The music of the French baroque is tantalizing, elegant, and often ravishing—all qualities heard in the sound of the baroque oboe, an instrument very much like the human voice in its ability to touch the soul. And in the hands of a fine musician, it can create music that is simply heaven.
The debut release by ensemble Les Délices, entitled “The Tastes Reunited,” brings together a program of famous and obscure French baroque composers. All of the pieces chosen represent the period very well with a variety of textures and sounds. A really nice touch is the inclusion of two solos by the ensemble’s lutenist, Lucas Harris, who performs on theorbo and baroque guitar.
The director of Les Délices, Debra Nagy, is a young American early oboist who is clearly at home playing French baroque music. Her sound and sense of style say it all. And her accompanists give, take, support, and converse. Their performance is chamber music at its finest.
Les Délices’ members include Scott Metcalfe, violin, Emily Walhout, cello, Lisa Goode Crawford, harpsichord, and guitarist Lucas Harris. Their new release is both an auspicious recording debut and a welcome addition to the vast discography of French baroque music. We’ll look forward to their next, but until then, we have an excellent recording to enjoy over and over again.