JEAN-FERY REBEL: Ballets Sans Paroles – Caprice; Les élémens simphonie nouvelle; Boutade; Les plaisir champetres; Les caracteres de la danse – fantaisie; Fantaisie (1729) – Pratum Integrum Orchestra/Pavel Serbin – Caro Mitis Multichannel SACD CM 0052005, 60:00 ***** [Distr. by Albany]:
These recordings in the Pratum Integrum series on Caro Mitis were made in Moscow in 2005. These works from the highly original French baroque composer and violinist were edited and arranged by the ensemble’s Artistic Director Pavel Serbin. Rebel had been a student of Lully and played in the prestigious “24 Violins of the King” at the French court. He was one of the first French composers to create sonatas in the Italian style, and his music was performed in London under Handel’s baton.
The 23-minute “new symphony” The Elements – the major piece here – was a precursor of the romantic period in being a major programmatic work, and one of the first depicting the creation of the world. It opens with a discordant cluster of notes represent Chaos – perhaps the first time such dissonance appeared in the history of European composed music. There are movements for the elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water. The Characters of the Dance is a short ballet about a ballet. It boasts 14 very brief movements in styles such as the Courante, Menuet, Bourree, Saraband, and so on, and is a good example of Rebel’s “choreographed symphonies.”
The playing of the small period instrument orchestra is on a very high plane, and the disc’s surround sonics are as usual top flight – the product of an association with Polyhymnia International. Anyone enjoying instrumental music of the French baroque period will want to have this disc.
– John Sunier