One of the most grown-up review sites around

50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Anderson Choral music

colourful and intriguing

Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble

one of Berlioz greatest works

Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances

An attractive Debussy package

immaculate Baiba Skride

eloquent Cello Concerto

tension-filled work

well crafted and intense

another entertaining volume

reeking of cordite

Pappano with a strong cast

imaginatively constructed quartets

the air from another planet

vibrantly sung

NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Jacques-Martin HOTTETERRE (1674-1763)
Complete Chamber Music Vol. 2
Sonata No 1 in g minor, op. 3,1 [7:59]
Sonata No. 2 in D, op. 3,2 [6:35]
Sonata No. 3 in b minor, op. 3,3 [6:25]
Sonata No. 4 in e minor, op. 3,4 [11:53]
Sonata No. 5 in A, op. 3,5 [7:26]
Sonata No. 6 in G, op. 3,6 [6:12]
Prélude in g minor [3:55]
Troisième Suitte de Pièces à deux Dessus, op. 8: Fanfare [1:05], Muzette [2:41], Fugue [0:50], Pastorelle [2:59]
Ecos pour la flûte traversière seule [2:52]
Pièces à deux flûtes avec une Basse adjoutée [5:18]
Troisième Suitte de Pièces à deux Dessus, op. 8: Fantaisie [1:33], Muzette [1:24], Menuet I & II [2:21], Gigue [1:09]
Camerata Köln
(Marie Deller (recorder), Michael Schneider, Leonard Schelb (recorder, transverse flute), Karl Kaiser, Susanne Kaiser (transverse flute), Swantje Hoffmann (violin), Rainer Zipperling (viola da gamba), Yasunori Imamura (theorbo), Sabine Bauer (harpsichord)
rec. 2011-2013, Chamber music hall of Deutschlandfunk, Cologne, Germany DDD
CPO 777 867-2 [75:15]

This is the second volume of a complete recording of the chamber music by the French composer Jacques-Martin Hotteterre. He was a member of a large dynasty of instrument makers and musicians. They were closely asssociated with the court from Jean (I) (c1610-c1692) to Louis (IV) who died in 1801. Jean-Martin has become the best-known and is the only one who has left a substantial number of compositions. He added le Romain to his name as he worked in Rome as maestro di flauto to Marchese Ruspoli. It gave him the opportunity to become acquainted with the Italian style and in particular the music of Arcangelo Corelli. The inventory of his music library attests to his wide interests as it includes music by Italian composers but also French masters and even two English operas.

Whereas the first volume in this recording project included suites in the French style, the present disc comprises the six trio sonatas which were published in 1712 as his op. 3. The form of the trio sonata in itself was of Italian origin. The first French composer to write such pieces was Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. The Italian style was not appreciated in France but at the time Hotteterre published these trio sonatas the climate started to change. Several composers showed their interest in Italian music and incorporated Italian elements in their own compositions. They usually looked for a mixture of French and Italian elements, the so-called goûts réunis. This was also the title of a collection of music by François Couperin. Hotteterre's trio sonatas op. 3 show the same mixture of the two tastes.

Their texture is clearly modelled after Corelli. Every sonata comprises four movements in the usual order: slow - fast - slow - fast. Four of the six sonatas also follow Corelli's habit of including a fugue as the second movement. In some slow movements we find the traces of Italian pathos. A superb example is the grave from the Sonata No. 4 in e minor. However, these sonatas don't reflect the pure Italian style. One of the reasons is the scoring. Hotteterre conceived them for two transverse flutes, the most fashionable instruments of the time in France. In Italy chamber music was dominated by the violin; the flute played a relatively minor role. The theatrical style which is a feature of Italian instrumental music comes best to the fore with strings. The domination of wind instruments in France - not only the transverse flute but also the recorder, the oboe and the 'popular' musette - inevitably changes the character of his Italian-influenced compositions and bring them closer to the more intimate and elegant, 'conversational' style which was a feature of French music.

The title page of this set mentions several instruments: the transverse flute, the recorder, the oboe and even the violin. This has been taken by the performers as an opportunity to score the various sonatas differently. The Sonata No. 4 mentioned above is played here by flute and violin and considering the character of the grave that makes much sense. Other sonatas are performed with two flutes, two recorders or recorder and flute. All these combinations work very well and underline the variety in these sonatas.

In addition to the set of sonatas op. 3 we get pieces from other collections. Hotteterre published several treatises, and one of them is called L'art de préluder sur la flûte traversière, sur la flûte-à-bec, sur le haubois, et autres instruments de dessus and includes a number of preludes for one instrument and bc. These demonstrate one of the subjects of this book: the principles of modulation. The first volume of this recording project included the suites op. 1 which were printed in 1708. Hotteterre added some extra pieces which have found a place on the present disc. Ecos is a piece with a pastoral character whose title stems from the fact that every brief phrase is repeated pianissimo. It is for flute without accompaniment; the next to pieces, for two flutes and bc, are of the same character. The second, Rondeau Le champêtre, also includes echos which caused Louis XIV to call it Les ecos. The remaining piece is the Troisième Suitte which was published separately as the op. 8. It comprises eight pieces separated here by the three pieces from the op. 2 I just mentioned. Karl Kaiser, in his liner-notes, calls them "naive pastoral pieces (so-called brunettes)". The term brunette is mostly used for vocal music. We are not told - and perhaps it is not known - whether these are instrumental arrangements of vocal pieces or original instrumental pieces modelled after such pastoral songs. The first four are played on two recorders, the remaining four on two transverse flutes.

The latter round off another fine disc from Camerata Köln, one of the best ensembles for chamber music. Its members show a good sense of the idiom of Hotteterre. They find the right approach in the trio sonatas. These reflect the influence of the Italian style but then adapted to the French taste, and that is perfectly conveyed here. The players have not fallen for the temptation to exaggerate the Italian traces.

If you purchase this disc you get more than an hour of high-class entertainment.

Johan van Veen



We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 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
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger