ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Les Amis du Baroque
PERFORMER: Les Amis du Baroque
CATALOGUE NO: HL-71951 (distr. firstname.lastname@example.org)
This lively set should appeal to aficionados of the Baroque recorder or Blockflöte. Les Amis is a new Baroque chamber group formed by recorder player Paul Nauta. Though this is its first disc together, the group’s members are seasoned performers with the likes of La Petite Bande, Collegium Vocale and Tafelmusik: in addition to Nauta, featured soloists include fellow recorder-player Koen Dieltiens, flautist Jan De Winne and cellist Christina Mahler.
Their programme mixes complete works with a handful of intriguing excerpts. Notable among the latter is the opening piece, a sparkling Allegro by the little-known Giovanni Battista Bassani in which soprano recorder, violin and cello take turns to propel a zestful rhythmic figure. Also included is an attractive Pepusch Concerto for recorder and flute, Giuseppe Sammartini’s spry Sonata in D minor for two recorders, and a pair of Corelli ‘trio sonatas’ (for recorder and flute) derived from his Op. 6 concerti grossi by his Dutch contemporary Johann Christian Schickhard. The one piece here sans recorder is Vivaldi’s Cello Sonata in A minor, given a robustly expressive reading by Christina Mahler.
Well-recorded and smartly performed, Les Amis’s debut is certainly listener-friendly, an amiable sortie through some less familiar Baroque repertoire. Graham Lock