Michel de Béthune, Visée, Forqueray, Lully & Marais

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Forqueray,Lully & Marais,Michel de Béthune,Visée
LABELS: Glossa
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Pices Pour Théorbes Franaises
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: José Miguel Moreno (theorbo, angélique)
CATALOGUE NO: GCD 2K0106 Reissue (1997)

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Here is a thoughtfully constructed programme of 17th- and early 18th-century French music played by José Miguel Moreno. His chosen instruments are a theorbo and its close relative the angélique, whose complexity, diatonic tuning and limited compass doubtless contributed to its short vogue and eventual extinction. But it’s a beautiful open-sounding instrument, as you will quickly discover in the 11-movement Suite by Michel de Béthune. The remaining pieces, some of them transcriptions, by Lully, Marais, Antoine Forqueray and Visée are played on a small theorbo, similar-sounding to the angélique, but less harp-like in effect. A fascinating disc.

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Nicholas Anderson