Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones
and printers



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697 - 1764)
Récréations de musique 1 & 2
Première récréation de musique in D, op. 6* [25:42]
Sonata for two violins in e minor, op. 3,5 [8:41]
Sonata for two violins in E, op. 12,2 [14:06]
Deuxième récréation de musique in g minor, op. 8*/** [26:44]
Musica Alta Ripa (Danya Segal (recorder)*, Hans-Peter Westermann (oboe)**, Anne Röhrig, Ulla Bundies (violin), Albert Brüggen (cello), Dennis Götte (theorbo, guitar), Bernward Lohr (harpsichord))
MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 3091762-2 [75:44]

Experience Classicsonline



 
Jean-Marie Leclair is a key figure in the development of French music in the 18th century. For many years the French resisted the influence of the Italian style. As the violin was one of the symbols of that style it wasn't taken quite seriously. Jean-Baptiste Lully, of Italian birth and educated as a dancer and violinist, had introduced the instrument into the opera orchestra, but it was the last decade of the 17th century before some instrumental music appeared which was written specifically for the violin. Even those pieces barely exploited the specific features of the instrument. In 1705 a French author stated that the violin "is not noble in France. One sees few persons of quality playing it (...)".
 
Leclair was the first true violin virtuoso in France who composed a considerable number of sonatas for his own instrument. His style became more virtuosic after a period of study with the Italian violinist Giovanni Battista Somis, pupil of Corelli, in Turin. In Leclair's music we find various playing techniques which were not used in music written by, for instance, François Couperin. Among them are multiple stopping, tenuto effects or arpeggios. At the same time he avoided all virtuosity for its own sake: the main feature of his music is the balance between the exploration of the technical abilities of the violin and sometimes strong expression on the one hand and the elegance and restraint which is characteristic of the French style on the other.
 
This disc offers both sides of the composer's oeuvre. On the one hand we hear two specimens from the two collections of sonatas for two violins without basso continuo which were printed as op. 3 and op. 12 respectively. The first appeared in 1730, the second between 1747 and 1749. Although there are French elements in them - both include a dance movement, a gavotte en rondeau and a menuet respectively - they are dominated by the Italian style. The largo from the Sonata in E, op. 12,2 has the first violin playing a cantilena with the second violin playing arpeggios. In these two sonatas the violins are treated on an equal footing, imitating each other or playing in parallel. However, there are also episodes in which the first has the lead and the second is reduced to an accompanying role or vice versa.
 
The two pieces which were printed as Récréation de musique in 1736 and around 1737 are largely French in orientation. In fact these are dance suites as we know them from the 17th century. They begin with an ouverture which is followed by dances such as forlane, gavotte, passepied or sarabande. Each includes a chaconne, one of the most popular forms in France. The Première récréation ends with it, but in the Deuxième récréation it is followed rather surprisingly by an exciting tambourin, a folkdance which Rousseau described as "a kind of dance much in style today in the French theatre". Its character is underlined here by the addition of recorder and oboe to the violins. This is one of the features of the performance of these two suites. The first is scored for two violins, the second for violins or transverse flutes. In his liner-notes Bernward Lohr writes that "we have instrumented Leclair's three-part texture (...) with the employment of a recorder and oboe and with a shifting continuo instrumentation in order in this way to endow the precise and sharp contrast element in his compositions with all the greater brilliance".
 
The wind instruments sometimes play in alternation with the violins but mostly colla parte. This reflects the performance practice in the French opera orchestra of the 17th century, and that seems fitting considering the character of the two suites. I am not totally sure, though, whether this is in line with Leclair's intentions, also because the recorder and the oboe seem to play hardly any role in his oeuvre. That said, musically speaking it works very well, and the character of Leclair's music is effectively expressed. The récréations are, according to the addition to their titles, easy to play. The two sonatas are quite different and techically much more demanding. The interpretations by Anne Röhrig and Ulla Bundies leave nothing to be desired.
 
Leclair's music never disappoints, and this disc bears witness to that. He is one of the ensemble's favourite composers, and that shows. They play with zest and noticeable enthusiasm. Technically these performances are excellent, and musically very engaging. The dance rhythms in the two suites come off perfectly and many listeners will find it impossible to keep their feet still. This is simply wonderful stuff.
 
Johan van Veen
http://www.musica-dei-donum.org
https://twitter.com/johanvanveen
 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.