Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Monday, June 5, 2017

A delightful album of music from the French Baroque

Age of Indulgence: Les Delices

The Cleveland-based ensemble Les Delices was founded by oboist Debra Nagy in 2009. This collection of pieces from the French Baroque has been put together to highlight the high quality and variety of the music from that period, and the style and musicianship of these fine players. There are some fairly obscure composers here; Duphly, Philidor and Guignon won't be showing up on many classical music favourites lists. But all of this music makes pleasurable listening. This is mainly music from the late Baroque, with an appealingly mannered way of spinning earlier tropes through unexpected textures and harmonies, leaving some traces of Italian instrumental virtuosity but with an unmistakable French style and grace. Then there are a few pieces of true genius that pop up, like the sublime Entrée de Polymnie from Rameau's Les Boréades, and this Tambourins from his Dardanus. It all comes together to make a truly delightful album.

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