Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Nicolas Renier, Charles-Louis Mion, Pierre Fevrier|
Baroque Music In Quebec "Un concert en Nouvelle-France"
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
Authoritative and Stylish
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 01/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Un Concert en Nouvelle-France. 1. Nicolas Renier (d. 1731), Cantata L'Indifférence punie (1728). 2. Charles-Louis Mion (1699 - 1755): Suite of Instrumental Pieces and Dances from the Opera Nitetis (1741). 3. Pierre Février (1696 - 1760): Cantatille (mini-cantata) Le besoin d'aimer (1734). 4. Jacques Champion de Chambonnières (1601 - 1672): Pièces de clavecin from First Book (1670); 5. Jean-Baptiste Quinault (1687 - 1745): Overture and Dances from the Comedy Le Nouveau Monde (1723). 6. Jean-Joseph Mouret (1682 - 1738): Cantata Andromède et Persée (1729). Performed by Richard Duguay, tenor (Renier/Février/Mouret); L'Ensemble Arion. Recorded at the Church of St-Paul-de-Joliette, Quebec, Canada in March 1994. Released in 1995 on Radio Canada's Musica Viva label as MVCD 1081. Total playing time: 76'20".
An ensemble from Montreal plays secular music found in old archives by researchers into the history of the French settlement of Canada. Does that mean musty museal sounds and a disc of merely antiquarian or local interest? Definitely not, although it must be said that the music to be heard here is, at the very least, unusual because, partly at least, by French composers whose names have all but been forgotten.
Of the three vocal pieces on this recording (by Renier, Février and Mouret), it is that by Mouret, perhaps the best-known of the composers here represented, which is most likely to gain repeated audience. The typically Arcadian texts, inspired by mythology, are standard for the 18th century, no more. Richard Duguay sings them ardently with his light tenor (not haute-contre), and the four musicians of L'Ensemble Arion (Claire Guimond, flute, Chantal Remillard, violin, Betsy MacMillan, viola da gamba and cello, and Hank Knox, harpsichord) accompany him with obvious delight, illustrating the emotions of the text with well-taught instrumental flourishes. For the two suites taken from 18th century French operas, the Arion musicians come into their own, providing in this chamber-music setting an authoritative and stylish impression of what this music may have sounded like in 18th century Canada - or France, for that matter, for the composers themselves did not emigrate, only their music was transported across the Atlantic. Hank Knox alone gives a good account of five short Pièces de clavecin by the 17th century keyboard wizard Champion de Chambonnières, although I seem to remember hearing Chambonnières' music in an even more exciting interpretation by Skip Sempé (on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, partly with lute accompaniment).
All in all, rare music, well-played and well-sung, and well worth investigating if you willing to investigate the bywaters of the French baroque."