Concertos pour violon…
Johannes Pramsohler (violin); Ensemble Diderot (Audax)
Concertos pour violon – The Beginnings of the Violin Concerto in France
Works by J Aubert, M Corrette, Exaudet, J-M Leclair and Quentin
Johannes Pramsohler (violin); Ensemble Diderot
Audax ADX 13782 66:08 mins
Tracing the dawn of the violin concerto in early 18th-century France, this disc includes two world premiere recordings: Jean-Marie Leclair’s Concerto in E flat and André-Joseph Exaudet’s Concerto ‘for five instruments’. Violinist Johannes Pramsohler and the period-instrument Ensemble Diderot bring sinewy energy to the buoyant rhythms of the Leclair, while Exaudet’s felicitous concerto stands out for the dramatic Fantasia-cadenza of the last movement – a recently-discovered showcase of virtuosic tricks, including some fiendish double stoppings which Pramsohler breezes effortlessly through.
There are also two works by Jacques Aubert. Serving as the disc’s curtain raiser is his perky D major work whose pedestrian harmonies are lightened by Pramsohler’s graceful violin playing. More interesting is Aubert’s E minor work, with its throbbing rhythms, echo effects and colourful imitations of a Carillon – all brought to pulsating life here. The players throw into high relief the antitheses of Jean-Baptiste Quentin’s A minor Concerto, whose melancholy opening movement is treated here with due gravitas and offset by the sprightly Allegro that follows – Pramsohler despatching the violin flourishes with restrained bravura. Finally, Corrette’s Concerto comique No. 25, a theatrical interlude featuring delightful arrangements of the exotic dance Les Sauvages (made famous by Rameau) and the popular tune La Furstemberg. Between them, in a delicate Andante, Corrette weaves a tapestry of pizzicato strings around an airy song-tune. Playing one to a part, Ensemble Diderot douses the performance with frothy wit while the recorded sound has a pleasant bloom.