade mecum to the music. For me the discovery was Dornel’s Sonate en quatuor in which the basic trio sonata ensemble is joined by a third recorder player and, as always, the combination of theorbo and viol is ravishing in Marais. However, to my ear the continuo combination of theorbo and harpsichord remains too much of a good thing, especially when the instrumentation keeps changing within the same work. Is there evidence to suggest that this actually happened with anything like the frequency that modern performers would have us believe? Buy this for yourself and anyone you know who would instinctively run away from a programme of recorder music.
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