Boismortier: Sonata, Op. 26; Sonata, Op. 50

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COMPOSERS: Boismortier
LABELS: Glossa
WORKS: Sonata, Op. 26; Sonata, Op. 50
PERFORMER: Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet
This sixth volume in Hervé Nicquet and Le Concert Spirituel’s rewarding survey of Boismortier’s music features sonatas for bass instruments. Long held in affection for his aimiable pieces for one or more flutes Nicquet is demonstrating that Boismortier’s talents were comparably fruitful in a variety of other spheres, both vocal and instrumental. The present sonatas are drawn from six different collections and reveal him as an idiomatic and inventive composer for cello, bass viol and bassoon alike. Sometimes one or other instrument is specified, sometimes not. Nicquet’s équipe introduces a rewarding variety of colour to its programme with a judicious continuo mix of harpsichord, organ, theorbo and the currently fashionable Baroque guitar. Faster movements pulsate with energy and are often given further impetus by rhythmic inégalité and the crisp attack of a guitar. But it is the slow movements that stand out for their plaintive lyricism and melodic allure. The Adagio of the Op. 26 Sonata for bassoon offers one such example, while the two Largos of the Op. 50 Sonata for cello provide another. The disc’s title ‘Sonates pour basses’ may at first sight seem dry and intimidating. Don’t be misled, for these are captivating pieces played with affection, expertise and imaginative flair. Nicholas Anderson