LABELS: Naïve Astrée
WORKS: Overture in A, Op. 13/3; Sonata in B flat for two violins, Op. 12/6; Sonata in E minor, Op. 2/1
PERFORMER: Rare Fruits Council
CATALOGUE NO: E 8842
Leclair and Locatelli were two of the most exciting composers for the solo violin in the late Baroque. While the first excelled in a distinctive and satisfying blend of French lyricism and Italian virtuosity, the other pushed the boundaries of technique to almost incredible feats of bravura. The performances by Manfredo Kraemer, Pablo Valetti and the remaining members of the Rare Fruits Council – ten out often for whoever thought up that wonderful title for the group – are exhilarating. Every strand of the music is inspired and enlivened by the imaginative and impassioned approach of these talented players, and the pieces themselves, carefully chosen for their intrinsic merit, never disappoint.
The programme is framed by two of Leclair’s finest instrumental creations, an Ouverture (Trio Sonata) in A major from the last collection to appear before his death in 1764 (Op. 13), and a Violin Sonata in E minor from his second printed collection (c!728). The two Locatelli sonatas come from the composer’s barely known Op. 8, first published in 1744. They, too, are expressively alluring in a phraseology that reflects a balance between the Corellian sonata and the idiom of mid-century galant. One of Leclair’s 12 sonatas for two unaccompanied violins, this one from his Op. 12, completes a radiant picture. A superb release.