The recipe for success ?
Leslie Richford | 02/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Huggett and Guimond together is always a recipe for success. Here they play with Guimond's Arion Ensemble under Huggett's direction to bring a powerful and beautiful interpretation of Leclair's Concertos:
One of my personal top ten."
Attractive Opportunity to Get to Know Leclair
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 03/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jean-Marie Leclair (1697 - 1764): 4 Concertos. 1. Concerto for Violin, Strings & Continuo Op. 7, No.2 in D major. 2. Concerto for Violin, Strings & Continuo Op. 7, No.6 in A major. 3. Concerto for Flute, Strings & Continuo Op. 7, No.3 in C major. 4. Concerto for Violin, Strings & Continuo Op. 10, No.1 in B flat major. Performed by Monica Huggett, baroque violin; Claire Guimond, transverse flute; Ensemble Arion [Chantal Remillard, Olivier Brault, Claude Deltell, Jacques-André Houle, Chloé Meyers, Hélène Plouffe, Sophie Rivard, violins; Elisabeth Comtois, Margaret Little, violas; Betsy MacMillan, viola da gamba; Susan Napper, violoncello; Eric Lagacé, double bass; Francois Chabot, theorbo; Hank Knox, harpsichord]. Recorded in March 1998 in Saint-Augustin's Church in Saint-Augustin-de-Mirabel, Quebec, Canada. Published in 1999 as ATMA ACD 2 2143. Total playing time: 63'08".
Many people know the name of Leclair because of the story of his murder, presumably by a nephew, but I rather doubt that the majority even of baroque music lovers are familiar with his music. This is a great pity, because his concertos for violin (or flute or oboe), published in Paris, are by no stretch of the imagination "typical French baroque fare". Rather the opposite: The music appears to be inspired by Italian models, the faster, dance-like movements reminding one in places of Vivaldi, while the slower central movements sound, on occasion, like Corelli, although the whole remains decidedly French. Baroque violinist Monica Huggett has made a name for herself with manifold recordings of the music of Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann and the classical composers, and here she plays Leclair's technically demanding works with a pleasing mixture of sentiment and virtuosity. In the only concerto for solo flute, Claire Guimond is her equal, and as both soloists are brought forward by sound engineer Johanne Goyette, there is an hour of extremely pleasant listening awaiting anyone who puts this CD in the player. The extended Arion Ensemble is composed of well-known musicians from the French Canadian early music scene and accompanies the soloists in a manner that is both stylish and lively. The recording was made in a church (not a studio) and is more than adequate; the accompanying texts in French and English are informative (and include a biography of the composer)."