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Boismortier: Sonates Pour Basses / Niquet, Et Al


Release Date: 01/25/2005 
Label:  Glossa   Catalog #: 921609   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Joseph Bodin de Boismortier
Performer:  Hervé Niquet
Conductor:  Hervé Niquet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert Spirituel
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Like several of his French contemporaries, Boismortier was as much a performer, teacher, and publisher as a composer; and he set his sights on the prosperous, skillful amateur, bourgeois or noble, when it was a mark of good breeding to show considerable musical skill (and pretend it was acquired without effort). Like another of those businessman composers, Michel Corrette, Boismortier sought to entertain while he instructed, realizing early in his career that short, thematically memorable movements on popular instruments of the day would please a lot more than cheerless exercises.

Perhaps it was this understanding that ultimately made Boismortier the musical equivalent of a charismatic conversationalist, composing with wit and
Read more focus, fully aware of his audience and moving quickly from one topic to another to avoid ennui. The works on this disc cover a range of moods and stylized dance types, each movement almost operatic in its sense of the dramatic moment: whether it’s the second Largo of the Sonata for Two Cellos, sounding in all its black tone like some giant subterranean vielle (the French hurdy-gurdy), or the wonderfully arrogant Paysanne of the Suite de pièces, its melody trailing a last thematic fragment like the train of a pretentious robe. He excelled in adapting to his use the styles of others, both French and Italian; so although the Gigue in that aforementioned sonata could have been written by Albinoni, the Gavotte from his Viol Suite transports us to the world of Rameau. His efforts at counterpoint in the Corellian Sonata VI are perfunctory if attractive, but Boismortier could have written a dissertation on the methods obvious and subtle of varying rhythm to greatest effect.

Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel have made a specialty of French Baroque music, although they’ve also recorded Purcell and Handel. They appear to have taken their Boismortier very seriously, having previously released an anthology of the composer entitled “Sérénades françaises” (Naxos 8.554456), his ballet-comique, Don Quixote chez la Duchesse (Naxos 8.553647), and one of his operas, Daphnis et Chloé (Glossa GCD 921605). Le Concert Spirituel allies a resourceful musical imagination with a sense of tradition, applying ornamentation and adjusting orchestration (including continuo) to provide a strong but sensible element of aural contrast. Some might reasonably question the degree of tradition when, as in the minuet from the Bassoon Sonata, they double-dot and strum part of the continuum given to the theorbo and Baroque guitar, producing rhythms commonly associated with Spanish regional music; but it’s not anachronistic, and supplies both vigor and variety. Far worse sins, resulting in far duller music-making, have been committed under the mantle of debated authenticity. With excellent sound and a pair of interesting essays, this release is definitely one to please Baroque fans.

Barry Brenesal, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1. Diverse pieces for Viola da Gamba and Basso Continuo, Op. 31 by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier
Performer:  Hervé Niquet (Harpsichord), Hervé Niquet (Organ)
Conductor:  Hervé Niquet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert Spirituel
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1730; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2003 
Venue:  Our Lady of Bonsecours Chapel, Paris, Fr 
Length: 12 Minutes 17 Secs. 
2. Sonatas (6) for 3 Recorders and Basso Continuo, Op. 34: no 6 in C minor by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier
Performer:  Hervé Niquet (Harpsichord), Hervé Niquet (Organ)
Conductor:  Hervé Niquet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert Spirituel
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1731; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2003 
Venue:  Our Lady of Bonsecours Chapel, Paris, Fr 
Length: 6 Minutes 37 Secs. 
3. Sonatas (5) for Bassoon and Basso Continuo, Op. 26: no 3 by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier
Performer:  Hervé Niquet (Harpsichord), Hervé Niquet (Organ)
Conductor:  Hervé Niquet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert Spirituel
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1729; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2003 
Venue:  Our Lady of Bonsecours Chapel, Paris, Fr 
Length: 6 Minutes 44 Secs. 
4. Sonatas (6) for 2 Bass instruments, Op. 50: no 2 in G major by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier
Performer:  Hervé Niquet (Harpsichord), Hervé Niquet (Organ)
Conductor:  Hervé Niquet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert Spirituel
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1734; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2003 
Venue:  Our Lady of Bonsecours Chapel, Paris, Fr 
Length: 9 Minutes 5 Secs. 
5. Sonatas (6) for 2 Bass instruments, Op. 14: no 3 by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier
Performer:  Hervé Niquet (Harpsichord), Hervé Niquet (Organ)
Conductor:  Hervé Niquet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert Spirituel
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1726; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2003 
Venue:  Our Lady of Bonsecours Chapel, Paris, Fr 
Length: 7 Minutes 48 Secs. 
6. Sonatas (6) for 2 Bass instruments, Op. 40: Appended Suite for 1 or 2 Bassoons by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier
Performer:  Hervé Niquet (Harpsichord), Hervé Niquet (Organ)
Conductor:  Hervé Niquet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert Spirituel
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1732; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2003 
Venue:  Our Lady of Bonsecours Chapel, Paris, Fr 
Length: 14 Minutes 10 Secs. 

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