Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH


Some items
to consider

 


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


Tudor 7188


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

 

 

 

 

alternatively
AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

Pierre Danican PHILIDOR (1681-1731)
Suittes pour hautbois
5e Suitte for oboe and bc in d minor* [12:16]
1e Suitte for 2 oboes in g minor [06:54]
3e Suitte de trios for 2 oboes and bc in C [21:48]
3e Suitte for 2 oboes in d minor [12:12]
5e Suitte for oboe and bc in g minor* [11:57]
L'Assemblée des Honnestes Curieux (Antoine Torunczyk (oboe)*; Alfredo Bernardini (oboe); Baldomero Barciela (bass viol); Benjamin Perrot (theorbo, guitar); Chiaopin Kuo (harpsichord))
rec. March, May 2007, Église St Marcel, Paris, France. DDD
ZIGZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT080203 [65:09]

 

Experience Classicsonline


Pierre Danican Philidor was a member of one of the three largest musical dynasties of the French baroque. The other two were the Hotteterres and the Couperins. The article on the Philidor family in New Grove mentions only five composers but these are only the better-known members of this dynasty. The earliest musician in the family whom we know about was Michel Danican - as the family's original name was - who played the oboe at the court of Louis XIII. His two sons, Michel and Jean, were members of the Grande Écurie, one of the royal music ensembles. It was Jean who was the first to be referred to by the name 'Philidor'. One of the best-known members of the family is Jean's son André Danican Philidor 'le père'. In his capacity as music librarian of Louis XIV he copied numerous compositions which were part of the repertoire of the court's ensembles (the so-called 'Philidor-collection'). He was married twice, and got 23 children, some of whom became musicians as well. Pierre Danican Philidor, to whom this disc is devoted, was his nephew, a son of his older brother Jacques Danican Philidor 'le cadet'.

Pierre started composing at an early age, and took over his father's position as oboist of the Grands Hautbois. Later on he became a member of the 'chambre du roy' where Marin Marais and François Couperin were among his colleagues. There seems to be some confusion as to exactly what he has composed. The article in New Grove says: "In 1717 and 1718 he published three books of suites, half of them intended for two unaccompanied flutes, the others for two treble instruments and continuo." But in the worklist the only suites with basso continuo are for one treble instrument. The present disc doesn't make things any clearer: the programme notes don't tell us anything about exactly what Pierre Danican Philidor wrote and the tracklist refrains from identifying any sources either. The record company should have done a better job in this respect.

The programme notes are interesting, however, in clearing up some confusing information about Philidor's position in the 'chambre du roy'. He was referred to as 'joueur de viole' (player of the viol). The authors in New Grove take this for granted as they say "he became a member of the chambre du roi as a viol player". But Antoine Torunczyk writes: "Faced with a viol, Pierre would very likely have looked for somewhere to blow into". He states that the post of oboist of the 'chambre du roy' did not exist, and that the title of 'player of the viol' doesn't mean he actually played the instrument - it's just a formal title. This is in line with all we know about the Philidor family: they were a dynasty of wind players.

In a short essay in the booklet the American oboist Bruce Haynes presents Pierre Danican Philidor as one of the last representatives of the aesthetics of the era of the Sun King. After his death in 1715 the taste began to change, but Philidor and others who adhered to the ideals of Louis XIV - in particular François Couperin and Marais - were still alive and composing. Philidor was highly appreciated by the King as the high annual pension which Louis XIV awarded him testifies. The fact that there was no official post of oboist of the 'chambre du roy' indicates that before Philidor no oboist had been an official member of the ensemble. Philidor was the first, another sign of his high standing.

The music on this disc amply shows the high calibre of Philidor as a composer, and - as one may assume he wrote this music for his own performances in the first place - as a performer. The real character of these suites - three of them in four movements, the other two in 6 or 7 - is revealed by the interpreters and their approach to this repertoire. Especially interesting is that one of the players, Alfredo Bernardini, has made two identical copies of a historical instrument, keeping the original pitch (a=ca. 400 Hz) and the original tuning which is close to mean tone. The instruments used in the basso continuo are tuned likewise. As a result the two oboes blend perfectly, but in some movements the tuning leads to some very sharp dissonances. Examples are the 'rigaudon en rondeau' of the 1e Suitte in g minor, the lengthy 'simphonie tendre' from the 3e Suitte de trios in C - a magnificently expressive piece - and the 'lentement', the opening movement of the 3e Suitte in g minor. At the other end of the scale is the sweetly flowing 'sicilienne' from the 3e Suitte de trios or the sarabande from the 5e Suitte in d minor which the composer asked to be played 'très tendrement' - and that is exactly how Antoine Torunczyk plays it. The two fast movements from this suite are played with great verve. The disc ends on a light note with a 'paysanne' - a kind of piece which was very popular at the time and is characterised by a drone.

This disc is an ear-opener for everyone who thinks French music of the baroque era is merely to please the ear. These performances show that composers were aiming at strong expression now and then, and to that end were not afraid of courting even harsh dissonances. I can't describe the interpretation in other terms than brilliant and exciting. The use of these particular instruments, the tuning and the way the then common ornamentation, in particular the 'flattement', has been applied all contribute to the splendour of the performances on this disc. I strongly recommend it - and may I politely ask for more?

Johan van Veen


 


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
 


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




Return to Review Index

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.