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Harmonia Early Music

Music of 18th-Century France: Leclair, Rebel, and Touchemoulin

Tina Chancey performs on the pardessus de viole, Opera Lafayette explores "Zelindor," and Les Inventions discovers little-known symphonies and concertos.

Leclair on the Pardessus de Viole with Tina Chancey

Tina Chancey is one of America’s most distinguished performers on the viola da gamba. Her latest recording is the second in an ongoing Golden Apple series entitled “The Versatile Viol.” It features a set of five Leclair violin sonatas played on the pardessus de viole, the smallest member of the gamba family and one unique to the late-French baroque.

Chancey is joined by gambist Susie Napper and harpsichordist Web Wiggins, in what is a beautiful recording of a rarely-heard instrument, evoking the spirit of the French baroque with ease as both musical poet and virtuoso.

Opera Lafayette performs “Zelindor”

Opera Lafayette has been exploring some of the lesser-known 17th and 18th-century operas for some time. Their latest Naxos release features a collaborative effort on the part of two French Baroque composers known for joint projects — François Rebel and François Francoeur.

Directed by Ryan Brown, Opera Lafayette performs the opera, Zelindor, with elegance and refinement. The recording also includes a suite and aria from Le Trophée, another Rebel/Francoeur work originally used as a prologue to Zelindor.

Symphonies and Concertos of Touchemoulin

A composer I’m completely unfamiliar with, Joseph Touchemoulin, is the subject of a new recording on the Ramee label. Touchemoulin’s music has only recently been explored, and on this release Director Patrick Ayrton leads the orchestra “The Inventions” in two symphonies and three concertos, giving us an excellent, if all too brief, tour of Touchemoulin’s wonderful compositions.

Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

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