Les Caractères d’Ulusse

Les Caractères d’Ulusse
Rebel & Boismortier: Suites pour deux clavecins

Clément Geoffroy, Loris Barrucand, harpsichords
Château de Versailles Spectacles CVS021. 74’03

Rebel, J-F: Suite d’Ulysse; Les Caractères de la Danse; Les Élémens;
Les Plaisirs Champêtres 
Boismortier: Premier ballet de Village; Suite de Daphnis et Chloé

Using two of the historic instruments from the collection at the Château de Versailles, one by Ruckers the other by Blanchet , harpsichordists Loris Barrucand and Clément Geoffroy present arrangements of music by Jean-Féry Rebel, (1661-1747) and Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1691-1755). The impetus for this venture came from a commission in 2016, the 350th anniversary of Rebel’s birth, for a piece for two harpsichords and dancers combined with Rebel’s own comment that he wanted his 1715 orchestral piece Les Caractères de la Danse (an uninterrupted succession of fourteen dances completed in around eight minutes) to be played “like a piece on the harpsichord”. Continue reading

Les Voyages de l’Amour

Les Voyages de l’Amour
Music by Boismortier, Rebel, Corrette
Ensemble Meridiana
Chaconne CHAN 0812. 57’39

Boismortier: Simphonie pour l’arrivée des Génies Elémentaires (Les Voyages de l’Amour ); Premier ballet de Village, Op. 52; Sonata, Op. 14/3; Concerto a 5, Op. 37; Sonata a trois parties, Op. è37/4.
Corrette: Concerto comique VI: ‘Le Plaisir des Dames’.
Rebel: Les Caractères de la Danse; Sonate Sixiéme.

Boismortier’s 1736 opéra-ballet, Les Voyages de l’Amour tells of the journey of Love in his quest to find a pure heart that will love him sincerely and without ulterior motive, having tired of making others happy without     finding that happiness himself. Having searched through towns, villages and the royal court, he eventually finds his true love in the person of the shepherdess Daphné. In this glittering programme, Ensemble Meridiana take a similar journey through Baroque France in a musical search for that elusive true love, travelling through similar setting to those of Boismortier’s Amour, concluding with Michel Corrette’s ‘Amusing and Highly Entertaining’ wedding feast.

Boismortier’s music makes up the bulk of the CD, starting with the multi-sectional Simphonie pour l’arrivée des Génies Elémentaires, Continue reading

Boismortier: Six Sonatas Op 51

Boismortier: Six Sonatas Op 51
Elysium Ensemble
Resonus RES10171. 71’24

Despite their name the Elysium Ensemble, at least on this recording, consists of just two people, Greg Dikmans and Lucinda Moon, playing flute and violin respectively. Founded in 1985, the Australia-based Elysium Ensemble has in recent years concentrated on the instrumental duet, with research and concerts exploring the concept of ‘Dialogue: the Art of Elegant Conversation’. The foundation of this is the concept of rhetoric, or “the art of discourse and communication, of speaking with elegance and eloquence.” With roots in Aristotle’s discussions on oratory, and 18th century musicians and writers such as Quantz, they explore the concept of rhetoric in music through Boismortier’s Six Sonatas pour une flute traversiere et un violin par accords, published in Paris in 1734.

Boismortier (1689-1755) is one of those composers that crops up in occasional concert programmes, but is far from a household name amongst musicians. Continue reading