Un concert pour Madame de Sévigné

Marc Hantaï & Georges Barthel flute, Eduardo Egüez theorbo, Philippe Pierlot bass viol
Flora 2110
Music by Hotteterre, Lully, Marais, de Visée, etc.

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e sometimes complain about rambling or pompous programme notes, but no such issue here. In an extraordinarily minimalist production we have no programme note booklet, indeed hardly any information about the music at all. The voluptuous lady of the title, a mistress of the Sun King, is pictured inside the cover, but again there is no information about her career as a dancer, court beauty and royal mistress. Even the printed sequence of music is confused in that while sections are devoted to Hotteterre and Marais the opening sequence is not credited to any composer at all, although it is presumably by Lully. This is a huge pity as we are denied a full context for the lovely music on the CD, duets and trio sonatas for two flutes and continuo exquisitely played by four of the leading figures in French Baroque performance today. I thoroughly enjoyed their accounts of this engaging repertoire, but did feel a little bit at sea without any background information. When I went on to the listed website to see if they had a set of programme notes there, it proved to be in Japanese! Curiouser and curiouser.

D. James Ross

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