Saturday, November 28, 2015

LECLAIR Violin Concertos, Op. 7

“The qualities of Leclair are convincingly conveyed in these performances. The Brazilian-born Luis Otavio Santos, also leader of the baroque orchestra La Petite Bande, is a brilliant player who meets all the technical requirements with impressive ease. He never indulges in the virtuosity of Leclair's solo parts for its own sake...The orchestra gives excellent support, producing a warm and full sound, and displaying great agility in the fast movements.” --MusicWeb International, April 2013

Luis Otavio Santos (violin)

Les Muffatti, Peter Van Heyghen

Few French musicians of the 18th century were as appreciated, admired and hailed during their lifetime as was the virtuoso violinist from Lyons Jean-Marie Leclair. In 1753, he was described in Mercure de France as 'the most famous artist that France has had for purely instrumental music'. Three years after his tragic death – he was murdered in 1764 by a jealous nephew –, Charles Henry de Blainville remembered him as 'the Corelli of France', where he was thus celebrated up until the early 19th century. In 1754, Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg placed Leclair on the level of Telemann, Handel and members of the Bach family in terms of harmony and counterpoint; and for Francesco Galeazzi, he was, in 1790, the sole Frenchman on the list of principal masters of the violin in 18th century Europe, alongside such major names as Corelli, Vivaldi, Somis, Locatelli, Geminiani, Tartini and Stamitz.

The Opus 7 concertos can thus be considered the crowning achievement and a sublime summary of Leclair's talents as a virtuoso and composer, one of the greatest of his era. Fireworks of wit and virtuosity, with the brilliant violinist Luis Otavio Santos (Diapason d'Or for his album of Leclair Sonatas released by Ramée) and Les Muffatti (5th album for Ramée), under the magic wand of Peter Van Heyghen.

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