One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


Some items
to consider


Reger Violin Sonatas
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
9 cello sonatas
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


AmazonUK AmazonUS


Robert de VISÉE (c.1660-circa 1732)
Pièces de théorbe in D minor
Prélude [1:27]
Allemande [3:41]
Courante [1:40]
Sarabande [2:44]
Gigue [0:59]
Gavotte [1:02]
Menuet [1:10]
Passacaille [2:47]
Pièces de théorbe in G major
Prélude [1:09]
Allemande [1:57]
La Villeroy: Courante [1:54]
Menuet [1:33]
Gavotte en rondeau [1:24]
La Rémouleur: Gigue [1:24]
La Muzette: Rondeau [4:45]
Arrangements for theorbo of music by Jean-Baptise LULLY (1632-1687)
Entrée d’Apollon, from Le triomphe de l’Amour (1681) [2:38]
Les Soudines, from Armide (1686) [2:23]
Assez des pleurs, from Bellérephon (1679) [2:07]
Les Echos, from Atys (1676) [1:45]
Pièces de théorbe in A minor
Prélude [1:59]
La Royalle: Allemande [2:30]
Courante [1:39]
Sarabande [1:51]
Gavotte [0:53]
La Mascarada: Rondeau [1:45]
Les Folies d’Espagne [3:13]
A Plainte ou Tombeau de Mesdemoiselles de Visée: Allemande de Mr. Leur Père [4:40]
Fred Jacobs (French theorbo)
rec. 16-18 April 2007, St. Andrew’s Church, Teddington, Gloucestershire


Experience Classicsonline

De Visée has had rather less attention – in the English-speaking world at any rate – than he deserves. This excellent release should surely do much to put that right. Both Segovia and Bream occasionally played (and recorded) pieces by him, but there have been relatively few opportunities to get to know his work in extenso. His name is perhaps more often encountered in connection with the musical company he kept than in connection with his own music. From a date around 1690 he was employed as one of the chamber musicians to Louis XIV. As well as playing the guitar at the king’s bedside of an evening, he played his part in the ensemble music making which, at one time or another, included such figures as the viol player Antoine Forqueray, the violinist Jean-François Rebel, the harpsichordists François Couperin and Jean-Baptiste Buterne, as well as the flautists René-Pignon Descoteaux and Philibert Rebille – who said that the idea of the supergroup was a new one!

Almost 200 pieces of de Viseé’s work survive, written for lute, guitar or theorbo, alongside his arrangements (for these instruments) of music by Couperin, Marin Marais, Forqueray and Jean Baptiste Lully. This present recital, played by Fred Jacobs on a French Theorbo made by Michael Lowe in 2004 and equipped with gut strings, includes both original pieces and arrangements from Lully. In making arrangements from the ballets and operas of Lully, Visée and others anticipated the nineteenth century vogue for piano transcriptions of operatic highlights. 

Of the Lully transcriptions played by Jacobs, the ‘Entrée d’Apollon’ from Le Triomphe de l’Amour is particularly fine, stately but not pompous, evocative of a grandeur that seems more than merely human, unfussy in a way that suggests a grand disdain - on the part of the music’s subject, as much as its composer - for the pointlessly decorative. ‘Assez des pleurs’ (from Bellerophon) has a different kind of dignity, a persuasive balance of compassion and stoic refusal to give way to mere emotion.

Robert de Visée’s original work is represented by three suites, and a single, detached piece, a genuinely moving tombeau occasioned by the death of his daughters - how many of them there were, and how they died doesn’t seem to be known. Characteristically, it avoids all self-indulgence while being obviously genuine and profound in its emotions. De Visée’s published work contain twelve suites. These include a number of very finely tempered allemandes - of which one, ‘La Royalle’ was a particular favourite with the king - and sarabandes, as well as some relatively sprightly gavottes. But the dominant air is of sobriety rather than gaiety, of dignity and near-melancholy. There is little frivolity to be found here, but much pleasure of a refined and intelligent kind.

When heard on the modern guitar, de Visée’s work carries an altogether different, and generally lesser, charge than it has here. Jacobs’ playing is masterly and his sense of the appropriate idiom thoroughly internalised; the instrument on which he plays has a gorgeous, and thoroughly appropriate, weight of sound, especially at the bottom end; the recorded sound is exemplary.

This will appeal strongly to all with an interest in the French baroque. Those who love the work of the Renaissance lute composers will probably also find much to reward their minds and ears too.

Glyn Pursglove


We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



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


      Composer surveys
      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

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


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
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.