‘An Italian in Paris’ reviewed in Early Music Review

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Noel O’Regan reviewed our CD ‘An Italian in Paris’ for Early Music Review.

This is a fascinating collection of music, composed largely by French composers but under Italian stylistic influence and exploiting the sound of the violin both on its own and in a duo. It starts with Couperin’s La Pucelle, his first exercise in combining the Italian and French styles, and ends with Charpentier’s large-scale Sonata for eight instruments.  In between we have fine sonatas by de La Guerre and Rebel, chaconnes by Bartolotti, Lully and Clérembault, and a suite by Duval. Listeners can amuse themselves spotting Italianate and French idioms but ultimately it is the synthesis of the two which is strikingly brought out here. In the course of the disc’s preparation a chaconne-like Prélude traditionally attributed to Lully was recognised as actually composed by Marais ‘pour le coucher du Roy’. Played here on two flutes it symbolises the marriage of the two traditions. Everything is beautifully performed and recorded by a variety of combinations taken from the eight instruments so well characterised and exploited by Charpentier in his fine sonata. As always The Bach Players perform with a real sense of commitment to the music and with great unanimity of purpose. Highly recommended indeed.

Early Music Review, June 2014