Jean Baptiste Loeillet: Trio Sonatas

Epoca Barocca
cpo 555 143-2

Sometimes it’s enough to write music that is well crafted, if not especially striking, and then get someone to play it with sensitivity, style and a sense of purpose. Jean Baptiste Loeillet did just that and in Epoca Barocca he has found his ‘someone’. Arguably, these trios provide pleasure for the players rather than excitement for the listener, but if you can experience enjoyment without excitement then this is for you. The balance between flute and oboe is good, the musical relationship between them intimate and complementary and all aspects of the performance are delicately judged. With one possible exception. I’d have been quite happy to hear the whole programme with just cello and harpsichord on the continuo line. Here we have from time to time and in addition to those, bassoon, organ and theorbo. The music doesn’t need these further colours, however: there is more than enough attractiveness in the top lines. I also found myself wondering how often a bassoon was actually used as a continuo instrument in chamber music.

The booklet (in German and English) offers a good and informative essay about the music and the basic information about the ensemble.

David Hansell

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