Duo Coloquintes (Alice Julien-Laferrière violin, Mathilde Vialle gamba)
Editions Seulétoile SEC01
This is an unusual recital – some might even rule it ‘out of order’ – but after initial doubts I enjoyed it. Essentially Duo Coloquintes (violin and viola da gamba) offer us the music that they imagine Louis Couperin might have written had he not played the harpsichord! So we have four of the suites arranged for the new forces, other music for both instruments solo and unaccompanied, and a final miscellaneous group by Couperin.
The arrangements are skilfully done, with just enough double-stopping to diminish any concerns about a ‘hole in the middle’, and the players perform with considerable finesse both as individuals and as a duo. All the ornamentation and inégalité feels very natural and the recorded sound too is well judged (domestic rather than ecclesiastical).
The booklet (French only) is an odd mixture of fantasy, fact and nice pictures. Just pour a glass of something, sit back and enjoy the music.
If you are inspired to follow David’s recommendation, you’ll have to track the disc down; my attempts failed after reaching the duo’s website