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The Sultan and the Phoenix

 
The Sultan and the Phoenix-Chamber Music
ID: SIGCD032 (EAN: 635212003220)  | 1 CD | DDD
Released in: 2001
LABEL:
Signum Records
Collection:
Chamber Music
Composers:
CORRETTE, Michel | COUPERIN, Armand-Louis | COUPERIN, François | COUPERIN, Louis | DORNEL, Louis-Antoine | DU MAGE, Pierre | DUPHLY, Jacques | MARAIS, Marin
Interprets:
HEINRICH, Susanne | NG, Kah-Ming | PELL, Susanna (bass viol) | SAYCE, Lynda (theorbo / lute)
Ensembles:
Charivari Agréable
Other info:

Recording Location: St. Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucestershire

Louis (c.1626-1661), François le Grand (1668-1733) and Armand-Louis (1727-1789) were the three most celebrated members of the distinguished Couperin family of musicians who flourished from the late 16th century until the middle of the 19th, holding a position of esteem parallel to that of the Bachs in Germany.

The Sultan and the Phoenix presents both masterpieces and rare gems from the Couperins and their contemporaries, all delivered with a rare insight by the ensemble charivari agréable. The programme presents an overview of the ensemble use of the viol in its various manifestations and stages of evolution in France. The Couperin dynasty offers a convenient chronological framework within which the viol could be heard in various guises: from a consort setting to a ‘pičces de clavecin en concerts’ configuration; from a six-string bass viol to a five-string hybrid ‘quinton’. Underpinning this programme is the historical practice of adaptation, transcription and arrangement with which French baroque music is replete.

Historical tradition is followed by the arrangement of some pieces by the players. Some involved direct transcription, such as the L. Couperin Pavan for a viol consort or the F. Couperin harpsichord piece for theorbo (in the style of de Visée, see above). Other pieces are left untouched, such as L. Couperin’s Fantaisies and Corrette’s Phénix, as well as the large-scale chamber works of Dornel and Couperin.

Charivari Agréable’s reputation as one of the most original ensembles in the period-instrument scene was recently articulated by the BBC Music Magazine, which noted that the ensemble “has carved something of a niche for itself in imaginative and well thought-out programming”, reasoning that its work is the fruit of both scholarly research and charismatic musicianship, a combination which puts it at the forefront of period-instrument ensembles.

This recording is refreshing and rewarding. Charivari Agréable is a rare combination with a distinct sound and sonority, displaying sincere empathy and love for the repertory they choose to record.
Tracklist
 
COUPERIN, Louis (1626-1661) 
1. La Piémontoise; (b, d, i, h, j, l, m)2:29
 play
2. Pavannce in F sharp minor; (b, e, h, i)7:59
 play
3. Fantaisie pour les Violes; (b, i, k)3:21
 play
4. 2e Fantaisie à 5; (b, d, i, h, j, l)1:49
 play
CORRETTE, Michel (1707-1795) 
Le Phénix, Concerto in D major for four bass viols & basso continuo; (c, i, h, j, m) 
5. Allegro2:47
 play
6. Adagio3:18
 play
7. Allegro3:03
 play
COUPERIN, François (1668-1733) 
8. Les baricades mistérieuses; (l)3:16
 play
DU MAGE, Pierre (1674-1751) 
9. Récit; (b, l, n)2:12
 play
COUPERIN, François (1668-1733) 
10. La Sultane; (a, d, h, i, l, n)9:08
 play
COUPERIN, Armand-Louis (1727-1789) 
11. La Chéron; (m)4:29
 play
DUPHLY, Jacques (1715-1789) 
12. La Madin; (a, d, m)4:08
 play
13. La Casaubon; (a, d, m)4:17
 play
DORNEL, Louis-Antoine (c.1680-after 1756) 
'Sonate en quatuor' in B minor; (a, d, g, i, l, m) 
14. Movt. 12:10
 play
15. Movt. 22:25
 play
16. Movt. 31:37
 play
17. Movt. 42:12
 play
MARAIS, Marin (1656-1728) 
18. Chaconne, from the final act of Alcione; (a, d, j, h, i, l, m)7:29
 play

Review:
 

"eminently listenable and musically satisfying ... an intelligently created and expertly played program that shouldn't be overlooked by fans of Baroque instrumental chamber music.”
ClassicsToday.com

“Above all this comes across as a very good concert which will give much pleasure to its listeners.
Early Music Review

“I love the rich sound they make in their own version of Louis Couperin's keyboard piece La Piémontoise.”
Radio 3 - CD Review


 

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