By the middle of the eighteenth century in France, François Couperin’s vision of a unification of both the Italian and French styles of musical composition (which he termed les goûts-réunis) had been more or less completely realised. The great majority of the best instrumental chamber music from the period is characterized by an individually delightful and skilful blend of the most effective and telling devices from both French and Italian sources. The music of Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764) exemplifies this union of styles perfectly in works which are always of the highest quality. His Deuxième Recréation de Musique Opus 8 published in Paris around 1737 is a good example of this. Being conceived primarily for flutes, with violins as alternative instruments, the music is almost wholly unvirtuosic in character, and instead relies upon simple and charming French dance-forms for its structure, preceded by an extrovert and vigorous French Ouverture and culminating in a majestic Chaconne. The increasing emotional intensity of this movement is, however, immediately dispersed by the final Tambourins – two delightfully light-hearted movements with strong rustic origins. This performance combines a flute and two violins in contrasted pairings instead of the usual two flutes or two violins…Download booklet
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