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Cat. No. CHAN 0726 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0726 - Leclair: Violin Sonatas, Nos 1, 3, 5 & 8
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Available From: 01 February 2006
Jean-Marie Leclair was recognised in his own century as the finest violinist and composer for the violin that France had produced. Apart from one opera, all of his music that survives is for the violin and his many concertos, sonatas, duos and trios reflect the fine quality of his music and possess a broad melodic appeal.

The technical demands of his music were far beyond anything his French audiences had heard before. But the music of Leclair is much more than a virtuoso showcase; it reveals a musical personality that is unusually rounded for a violinist-composer. Leclair’s style is that combination of Italian and French influences, adopted by all non- Italian composers of the later baroque , which features the best of each national style. The more obvious virtuosic Italian influences may distract from the recognition of the music’s underlying Frenchness, yet Leclair considered himself a French composer of French music and so did his contemporaries.

The violin sonatas performed here are considered to be Leclair’s most exciting music and finally receive the exposure they deserve in this thrilling new recording. Coupled with this repertoire are two keyboard portraits of his colleague the viol player Antoine Forqueray by Francois Couperin and Jacques Duphly, and Forqueray’s own keyboard portrait of Leclair which demonstrate the characteristic style of the French composers of this period.
Reviews

Standage of course imparts ‘period’ insights, balancing the Sonata’s frisky second movement with an eloquently-turned Sarabande topped off by a Tambourin that is simultaneously rustic yet rocket-propelled.
BBC Music Magazine

A superlative account of Leclair’s A major Sonata sets the scene… [it] introduces us to violin-playing of rare fluency and elegance. Simon Standage blends impeccable musicianship with florid bursts of technical virtuosity, while Nicholas Parle is a perfect partner, the two of them exhibiting the kind of unanimity of approach that makes this music-making of the very highest order.

What an exquisite recording this is! Presented under the overall title ‘Excess of Good Taste’, this performance of music by Leclair and his contemporaries fully justifies its name.
Goldberg

It is for the Leclair that this disc will be shought out, and with classy playing from one of the most experienced Baroque violinists around, it will not disappoint.
Gramophone

 

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