“The Denner Ensemble”: Music by PHILIDOR, FASCH, REBEL, TELEMANN, BOISMORTIER, and LULLY [TrackList follows] – The Denner Ensemble (Mark Baigent, oboe. Rebecca Prosser, recorders. Ben Sansom, violin. Nathaniel Harrison, bassoon. Karen Glen, harpsichord. David Hatcher, bass viol.) – X5 Group, 58:57 ***:
The recital is populated with by a positive gaggle of composers beloved of double-reed players including exotic if obscure names like Philidor, Fasch (admired by Bach), Rebel (the child prodigy who at the age of eight performed for Louis XIV), Boismortier (who rose to fame and fortune under Louis XV), LaLande (who once smashed his fiddle in frustration) and the great Lully. And although much of the music is standard issue, public radio background music, the style and panache with which it is performed and recorded lend it extra distinction, particularly in the inspired Boismortier and Telemann’s famous Quartet in G major.
Inspired by the famous Besozzi brothers who performed music for oboe and bassoon in roving hautboy bands that traveled through Europe in the 18th century, the Denner Ensemble plays on copies of 18th century instruments including those of the illustrious Nuremberg maker Jakob Denner after who the ensemble is named (and whose father invented the clarinet); its excellent members have performed with top UK groups like the English Baroque Soloists, the Sixteen, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the King’s Consort.
Recorded in St. Martin’s Church, Woodhay, about 30 miles north of London, the brilliant sound has the kind of sumptuous warmth allied to splendid timbre and striking spatial sense that marks the best English sound. The notes are pleasant to read and informative.
PHILIDOR: 1e Livre de Pieces (1-5). FASCH: Sonata in B-flat Major (6-9). REBEL: Les caracteres de la danse (10-23). TELEMANN: Trio Sonata in G Minor (24-27) and Quartet in G major (32-34). BOISMORTIER: Trio sonata in G Minor (28-31). LALANDE: Symphonie des soupers du Roi (35-40). LULLY: Chaconne from Cadmus and Hermione (41)
French Romantic and Impressionism… Ivan Ilich