One of the key recordings ever to be made of French court music, this seminal recording returns to the catalogue, now with each item and/or movement individually indexed. The offerings encompass both suites and cantatas. The music – written both for and around the court life of Versailles (1697 – 1747) is sophisticated and elegant taking us from the post-Lully era, to the final examples of great French baroque chamber music, that of Leclair. The collection is notable for the pure, unsullied voice of the late Judith Nelson (a long-time collaborator with the Academy of Ancient Music) and cellist Christophe Coin’s narration in the slightly grisly account of the description of an operation to remove a gall-stone! The booklet includes the original note, texts and translations of the vocal items, and Christopher Hogwood’s own newly-written introduction for this reissue.
“[Judith Nelson’s] performance of both the cantatas is full of warmth and expression […] Christophe Coin gives a many-shaded account of Marais’s La sonnerie […] Monica Huggett gives us a really splendid performance [of the Leclair], savouring the harmonies of the double-stopping seemingly without a care in the world. […] Fine playing and a fine, reverberant recording which captures every detail of the instruments’ character make this a notable release. There is much repertoire here which is, furthermore, new to the catalogue.” Gramophone