Music of the Warsaw Castle

Music of French masters
{oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna, Martyna Pastuszka
DUX 1382
Music by F. Campra, Corrette, Couperin, Lully & Marais

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] think on reflection the Warsaw Castle bit of the title denotes a series of recordings as no attempt is made to show that any of this music was performed in Warsaw Castle. The burgeoning world of HIP early music performance in Poland is fully in evidence in these energetic and engaging performances of music by Lully, Couperin, Marais, Corrette and Campra. The recording is live and there is a degree of background noise although nothing intrusive, mainly in fact sounds generated by the orchestra, but there is also a pleasing resonance to the acoustic of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Chamber Hall which enhances the music, if just occasionally we lose a little detail. There is some delicate and appropriate ornamentation and some dramatic operatic sound effects such as a thunder sheet. There is familiar music here, such as Lully’s Suite from Armide and Marais’ Suite from Ariane et Bacchus but also music which was new to me such as Couperin’s Quartet Sonata, La Sultane, and Corrette’s D major Concerto, Le Phénix. The programme is a cleverly constructed concert programme with tutti Suites alternating with the quartet and the gamba concerto in which the considerable skills of Krzysztof Firlus are on dramatic display. What is delightful about all the performances is the freedom with the scores and a fizzing spontaneity which is infectious.

D. James Ross

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