"Leclair's single opera Scylla et Glaucus may lack the sheer audacity of his teacher Rameau, but it's enormously likeable…the performers respond…stylishly to Leclair's charming if slightly predictable sound-world…and the conducting preserves a neat balance between drama and ornament…It is clear that Gardiner favours intervention over chilly authenticity; whether or not you agree with all his decisions, the clarity of the image he presents is often provocative and always bracing." – Jan Smaczny, BBC Music Magazine
This programme completes the Comédie et Tragédie project with Tempesta di Mare, and consists of suites made up of orchestral excerpts from three dramatic works of the French stage, spanning seventy-three years, all highlighting the importance of dance as a part of drama.
Those crazy Red Priest guys have done it again, making a wonderfully fun and playful disc of thrash-baroque. This small group really tears up the score. I can imagine that Red Priest would be a riot to see live.
I haven't heard any of the pieces played by a 'straight' ensemble, so I can't comment, but I highly suspect these guys of taking some outrageous liberties. But you have to go with the flow here to get your reward from this romp.
Violinist James Ehnes has firmly established himself as a master of the modern repertoire and to a lesser extent, the Romantic, so his album of Antonio Vivaldi's perennial violin concertos, The Four Seasons, Giuseppe Tartini's "Devil's Trill" Sonata, and Jean-Marie Leclair's "Tambourin" Sonata is an unexpected detour into the Baroque. The fame and popularity of these pieces guarantees Ehnes an audience, and he, like everyone else, shouldn't be criticized for recording them, though his choice of the modern Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the Vivaldi, and Fritz Kreisler's arrangement of the Tartini for violin and piano, suggests that he isn't really trying to compete with most contemporary recordings, least of all the various period-style releases.
This is the masterwork, Gluck's last important opera, which convinced the teenage medical student Berlioz, when he first heard it in 1821, that he had to be a composer. He worshipped Gluck and took his side in the phoney "Gluck vs.Piccini War". He set himself the task of sitting in the Conservatoire library to copy out the entire score in order to absorb its lessons. Its directness and drama influenced his artistic style his whole life through, as evinced by key points in "Les Troyens".
Since 1987, Dan Laurin has released some thirty titles on BIS. On his latest disc, Sonates et Suites he has chosen to visit France at an exciting point in time. In the early 18th century, when all of the sonatas and suites included here were composed, the system of censorship that ensured that nothing was printed without royal permission was beginning to crumble, at least in the field of music.