Charles T. Downey, Les Violons du Roy concert at Strathmore: Stellar early-music ensemble’s time to shine
Washington Post, October 17, 2013
Les Violons du Roy
Les Violons du Roy, perhaps the best early music ensemble in North America? Check. International opera star Stephanie Blythe? Check. A top-notch program of 18th-century music? Check. The Music Center at Strathmore presented what was probably one of the top 10 concerts of the year Tuesday night, and only a couple of hundred people heard it. As embarrassing as the turnout was, the cantankerous critic now gets to pull out some rarely used superlatives and gush for a change.
Handel and Bach Arias, S. Blythe, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, J. Nelson
The Quebec-based chamber orchestra played two baroque suites with stylistic panache, near-perfect intonation and laser-precise ensemble. Telemann’s Suite in C was distinguished by its crisp “Harlequinade” and playful “Bourrée en trompette,” but the suavely somnolent “Sommeil” took the cake, the strings’ period bows creating impeccably hushed tones. [Continue reading]
With Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano
Music Center at Strathmore