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Bach, Flute Sonatas, L'Ensemble Baroque de Limoges
(released on May 29, 2007)
Ionarts is a long-time fan of the Ensemble Baroque de Limoges, and Jens has recommended some of the recordings released on their personal label, Laborie (distributed by Naïve), Brossard's grands motets and Lalande's Les Folies de Cardenio. Unfortunately, the group had to cancel its last scheduled appearance in Washington, back in April 2005, at the Library of Congress. This recent EBL release is also worthy listening, with the delicate sounds of the group's featured soloists, Maria Tecla Andreotti (traverso), Jan-Willem Jansen (harpsichord), Christophe Coin (cello), and Sergio Azzolini (bassoon).

The program, the Bach flute sonatas, is hardly rare or unknown, which added to the appeal of some of EBL's earlier releases. There are too many recordings of these pieces to make any sort of assessment of their relative merits. For these pieces, as for most of Bach to these ears, the best account will be on historical instruments, in this case Coin's late 17th-century German viola da gamba, as well as modern copies of 18th-century instruments for the others. The breathy whistle of the traverso recorded here is probably close to what Bach had at his disposal at Cöthen, when most of this music was written. The same is true of the Lautenwerk heard on two of the sonatas, two examples of which Bach owned. If you already own these pieces in another good version, it would be hard to justify adding this to your collection, but if you are looking for a first copy and you like the HIP sound, take a listen to this disc.

Laborie LC04

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