Boismortier: Trio Sonatas; Suites

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COMPOSERS: Boismortier
WORKS: Trio Sonatas; Suites
PERFORMER: Passacaglia
Passacaglia has assembled a variety of pieces, mainly dominated by flutes and recorders, for this Boismortier programme. Like his German contemporary Telemann, Boismortier wrote idiomatically for wind instruments, addressing himself as much to a growing body of amateur musicians as to the professional virtuoso. Among a vast repository of pieces for these and other instruments are six sonatas for flute and obbligato harpsichord which were among the earliest of their kind in France. The first in the set is included here, demonstrating not only Boismortier’s felicitous gifts as a melodist, but also his undemanding and airy Italianate style.


Other items on the disc include two trio sonatas, an effectively written Sonata in E minor for two unaccompanied melody instruments – recorders in this instance – a suite of pieces for bass viol and continuo, and one of the composer’s charming ‘Gentillesses’, this one from the second of five sets and played here by two unison descant recorders, with bass viol and Baroque guitar. The members of Passacaglia, in various combinations, play all with a sharp ear for balanced ensemble and for the wealth of little nuances contained within this ingenuous repertoire. But one of the greatest attractions in a well-thought-out programme is a Suite in A major for solo harpsichord, which Robin Bigwood plays stylishly and with affection. Nicholas Anderson