Leclair Concerti per violino

Leila Schayegh, La Cetra Barockorchester Basel
Glossa GCD 924206

In her elegant essay, the soloist suggests that Leclair’s music has the power ‘to thrill and amaze’.

Well, that is certainly true of this third and final volume in her ensemble’s recordings of his complete violin concertos. The low(ish) pitch of A=408 Hz gives a warmth to the sonority while the ripieno group is large enough to sound like an orchestra but not so large that the soloist has either to force her sound or resort to electronic trickery to be suitably prominent in the overall soundscape.

The music combines demanding virtuosity with an almost detached melodic grace and is often coloured with moments of deft counterpoint and rich harmonies. In short, it’s really classy. If you want to sample before purchase, I’d suggest Op10/4, though none of the 12 tracks will disappoint.

And it’s a pleasure to be able to note a booklet that combines strong content with good design. It had to be possible.

David Hansell

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