Despite stylistic differences, which are largely attributable to their difference in age, d’Anglebert and Hotteterre nevertheless have quite a lot in common. Both were active at the court of Louis XIV, obtaining the title of Musicien de la Chambre du Roi, and both were substantially influenced by Jean-Baptiste Lully, the musician who is universally considered the creator of a cultural model for French music that ultimately prevailed over the Italian model.
Jacques-Martin Hotteterre was the celebrated recorder virtuoso-composer of his day, no less distinguished than Paganini and Liszt would be in their own contexts. Hotteterre’s gift was for toning down and understating the differences between the French and Italian idioms, skilfully adapting the Italian models to suit his own cultural setting at the royal court in and around Paris, thereby imbuing them with new forms whose original structures are fully integrated into the composition.
A few decades older than Hotteterre, Jean-Henry d’Anglebert adhered to the classic model of 17th-century French Baroque music, his works for harpsichord representing a significant example of the style at its maturity. These transcriptions of works by the master Lully are remarkably dense, not least because the one keyboard has to embrace and express the five parts of Lully’s orchestral ensemble. But they are also full of ornamentation, which was a feature of all d’Anglebert’s music.
Les Eléments is a dynamic chamber ensemble fully in tune with modern scholarship and historically informed performance values. This is its second recording.
- Booklet includes notes on the music by Basilio Timpanaro.
- Jacques-Martin Hotteterre was a virtuoso recorder player at the court of Louis XIV the Sun King, in the distinguished position of Musicien de la Chambre du Roi. He was a famous composer as well, mainly for his own instrument, for which he wrote numerous works, in which he integrated Italian elements, such as instrumental brilliance and prevalence for longer melodic lines, in the courtly French style of dance forms and lavish ornamentation.
- D’Anglebert was a harpsichord player of importance, also employed at the court of Louis XIV. He transcribed orchestral suites by Lully, an instrumental “tour de force”, reducing the 5 parts of the orchestral writing for one player.
- The ensemble Les Eléments has been well bred in the Historically Informed Performance Practice, and show great skill, virtuosity, charm and feeling for the style.
- ‘A peaceful and serene listening experience.' (Musica on the first CD of Les Eléments, of music by Alessandro Scarlatti).