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LECLAIR, J.-M.: Violin Sonatas, Op. 1, Nos. 1-4 (Butterfield, McGillivray, Cummings)

Composer(s):Leclair, Jean-Marie
Artist(s) Butterfield, Adrian, baroque violin • Cummings, Laurence, harpsichord • McGillivray, Alison, viola da gamba
Period(s) Baroque (1600-1750)
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.570888
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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With his four books of Sonatas, Jean-Marie Leclair established himself as the founder of the French School of violin playing, whose elegance he enlivened with the lyricism of the Italian baroque master, Corelli. The first four from Leclair’s first book of violin sonatas balance humour, flamboyance and rustic charm with many technical challenges. The artists on this recording are accomplished interpreters of early music, having performed with leading period instrument ensembles including the Hanover Band, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Academy of Ancient Music.


Review By Giv Cornfield,The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics,September 2009

A thoroughly delightful and satisfying opening disc of (it is to be hoped) the complete four books of violin sonatas by Leclair, considered the founder of the French/Italian school of violin playing. The artists are seasoned early music players, who observe all the nuances typical of this style. Plus—wonder of wonders!—the solo and continuo are nicely balanced, allowing the full, delicious Gallic flavour of this beautiful music to come through. The continuation of the series is something to look forward to. [Vols 2 (Nos. 5–8) 8.570889 and 3 (Nos. 9–12) 8.570890 are scheduled for release in September and November 2009, respectively. All three volumes are available for digital download from ClassicsOnline – Ed]

Review By Jean-Claude Elias,The Jordan Times,August 2009

AMMAN — For the occasional classical music listener he may be less known than Vivaldi, Mozart or Beethoven, if known at all. And he is certainly less famous than his 12 years older contemporary the great Johann Sebastian Bach, but French composer Jean-Marie Leclair (1697–1764) is an essential element, a landmark, in the history of classical music.

Naxos records have released a new recording of Leclair’s four violin sonatas, opus 1. The superb CD features Adrian Butterfield, on Baroque violin, Alison McGillivray on viola da gamba and Laurence Cummings on harpsichord. The three are amongst the leading British artists able to perform baroque music with rare authenticity.


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