Spirited Performance with Baroque Sparkle
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 03/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"French Baroque Concertos. Music by the composers Pierre-Gabriel Buffardin (ca. 1690 - 1768); Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1689 - 1755); Michel Corrette (1709 - 1795); Jean-Baptiste Quentin (ca. 1718 - 1750) and Michel Blavet (1700 -1768). Performers: Musica Antiqua Köln [Cologne] [Wilbert Hazelzet, traverso; Reinhard Goebel and Hajo Bäss, baroque violin; Karlheinz Steeb, viola; Jaap ter Linden, violoncello; Jean-Michel Forest, violone; Henk Bouman, harpsichord], dir. Reinhard Goebel. Recording: April 1981 und June 1982 in the "Plenarsaal", Munich, Germany. First published: 1982/3. Re-released on Archiv Masters 447 286-2. Total playing time: 73'10".
In his notes, Reinhard Goebel points out that the concerto of the Italian kind only became popular in France from 1725 onwards and that there are relatively few genuine French concerti from this period - so that of the six pieces on this recording, only two (the concerti by Blavet and Quentin) can strictly be counted as such, the other works presented here belonging to the transitional phase between the suite or sonata and the concerto. For all that, Musica Antiqua Cologne has managed to put together a very pleasing selection of pretty, sometimes playful pieces which, thanks also to the spirited performances, are burnished with baroque sparkle. No matter whether you enjoy this CD as elegant background music or listen intensely to every detail, its wholesome harmonies are bound to charm and delight. In the Buffardin (he was a flautist at the Court of the Prince of Saxony in Dresden and the teacher of no less a flautist than Frederick the Great's mentor Quantz) and the Blavet it is the incredibly skillful and musical flute playing of Wilbert Hazelzet which leaves a lasting impression; in Corrette's "Concerto comique" it is the charmingly playful violin(s) which take the forefront, as also in the two pieces by Quentin. In the short interlude by Boismortier, it is the violoncello which develops a soloist's ambitions.
All in all, this means there is plenty of variety without biting contrast. Baroque enthusiasts should have no reservations!"
Elegant French Baroque Music
GEORGE RANNIE | DENVER, COLORADO United States | 07/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having been exposed to a great deal of Italian Baroque Music because of listening to a great deal of Vivaldi, Albinoni, Corelli, etc., I eagerly purchased this recording of "French Baroque Concertos" played very beautifully by the Musica Antiqua of Koln masterfully lead by Reinhard Goebel.
This full (73 minutes) Archiv recording contains concertos (similar to concerti Grossi) written in France during the 1600s and early 1700s by composers that are unfamiliar to me (i.e., Buffardin, De Boismortier, Corrette, Quentin, and Blavet). According to the notes, early French music was usually written to accompany some event such as a banquet, lawn party, etc. However, being influenced by the Italians, the French started writing concertos (as represented in this recording) for their own musical sake. Although the Italians might have influenced the French the "sound" of this recording, to me, is as different as "night and day" from the Italian concerti that I've been exposed to. It is so serene and elegant. At least it is as played by Goebel and his forces in this recording.
The Musica Antiqua of Koln play these works most beautifully, clearly and again very elegantly. So if you want to hear some Baroque music that is different from the usual Italian type. Buy this disc.
By the way, the sound of the recording is superb never harsh just beautiful.