Henri-Jacques de Croes: La Sonate Égarée

Linn CKD 597

The re-evaluation of established composers and repertoire has been an important element in the ‘Early Music Movement’, complemented by the re-discovery of those whom history has elbowed to the fringes. The sonatas recorded here, though published c1740, survive only in a single copy (and among the works by this composer still on the ‘lost’ list are 24 symphonies and a quantity of sacred music.)

I must say that I’m glad that this fast-developing group has brought them to our attention in performances that happily embrace both the graceful galant and the grittier contrapuntal aspects of the music. Sonata VI is especially strong. Tempi are well chosen and I appreciated the natural balance of the ensemble’s recorded sound. Also a relief is their unchanging continuo sonority – no ‘let’s have just the lute on the repeat’ here – though I would like to know if the occasional cello pizzicato is a whim of performer or composer.

The booklet note (in English and French) is just what’s needed in the context, though the English translation is in rather stilted language.

David Hansell

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