£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

REVIEW



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
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Joseph BODIN DE BOISMORTIER (1689-1755)
Concertos for five transverse flutes op. 15
Concerto in D, op. 15,3 [08:00]
Concerto in G, op. 15,1 [07:50]
Concerto in a minor, op. 15,2 [08:05]
Concerto in A, op. 15,5 [07:36]
Concerto in b minor, op. 15,4 [08:40]
Concerto in e minor, op. 15,6 [08:06]
Stephen Schultz (transverse flute)
rec. no time and place given; © 2008. DDD
DORIAN DSL 90803 [48:21]

Joseph BODIN DE BOISMORTIER (1689-1755)
Six Sonatas for harpsichord and transverse flute op. 91
Sonata in D, op. 91,1 [12:27]
Sonata in g minor, op. 91,2 [09:42]
Sonata in G, op. 91,3 [08:18]
Sonata in e minor, op. 91,4 [10:43]
Sonata in A, op. 91,5 [11:16]
Sonata in c minor, op. 91,6 [09:05]
Ursula Dütschler (harpsichord), Douglas Worthen (transverse flute)
rec. 9-16 January 2006, Oud-Katholieke Kerk, Culemborg, Netherlands DDD
MUSICA OMNIA MO0307 [61:33]
Experience Classicsonline


Joseph Bodin de Boismortier was one of the most prolific and versatile composers in France during the first half of the 18th century. By composing music which was pleasant to the ear and not too difficult to perform he was able to earn a good living and remain independent all his life. In a time when nearly every composer was at the service of a court, a city or a church, he was an exception. It brought him much criticism, as his music was considered too easy and rather superficial. Boismortier didn't care: "I make money", was his simple reply. He published 101 collections with an opus number. In addition his oeuvre contains some collections without an opus number as well as motets and operas. Boismortier also wrote two treatises about the transverse flute and the descant viol (both lost). This shows that he was an exponent of the Enlightenment which aimed at increasing the knowledge of, in particular, the bourgeoisie. Providing them with music which they could play properly was part of that. In that respect one could compare Boismortier with someone like Telemann.
 
Boismortier wrote music for almost any instrument played in his time, but he seems to have had a preference for the transverse flute, as about half of his oeuvre contains of pieces for the flute, or at least playable at the flute. It is rather surprising, considering the amount of music he has written, that some of his opp. have been recorded several times, whereas others are still waiting to be recorded. The collections on the two discs to be reviewed here, are among Boismortier's most popular. To date there are at least three recordings of the six concertos op. 15, this new one included. And the disc with the sonatas op. 91 is at least the fourth on period instruments in the catalogue. It is probably understandable that performing artists don't know exactly what is on the market. But the record companies should know and probably should have suggested to them to turn to another opus instead.
 
The popularity of the concertos op. 15 is understandable. Boismortier may have written music which is nice to listen to, these concertos are much more than that. Although he wasn't the first to write music for melody instruments without basso continuo, such a scoring was quite rare, and certainly for no less than five instruments. Two aspects are particularly noteworthy. First of all, the term concerto suggests Italian influence. That is indeed noticeable in these pieces, in particular the influence of Vivaldi, whose music was very popular in France at the time. In the last movements of the Concertos 1 and 5 Boismortier even turns suddenly to the minor in the closing episode, as Vivaldi often did. But there is also French influence, especially in the slow movements. The second feature is that Boismortier indicates that the concertos can be performed with a basso continuo. To that end he added figures to the fifth flute part, which can be realised by a harpsichord. The fifth part takes the role of a bass anyway, as it is lower than the others and is often doubled by the fourth flute.
 
When received the disc I looked for the names of the players who were performing these concertos. But I found out that all parts are played by Stephen Schultz himself. The ensemble has been replaced here by the recording studio. Making a disc is considerably cheaper this way, I assume. This opens perspectives for a recording industry which goes through hard times. String quartets recorded by three or even two players, orchestral works with just one player for every section of the orchestra. Or what about opera singers singing duets with themselves? Don't tell them, they might like the idea ...
 
I find it hard to take this seriously. I know that a studio recording can never replace a live performance, but recording an ensemble piece with just one player is ridiculous. Pieces like these are meant to be played by several people, with their own instruments, their own style of playing, their own personality, joining each other and adapting to each other. This recording is artificial. If the performance was really outstanding I could probably live with it. But it is not. The playing is too rigid and too straight. I have compared several tracks with two other recordings: Barthold Kuijken et al (Accent) and the soloists of the Concert Spirituel (Naxos). Both are superior to Stephen Schultz's performance in particular because the articulation is more differentiated and the treatment of dynamics much more subtle. Those performances breathe and have a natural flow, whereas Schultz's recording is mechanical. The recorded sound is also unsatisfying: I have listened to all three with headphones, and in the recordings on Accent and Naxos there is much more true ensemble in the sound spectrum, whereas in the Dorian recording the parts are too independent.
 
The second disc is devoted to a collection of six sonatas for harpsichord and transverse flute which were published in 1741. That same year Jean-Philippe Rameau published his Pièces de clavecin en concert. Both were probably inspired by the sonatas for harpsichord and violin op. 3 by Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville which appeared in 1734. The novelty of that opus was the independence of the harpsichord which was no longer reduced to playing the basso continuo. Like in Rameau's pieces for harpsichord with additional parts for violin and viola da gamba (or alternative instruments) Boismortier has written a harpsichord part with an additional part for the flute. This op. 91 is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, despite some previous collections of music for a concertante harpsichord and a treble instrument, Boismortier's sonatas are groundbreaking, and it shows that there is more in his oeuvre than pleasing melodies. More evidence of that - and that is the second reason why this collection is interesting - is the character of the harpsichord part. It is no less virtuosic than Rameau's harpsichord part in the Pièces de clavecin en concert or the suites by Forqueray or Duphly. Boismortier makes use of several techniques which were becoming fashionable, like the crossing of the hands, especially known from the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Boismortier may have composed mainly to serve dilettantes, the harpsichord parts of his op. 91 are definitely not suitable for average amateurs. That may well be the reason these sonatas are regularly recorded.
 
Ursula Dütschler, a Swiss-born keyboard player who now lives in the Netherlands, and the American flautist Douglas Worthen, a regular member of the Handel and Haydn Society, deliver very fine performances. The harpsichord part is excellently executed, with panache and the right amount of freedom, for instance in the addition of ornaments. Worthen produces a fine sound on his beautiful flute which was made by Richard Potter sr. in London around 1755. Although the musicians are mentioned in the wrong order on the title page of the booklet, the balance between the instruments in the recording is right. These are very lively and highly entertaining interpretations which should give every lover of baroque chamber music much to enjoy.
 
Johan van Veen
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.