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Et la fleur vole - Airs a danser & airs de cour autour de 1600 / Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien

Musiciens De Saint-julien / Lazarevitch
Release Date: 11/09/2010 
Label:  Alpha Productions   Catalog #: 167   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  VariousMichael PraetoriusGabriel BatailleAntoine Boësset,   ... 
Performer:  François Lazarevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



ET LA FLEUR VOLE: Dance Airs and Court Airs Around 1600 François Lazarevitch (fl/mus, cond); Musiciens de Saint-Julien ALPHA 167 (66:07 Text and Translation)


Works by: PRAETORIUS, BALLARD, DE LA TOUR, A. PHILIDOR, BATAILLE, BOESSET, GUÉDRON, TESSIER, PLANSON, DE BEAULIEU, MANGEANT


Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien is one of those early-music performing groups that, like two others in the Alpha stable, Le Read more Poème Harmonique and Les Witches, combines classical and folk traditions in the performance of “lowbrow” airs and dances. On this album, they focus on “dance in France in the early 17th century” as the liner notes announce, except that André Philidor was born around 1647, and Michael Praetorius, who is featured in seven cuts, was a German who lived and worked his whole life in various German states.


It’s not a big deal, but it is just one among several curiosities in this release’s liner notes. Aside from the inevitable discussion of the painting on the front of the album, there’s a lengthy essay that elaborates on the style of various dances-as-danced around 1600, while a shorter, second one touches upon the importance of distinguishing between weak and strong beats, and the importance of unequal notes—which no one has doubted in this music for a couple of generations. Finally, there’s a very short article by Alpha Records’ founder stating that this disc contains “more musical feeling” than “all Rossini, Mozart, and Weber.” He’s a little like that friend of a friend who moodily ignores everybody in a group night out until he suddenly starts a loud argument with an outrageous generalization, which it finally appears is only true if you change the accepted definitions of words.


Not one word in the liner notes, however, is devoted to specific details of the music’s performance on this album. Which would seem pretty important, given that what has survived 400 years is often nothing more than a basic, single-line rural or urban folk melody, later harmonized by a given composer. Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien orchestrates, reharmonizes, creates rhythms, determines tempos and the level of ornamentation and/or improvisation, decides which selections go together in a given number and how much time any melody receives, etc. It’s these and numerous similar decisions that set one group apart from another in this music, each creating an experience whose authenticity is never provable and sometimes far-fetched, but whose musicality and entertainment value assures it deserved popularity among early-music audiences.


On the evidence here, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien is one of those ensembles that favors a broad and diverse instrumental palette. Its webpage photo displays eight musicians, but the bios include 12, and this disc has 11, plus an occasional vocal choir of six. Traverse flutes, vocalists, violins, a viola da gamba, theorbos, guitars, musettes, and percussion contribute to textures that range from a quiet flute solo to lively soprano airs to dance sets featuring the musette and full ensemble. Active improvisation and contrasting sonorities clearly are important in developing Les Musiciens’ repertoire, and there’s a lot of energy present throughout. Some of this material will be very familiar, especially the Praetorious, but not much of the rest has circulated that freely in the early-music circuit. I’d single out for particular praise Anne Dufresne, who is listed as a soprano, but whose voice at least here sounds like that of a dark-colored mezzo. She has a natural flutter vibrato, but is also capable of completely whitening the tone, and easily moving between them. Only in the a cappella opening to Planson’s “Et la Fleur vole” does the flutter interfere intermittently with consistent production. Elsewhere she displays considerable agility, enunciation, focus, and verve.


If you enjoy this turn of the 17th-century dance repertoire in a vein that conjures up modern Celtic folk performances, then this release won’t let you down. The music is delightfully engaging and varied, and the performances top-notch.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Terpsichore: no 32, La Bourée by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Flute), François Lazarevitch (Musette)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 4 Minutes 8 Secs. 
2.
L'Oeil noir de ma chaste brunette, song by Gabriel Bataille
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Musette), François Lazarevitch (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
3.
Terpsichore: no 27, Spagnoletta by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Musette), François Lazarevitch (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 5 Minutes 40 Secs. 
4.
Je voundrois bien ô Cloris, song by Antoine Boësset
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Flute), François Lazarevitch (Musette)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 6 Minutes 5 Secs. 
5.
Terpsichore: no 304, Gaillarde by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Musette), François Lazarevitch (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
6.
Bransles de la Grenée / Puisque le ciel veut ainsi, medley for ensemble by François Lazarevitch
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Musette), François Lazarevitch (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
7.
Sortés soupirs témoins de mon martire, song by Gabriel Bataille
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Flute), François Lazarevitch (Musette)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 6 Minutes 8 Secs. 
8.
Et la fleur vole / Passepiedz de Bretaigne, medley for ensemble by François Lazarevitch
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Musette), François Lazarevitch (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
9.
Si jamais mon ame blessée by Pierre Guédron
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Musette), François Lazarevitch (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
10.
Courante / Courante La Bergere, medley for ensemble by François Lazarevitch
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Flute), François Lazarevitch (Musette)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
11.
Pressé d'ennuis, song by Guillaume Tessier
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Musette), François Lazarevitch (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
12.
Si c'est pour mon pucelage / Amour n'a point des ayles, medley for ensemble by François Lazarevitch
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Flute), François Lazarevitch (Musette)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
13.
Un jour Amarille et Tersis by Antoine Boësset
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Musette), François Lazarevitch (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; France 
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 4 Minutes 41 Secs. 
14.
Bransles gays / Rosette pour un peu d'absence, medley for ensemble by François Lazarevitch
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Flute), François Lazarevitch (Musette)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
15.
J'ay un oiseau qui vole / Branle simple / Ceste beauté supresme / Branle double léger / J'estois bie by François Lazarevitch
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Flute), François Lazarevitch (Musette)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 5 Minutes 2 Secs. 
16.
Suite de branles, medley (after Ballard, de La Tour, Praetorius, Philidor) by François Lazarevitch
Performer:  François Lazarevitch (Musette), François Lazarevitch (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 02/2010 
Venue:  Chapelle de l'Hopital Notre Dame du Bon 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 

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