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Touchemoulin: Concertos & Symphonies / Ayrton, Les Inventions

Touchemoulin,Joseph
Release Date: 02/09/2010 
Label:  Ramee   Catalog #: 807   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Joseph Touchemoulin
Performer:  Daniel SepecPatrick Ayrton
Conductor:  Patrick Ayrton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Inventions TrioLes Inventions
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



TOUCHEMOULIN Concertos: for Violin; for Harpsichord; for Flute. Symphonies: in G, op. 1/2; in F, op. 1/5 Daniel Sepec (vn); Alexis Kossenko (fl); Patrick Ayrton (hpsd); Les Inventions (period instruments) RAMÉE RAM 0807 (68:34)


Our fixation on genius can obscure many whose gifts, though manifold, did not measure up to those held by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and the like. Among those was a man by the name of Joseph Read more Touchemoulin (1727–1801). Some of the critical information regarding Touchemoulin is missing, e.g., regarding his early musical training and what or who was responsible for his move to Germany. But snapshots of the life and career of this older contemporary of Haydn are provided by documents in places as diverse as the University of California at Berkeley and the Benedictine convent of Sarnen in Switzerland.


We find interesting personal correspondence with his family in France and we uncover fascinating tidbits as well, to wit: While Touchemoulin was employed at the court of Thurn und Taxis he was acquainted with and on occasion worked with Emanuel Schikaneder, the director of the city theater. It was he who would later create the role of Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte . We also learn that a Johann Friedrich Peter, a Moravian immigrating to North Carolina, took with him—among other things—a symphony of Touchemoulin as well as music of Mozart and Haydn.


Composers such as Touchemoulin acquired their skills through instruction, hard work, and self-discipline. His apprenticeship, if you will, was in Padua where he was taken under the wing of the great violinist Giuseppe Tartini. In spite of privation Touchemoulin remained loyal to his art, toiling assiduously, and rendering inexorable service to those who favored him with their patronage. Edison’s aphorism about the disproportionate percentages of perspiration and inspiration apparently paid off for Touchemoulin, as a number of his symphonies were performed to great acclaim at the Concert Spirituel in Paris in 1754, and they were published a few years later by Huberty with a dedication to Madame Cousineau. The symphonies are lightly scored, calling for strings with a pair of horns ad libitum . As for the concertos, those for violin and harpsichord include horns (the latter adds a pair of flutes as well), and the flute concerto employs strings only.


One doesn’t have to listen to this music for any length of time to determine that Touchemoulin was no genius, but he did succeed in composing charming and well-crafted music that speaks directly to the listener. There is not as much as a scintilla of pretense, nor is there any sophistry. The music hints at the younger members of the Bach family, with the galant and Empfindsamkeit almost constantly on display. The flute concerto was previously available on vinyl in a recording by Maxence Larrieu, but as far as the other works are concerned, they are world premieres.


Les Inventions is another of those small period-instrument bands with a string section that numbers 5-4-3-2-1 plus the requisite winds when and where appropriate. Its playing is crisp and cleanly articulated with excellent intonation, sprightly tempos, tight ensemble, and an aural spectrum that is quite good as well.


If you’re looking for another Mozart, then pass this one by. But if you’re looking for something different, interesting, and occasionally stimulating, then I suggest this Ramée release, as on those points it certainly won’t disappoint.


FANFARE: Michael Carter
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony in F major, Op. 1/5 by Joseph Touchemoulin
Conductor:  Patrick Ayrton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Inventions Trio,  Les Inventions
Date of Recording: 04/2007 
Venue:  Auditorium of the Dijon Opera, France 
Length: 9 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2. Violin Concerto in D major by Joseph Touchemoulin
Performer:  Daniel Sepec (Violin)
Conductor:  Patrick Ayrton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Inventions Trio,  Les Inventions
Date of Recording: 04/2007 
Venue:  Auditorium of the Dijon Opera, France 
Length: 21 Minutes 8 Secs. 
3. Harpsichord Concerto in C major by Joseph Touchemoulin
Performer:  Patrick Ayrton (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Patrick Ayrton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Inventions Trio,  Les Inventions
Date of Recording: 04/2007 
Venue:  Auditorium of the Dijon Opera, France 
Length: 10 Minutes 26 Secs. 
4. Transverse Flute Concerto in A major by Joseph Touchemoulin
Conductor:  Patrick Ayrton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Inventions Trio,  Les Inventions
Date of Recording: 04/2007 
Venue:  Auditorium of the Dijon Opera, France 
Length: 13 Minutes 20 Secs. 
5. Symphony in G major, Op. 1/2 by Joseph Touchemoulin
Conductor:  Patrick Ayrton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Inventions Trio,  Les Inventions
Date of Recording: 04/2007 
Venue:  Auditorium of the Dijon Opera, France 
Length: 12 Minutes 1 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony in F major, Op. 1, No. 5: I. Allegro
Symphony in F major, Op. 1, No. 5: II. Andante
Symphony in F major, Op. 1, No. 5: III. Presto
Violin Concerto in D major: I. Allegro moderato
Violin Concerto in D major: II. Adagio
Violin Concerto in D major: III. Presto
Harpsichord Concerto in C major: I. Allegro ma non molto
Harpsichord Concerto in C major: II. Andantino
Harpsichord Concerto in C major: III. Tempo di menuetto
Flute Concerto in A major: I. Allegro
Flute Concerto in A major: II. Largo
Flute Concerto in A major: III. Presto
Symphony in G major, Op. 1, No. 2: I. Allegro assai
Symphony in G major, Op. 1, No. 2: II. Andante
Symphony in G major, Op. 1, No. 2: III. Presto

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