Marais, Sainte-Colombe, Hotteterre, MontŽclair & Morel

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Hotteterre,Marais,Montéclair & Morel,Sainte-Colombe
LABELS: ASV Gaudeamus
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Music from the Time of Louis XIV
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Tientos
CATALOGUE NO: CD GAU 240
Tientos is a Vienna-based ensemble whose repertoire covers a period from 1500 to the close of the 18th century. Its programme of French music from the time of Louis XIV features five composers – a well-devised menu, though to my taste somewhat uneven in interest. By far the strongest works are those by the bass violist and composer Sainte-Colombe and his star pupil Marin Marais. The two Sainte-Colombe pieces for bass viol and continuo are well contrasted. One is a suite, Le retour, the other a tombeau, Les regrets. Tombeaux were characteristically French musical-poetic tributes to the departed, whose free form allowed for outpourings of grief, sometimes on quite an extravagant scale. The Marais Suite is for two bass viols and continuo and concludes with one of the great tombeaux, this one for a Monsieur Meliton. Beside these pieces the recorder suites by Hotteterre and Montéclair seem lightweight and long-winded. More fun to play than to listen to, perhaps. But the ensemble performs with spirit and a good feeling for French Baroque manners and there is much to enjoy. There are, however, some careless errors in the accompanying note. Nicholas Anderson

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