- Concerto for violin, strings & continuo in D minor, Op. 7/1
- Concerto for violin, strings & continuo in A minor, Op. 7/5
- Concerto for violin, strings & continuo in F major, Op. 7/4
- Concerto for flute (or oboe), strings & continuo in C major, Op. 7/3
Jean-Marie Leclair's treatment of the Baroque violin concerto was based on the virtuoso Italian concertos of Arcangelo Corelli and Antonio Vivaldi, but he also incorporated characteristic French airs and dance forms that had developed in the music of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Féry Rebel and influenced composers from François Couperin to Jean-Philippe Rameau. This recording by violinist Fabio Biondi and the strings of Europa Galante presents four concertos from Leclair's "Op. 7," which are representative of his collection of 12 violin concertos, and show the composer's practice of using the conventional format of three movements (fast-slow-fast), though adjusted in tempo to vary the moods, and calling for refinement and precision, without excessive ornamentation or flashiness. Biondi's elegant performances combine direct expression, polished execution, and crisp articulation, and the full ensemble plays with vigor and rich string sonorities, so the final results are balanced between delicacy in the solo part and robustness in the accompaniment. Glossa's recording in the church of San Francesco Grande in Padua captures the musicians with close-up presence, and the resonant acoustics enhance the group's sound without blurring the parts.
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Jean-Marie Leclair: Violin Concertos, Op. 7 Nos. 1, 3, 4 & 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
In a recent interview, Fabio Biondi said, "the music is first, the composer is first – and then we [the musicians] follow." That artistic stance makes this new release of Leclair concertos such a treasure. Jean-Marie Leclair was a virtuoso violinist credited with founding the French violin school. Like many performers, he wrote music primarily for himself to play in public. These works give us an idea of his technical abilities. Leclair also left extensive notes and instructional materials behind, so we also have a good idea of his preferences for phrasing and articulation. Fabio Biondi is the soloist for this selection of Leclair concertos. And by placing the composer/performer first, Biondi gives us an idea of Leclair's extraordinary talent, and how it could generate an entire school of playing. Biondi plays with a light touch, with his bow fairly dancing across the strings. At the same time, each note is articulated with precision. Leclair's music is expressive, but it's tempered by subtlety and refinement -- especially as played by Biondi. Leclair's concertos are models of French Baroque balance and form. The Europa Galante performs them with a warm, measured sound. The ensemble plays elegantly without sounding restrained. Of course, we can never know for certain what Leclair actually sounded like. But I can't help but think these clean, attractive performances come very close.