LECLAIR: The Complete Sonatas for Violins – Greg Ewer and Adam Lamotte – Sono Luminus Pure Audio Blu-ray + 2 CDs – DSL-92176, 123:51 (rel. 3/25/14) [Distr. by Naxos] ****

Sono Luminus has gifted us with very powerful performances and a recording to match with this disc of the complete Sonatas for Violin by Jean Marie LeClair (1697-1764). LeClair was a Baroque violinist and composer, and we get a complete set of LeClair’s Sonatas in this set (on the Blu-ray disc).

LeClair revolutionized the French school of violin playing, and by interweaving French and Italian styles he created a new compositional style. Sadly, his life ended when he was murdered in his home, a crime that was never solved.

The performers here are Greg Ewer and Adam Lamotte. They are currently residing in the Pacific Northwest and are well known to concert-goers there in appearances with the Oregon Symphony and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.

The set is a 3-disc package with a Pure Audio Blu-ray and 2 standard CDs. The Blu-ray disc features a hi-res stereo, 5.0 and 7.0 mix (although the accompanying notes say the mixes are 5.1 and 7.1). The Blu-ray disc also contains downloadable versions of the tracks for use on a hard-disc-based system.

The sound, as is usual with Sono Luminus, is first rate. I listened to the 5.0 and 7.0 mix, and found the sound warm and enveloping. These works are played on period instruments with the soloists occupying the left and right channel, while the surrounds give us a sense of space in the hall, which was the Sono Luminus Studios in Virginia.

This disc will appeal to lovers of Baroque, especially those wanting to venture out into composers not often heard. The performances are superb, and the recording is as perfect as one could hope for.


Six Sonatas for Two Violins, Op. 3 (CD 1) =
1-3. Sonata 1 in G Major 
4-6. Sonata 2 in A Major 
7-9. Sonata 3 in C Major 
10-12. Sonata 4 in F Major 
13-15. Sonata 5 in E minor 
16-19. Sonata 6 in D Major
Six Sonatas for Two Violins, Op. 12 (CD 2) =
1-3 *(20-22). Sonata 1 in B minor 
4-7 *(23-26). Sonata 2 in E Major 
8-11 *(27-30). Sonata 3 in D Major 
12-15 *(31-34). Sonata 4 in A Major 
16-18 *(35-37). Sonata 5 in G minor 
19-22 *(38-41). Sonata 6 in B Flat Major
*(Blu-Ray™ Tracks) 

—Mel Martin