Friday, November 27, 2009

Boismortier - Serenades Francaises - Niquet, Le Concert Spirituel

Boismortier - Serenades Francaises - Niquet, Le Concert Spirituel
Baroque | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 1 CD, 341 MB
May 1, 2001 | Naxos | RapidShare

"I have already delved somewhat into the charmed life of Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (Jan/Feb 1999). Suffice it to say that he was as successful as almost anyone in the 18th Century and was roundly criticized for it. As the notes so humorously point out, it was said of him: 'Happy is he, Boismortier, whose fertile quill/Each month, without pain, conceives a new air at will.' "And make no mistake, there is no pain in any of this music. But such unrelieved happiness is matched against such extraordinary skill and talent that we don't suffer any romantic pains of conscience over the lack of suffering and remorse. It's party time, and Boismortier knew when he had hit on a formula that worked and stuck with it. The music is airy, light, inventive, well-crafted. From the bassoon concerto to the two suites (this is more of an anthology album than anything else, culling music from the stage as well as the concertos) to the highly good-times Zampogna Conerto (an Italian bagpipe for you neophytes-I didn't know that either), Boismortier is entertaining from first to last, and if you don't know him at all, this issue is a good and inexpensive way to do so. "Le Concert Spirituel (named after the 1725 Paris concert series-that city's first) has been doing a lot of recording for Naxos recently, and this is as good as I have heard. Using a variety of exotic period instruments, this 16-member band is fully up to the challenge, captured in nice mid-hall sound. If you are looking for a non-Bach-Handel-Telemann-Vivaldi baroque album to dazzle your friends with on the next holiday, look no further. As Boismortier repeatedly told his critics, 'I am earning money.' No doubt he did." Seven E. Ritter
American Record Guide, April 2001


Joseph Bodin de Boismortier was among the most popular composers of 18th-century France. He was born in the town of Perpignan and relocated to Paris in about 1724. In the years that followed, he published over one hundred and two major works, all written with an eye on popularity. They were printed and reprinted providing him with enormous wealth. His wealth and success made him the butt of many jokes amongst the musical establishment and posterity has judged him harshly. Nevertheless, many of his works were heard at the performances of the Concert Spirituel and his motet of 1741, Fugit nox, became a fixture at that ensemble's Christmas performances for over twenty years. Although his works aimed to please listeners, Boismortier was knowledgeable composer. He was, for instance, the first French composer to work within the new Italian innovation, the concerto. He used it for the first time when writing the Six Concertos for Five Flutes which appeared in 1727 (when the composer was 38). It was also to be his first exercise in writing works in three movements - fast, slow, fast. By today's standard they were very short, little more than a good melodic idea, but they do demonstrate a knowledge of how to skilfully use five instruments of the same kind to produce such varying tonal colours.

CD Content

Daphnis et Chloe: Chaconne
Fragments melodiques
Bassoon Concerto
Deuxieme serenade ou simphonie francoise
Concerto pour Zampogna
Les Voyages de l'Amour: Entree des genies elementaires

Total Playing Time: 00:59:17

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