Le Salon de Musique de Marie-Antoinette
Francesco PETRINI (1744-1819) Les Folies d’Espagne, and 12 variations for harp Christophe Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787)
‘J’ai perdu mon Eurydice’ for tenor and harp Jean-Baptiste KRUMPHOLTZ (1742-1790)
‘L’amante abandonée’ for soprano, violin and harp
‘La nuit profonde’ for tenor and harp
Sonata in F major for harp and violin Jean-Baptiste CARDON (1760-1803)
Sonata in E flat for harp Antoine DAUVERGNE (1713-1797)
‘Tircis et Cloris s’absentent chaque jour de leur troupeau’ for
soprano, tenor, violin and harp
‘La beauté pour qui je brûle’ for tenor, violin and
‘C’est une folie d’avoir tant d’appâts’ for
tenor, violin and harp Joseph-Boulogne de SAINT-GEORGES (1745-1799)
Sonata in E flat for harp and flute Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793)
‘C’est mon ami’ for soprano and harp Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
‘Oiseaux, si tous les ans’ for soprano and harp
Adagio for glass harmonica Jan Ladislav DUSIK (1760-1812)
Sonatine for harp Giovanni PAISIELLO (1740-1816)
Entr’acte for harp from Il Re Teodoro in Venezia André-Ernest-Modest GRÉTRY (1741-1813)
‘Malgré la fortune cruelle’ from La Caravane du Caire Jean-Paul-Égide MARTINI (1741-1816)
‘Plaisir d’amour’ for soprano, tenor, violin and harp
Sandrine Chatron (harp)
Isabelle Poulenard (soprano)
Jean-François Lombard (tenor)
Stéphanie Paulet (violin)
Amélie Michel (flute)
rec. Musée de la Musique, Cité de la Musique, Paris, June 2008.
DDD AMBROISIE AM179 [77:33]
There is a real appeal to this disc, despite the modest nature
and eclectic mix of music.
The starting point for this collection of salon pieces is the
1799 Érard harp, played exquisitely by Sandrine Chatron.
Judging by the sound quality and the splendid photos in the
sleeve notes, the harp was (and still is) a masterpiece of
and musical invention. Equipped with a fork mechanism for the
stings, seven pedals, and five soundbox shutters, it was the
very latest in instrumental technology.
As a keen harpist (as well as a decent singer and harpsichord
player), the French queen Marie-Antoinette took an interest in
new music for, or adapted for, the harp. Accordingly, the works
on this disc were dedicated to the queen, or else were probably
performed during her intimate salons at the palace of Versailles,
the Trianon or the chateau of Fontainebleau.
The pieces fall into three main categories: sonatas for harp,
sometimes with violin or flute accompaniment; instrumental arrangements
of operatic airs and songs for soprano and tenor; and short miscellaneous
pieces for solo harp.
Highlights include the more substantial harp sonata by Jean-Baptiste
Cardon (tacks 5-8). The playing is lush and delicate by turns,
showcasing the technical possibilities of the Érard
instrument. Equally beguiling is Les Folies d’Espagne by
Francesco Petrini (track 1). A Spanish-flavoured tune with
it perfectly conjures up the sense of the ‘exotic’ which
must have delighted listeners at the French court.
Also of interest are the airs songs for soprano and tenor,
with harp, flute and violin accompaniment. They clearly show
own operatic preferences (Gluck and Grétry were her particular
favourites), and point towards the later development of French
Romantic opera during the Revolution and beyond. The adaptation
of ‘J’ai perdu mon Eurydice’ from Gluck’s
Orphée (track 2) is sung movingly by tenor Jean-François
Lombard, who has a lithe and expressive voice. Soprano Isabelle
Poulenard delivers several fine renditions, including Marie-Antoinette’s
own composition, ‘C’est mon ami’ (track 15).
There is a simplicity and warmth to this disc, which displays
the special qualities of the Érard harp, and casts light
on a forgotten corner of French musical life.
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