A veteran of Jordi Savall's Hespèrion XX and XXI, gambaist Marianne Muller makes her Zig Zag Territories debut with this disc of music by the great French Baroque composer Marin Marais. The repertoire is daunting: the ingenious and evocative Le Labyrinthe, the 32 virtuoso variations on Les Folies d'Espagne, and the 12-movement Suite in E minor from Marais' Second Book of Pièces de viole. These are works that require not just virtuosity, stamina, intense expressivity, and soulful beauty of tone.
Au 18e siècle, il était fréquent d’entendre des extraits d’opéra en effectif réduit, et ce aussi bien à la ville qu’à la Cour. A l’occasion du 250e anniversaire de la mort du compositeur Jean-Philippe Rameau, Les Folies françoises et l’Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra national de Paris nous invitent à redécouvrir l’esprit des concerts que l’on pouvait entendre dans les salons de Madame de Pompadour.
…Fine motets by Stradella and Bassani make this disc worth investigation. …violinist Patrick Cohën-Akenine with his excellent bad Les Folies Françoises play with resonant warmth, particularly in two dynamically charged Corelli sonatas.
Sarah Cunningham is probably the finest viol player in Britain today, though it Is as a chamber-music player rather than as a soloist that she is best known here and abroad. Her technical command of the seven-string bass viol is never in doubt on this CD; nor, for that matter, is her control of tone. She has chosen some of Marais' most familiar and demanding works on which to make her solo recording debut, thereby inviting comparisons with the previous generation of players, Wieland Kuijken and Jordi Savall.
Alpha Productions' Jean-Marie Leclair: Le Tombeau features the chamber group Les Folies Françoises under the direction of violinist Patrick Cohën-Akenine in a chamber overture from Op. 13, three sonatas from Op. 5, and the Concerto in G minor, Op. 10/6, by the ill-fated Leclair. In the concerto, Les Folies Françoises is filled out into a small orchestra whimsically referred to as the Orchestre des Folies Françoises, an appellation that can be translated as "the orchestra of French madmen," although that is probably not what they had in mind.