£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


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
 

Les Grâces Françoises - Music of the French Baroque
Nicolas BERNIER (1665-1734)
Le Caffé [18:36]
François COUPERIN (1668-1733)
Neuvième Concert 'Ritratto dell'amore' [13:34]
Marin MARAIS (1656-1728)
Pièces de viole, 3eme livre, 1711:
Prélude [3:11]
Allemande [2:42]
Courante [1:47]
Sarabande [2:52]
Jacques DUPHLY (1715-1789)
Pièces de clavecin, 3eme livre, 1756:
Les grâces [9:21]
La De Belombre [4:13]
Menuets I & II [4:07]
Michel Pignolet DE MONTÉCLAIR (1667-1737)
Ariane et Bachus [16:14]
Les Grâces (Jennifer Paulino (soprano), Annette Bauer (recorder), Rebekah Ahrendt (viola da gamba), Jonathan Rhodes Lee (harpsichord))
rec. 3-5 June 2010, Hertz Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. DDD
MSR CLASSICS MS 1396 [76:45]

Experience Classicsonline


Since the Middle Ages music has been one of the main occupations of the aristocracy. In the first decades of the 18th century this occupation extended to other echelons of society. Wealthy citizens liked to sing and play or to listen to music at their homes or in social gatherings. In France two genres were particularly popular, the sonata and the cantata. Their small scoring was excellently suited to the intimate surroundings of the salons of Paris and other towns. As a result large numbers of pieces in both genres were produced by the best composers of the time. The scoring reflects the instruments which were particularly loved, the transverse flute and the violin. The recorder still played a role, but became increasingly marginal.
 
The present disc includes several specimens from these two genres. The performers haven't made things easy for themselves by choosing from the best-known and most frequently recorded. The gamba music of Marin Marais is present on many discs. One wonders why someone with an interest in French music of this period would want to hear just four pieces from a book which is easily available complete. The performance by Rebekah Ahrendt is alright, but not very engaging.
 
The same has to be said of the Neuvième Concert from François Couperin's Les Goûts-réünis which is played here on the recorder. Strictly speaking there is no objection to the use of the recorder. Couperin didn't specify the instruments to be used in his instrumental concerts. Then again in his own writings he does not mention the recorder in this context. These pieces were rather played on violin, viola da gamba, oboe and bassoon. The transverse flute was also often used in compositions like this. The recorder is not the most obvious choice, as it was increasingly marginalised, but also because of its limited dynamic possibilities. The latter is one of the reasons that this performance is rather subdued and lacks expression. Annette Bauer's playing falls short in dynamic shades, and her interpretation is too restrained. This is no Italian music - although clearly influenced by it - but that doesn't mean a performance should be so bland as is the case here. Only recently I reviewed a disc with the German recorder player Dorothee Oberlinger (http://www.musica-dei-donum.org/cd_reviews/dhm_88697735092.html) who gives a quite different account of French music from the early 18th century.
 
This is indicative of the present disc as a whole. The three harpsichord pieces by Jacques Duphly are quite extroverted, but that doesn't really come off in Jonathan Rhodes Lee's performance. The tempi are slowish, and the articulation should have been sharper, with stronger contrasts between musical figures.
 
The two cantatas are the most interesting part of the programme. It begins with Le Caffé by Nicolas Bernier, which reflects the fashion of drinking coffee which had emerged in the last quarter of the 17th century. One wonders why Rebekah Ahrendt didn't choose Marais' saillie du Caffé, also from the third book. Jennifer Paulino has what it takes to sing such cantatas, but I would have liked her to use a little less vibrato, although it is not too obtrusive. Her quite extroverted approach conflicts with the too restrained playing of Annette Bauer. In this cantata the use of a recorder is more plausible than in Ariane et Bachus by Michel Pignolet de Montéclair. It is out of step with the first part which is quite dramatic, expressing the anger of Ariane being left by Theseus. After that she is consoled by Bacchus who falls in love with her. The most commonly used instrument for illustrating love is the transverse flute. That would also have been a better choice because of the instrument's wider dynamic range and more differentiated colour palette. In this cantata I find Ms Paulino's vibrato more of a problem, and the ornamentation in the dacapo of the aria 'Regnez adorable mortelle' seems at odds with the aria's character indication tendre

My enthusiasm for this disc is limited. The choice of repertoire is disappointing as far as the instrumental music is concerned. The cantatas are the main attraction, even though the performances are not top-notch.
 
Johan van Veen
http://www.musica-dei-donum.org
https://twitter.com/johanvanveen
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.