Boëly, Chamber Music, Quatuor Mosaïques, Ensemble Baroque de Limoges, C. Coin, E. Lebrun
(released on April 27, 2010)
Laborie (Naïve) LC05 | 74'26"
We owe the opportunity to the research of the Centre de musique romantique française in Venice, and to a conference devoted to Boëly's music at the Sorbonne in 2008, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his death. (This is the second recent release we have noted to be inspired by the recently founded CMRF, after the Onslow disc from Quatuor Diotima reviewed earlier this week.) One of the selections featured here has been edited in a modern edition: for the others, the musicians worked from their own transcriptions or directly from manuscript sources, adding to the sense of historical discovery. Boëly's music might be compared to Schubert's, in that he continued to use traditional forms but while enlivening his harmonic idiom with more adventurous chromatic diversions.
The D major sextet, arranged by the composer from his own symphony, and the single movement for string quartet, a tender Adagio sostenuto, are certainly worth discovering. Three melodies, Mendelssohnian songs without words "for cello with the accompaniment of expressive organ" (unearthed in a library in 2005 by Florence Gétreau, and performed here by Eric Lebrun on the colorful, recently restored Cavaillé-Coll organ in the Chapelle de Conflans) are sprinkled through the selections. Listening to the fine trio and quartet also included on this disc, it is charming to think that, like Haydn, Mozart, and a few other composers, Boëly (a fine pianist and organist) was also known to play the viola part in his own chamber works. Do not be disappointed by the very slender printed booklet, at least as long as you do not bridle at the thought of downloading the extended liner notes [all in French] online.