Historically Informed Performance on Period Instruments since 1985
Following on from their critically acclaimed Resonus debut of duets by Johann Joachim Quantz, the second in a series of releases based on research into historical performance practice sees the Elysium Ensemble record an album of the Six Sonates, Op. 51, by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1689-1755).
Prolific in his lifetime, publishing over 100 collections of Suites, Sonatas and other instrumental music, Boismortier’s great depth and imagination comes through in these duos for flute and violin brought to life with panache by the Elysium Ensemble’s principles Greg Dikmans & Lucinda Moon.
Previously unrecorded as a complete set using Quantz’s preferred instrumentation, the Sei Duetti, op. 2 (Berlin, 1759), are works of high quality and interest. Quantz presents his musical ideas as a continuously evolving conversation. They embody wonderfully the idea of Dialogue: The Art of Elegant Conversation.
These historically significant works are excellent examples of Quantz’s intermediate position between the Baroque and Classical periods. They deserve to be heard by a wider audience.
The title ‘Venice to Versailles’ evokes the idea of a journey or the movement from one place (or state) to another.
The works recorded here certainly present an intriguing musical journey through the diversity of Italian and French instrumental chamber music of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: sets of variations on vocal works and ground basses, dances, sonatas and suites.
Venice and Versailles were two of the most important centres for the arts in Europe during the Baroque period. They represent the two dominant and contrasting styles of music: Venice the robust, joyous exuberance and barocco (‘wild’ or ‘grotesque’) character of the Italian style, and Versailles, the refinement, delicacy, elegance and douceur (‘sweetness’) of the French.
French Baroque chamber music from the court of Versailles and the salons of Paris. La Chambre du Roi, literally ‘the bedroom of the king’, evokes the intimacy, delicacy, refinement and, above all, the douceur (‘softness’ or ‘sweetness’) of French chamber music of the early 18th century.
François Couperin and Jacques Hotteterre, two of the most famous musicians of their time, were both members of the Musique de la Chambre du Roi, that elite company of musicians who performed for Louis XIV in his private apartments at Versailles.
This is the music of elegant conversation that, with the natural charms and sensitivity of its melodies and the classical beauty of its forms, delights the intellect and moves the heart.