Marin Marais is an obscure composer although a recent spate of discs that
have been issued recently confirm a composer of outstanding talent and innovative
freshness. There are four works here and all are played with outstanding
precision and effortless virtuosity by this immensely talented group of players.
The Suite for three viols is by far the longest work at twenty-three minutes.
Here the fantasy and artistic vision of Marais' writing is well depicted
by Hantai and his colleagues. I also enjoyed Pierre Hantai's colourful and
instructive accompaniment on the harpsichord especially in the Sarabande.
The striking 'Tombeau de Mr Meliton' is also beautifully played as are the
rich resonant lines of the Forqueray in its first recording. A Suite for
two viols concludes the disc and marvelous it is indeed. Fresh from the sounds
of Hyperion's 'English bass viol', I can safely confirm that this instrument
is a joy to listen to and the intimate sound reproduced on this recording
is continuously palpable in its clarity. Julie Anne Sadie's notes are a model
of excellence and I have no real option but to give a wholehearted thumbs
up to this pleasantly off the beaten track disc.
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