- Sonata for cello (or bassoon) & continuo No. 1 in C major
- Sonata for cello (or bassoon) & continuo No. 6 in A minor
- Sonata for cello (or bassoon) & continuo No. 2 in G major
- Sonata for cello (or bassoon) & continuo No. 3 in C minor
- Sonata for cello (or bassoon) & continuo No. 4 in F major
- Sonata for cello (or bassoon) & continuo No. 5 in D minor
These curious little French cello sonatas, products of the court of Louis XV, fall into an odd space between Baroque and Classical. Composed in 1759, they come from a little-understood period between Rameau and Gossec, though given the enormous changes brewing in French society at the time it's hard to believe that the music should have been aired so rarely. At any rate, the six sonatas were originally composed for bassoon and continuo but were specified as being playable on the cello. All are in three or four short movements. Falling into the province of the king's musique de chambre, the intimate music of his private sphere, they have an almost claustrophobic quality in which competing forces contend for structural supremacy. In the realm of melody they exhibit the idea designated by the word "galant" -- they are packed with melody that sighs and twists and turns and never stops, generating new details even as it seems to have been played out. But this melodic effusion is straitjacketed in by the even pace of the continuo and by the elaborate ornamentation that was so much a part of the French musical tradition -- the melody seems to be pushing at the music's walls. Cellist Kristin von der Goltz, playing a late eighteenth century instrument that's attractive to hear in itself, catches Dard's explicitly stated emphasis on expression. But as Baroque players often do when they venture forward in time (she, gambist Hille Perl, and harpsichordist Christine Schornsheim are all German early music veterans), she lacks a certain lightness that was a given in the taste world of the later eighteenth century. This is nevertheless an intriguing disc that will find a place in many collections simply for the novelty of the repertoire.