Olivier Brault and Sonate 1704: Boismortier, Sonatas for Violin, Op. 20

Boismortier - Sonates Op 20

Most people who know me well also know that in my classical music listening, I gravitate heavily toward music of the Baroque period (early 17th century to mid-18th century).  I was thus delighted to see a new Analekta release from that era, a collection of violin sonatas (with harpsichord and bass viol accompaniment) from French composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1689-1755), performed simultaneously with energy and delicacy by Olivier Brault and his colleagues in Sonate 1704, a Terrebonne, QC-based trio focusing on 18th-century French violin repertoire.

Boismortier is notable not only for a varied compositional output, but also for being one of the first composers to work without the support of patronage (which was how many composers of the time were able to keep afloat financially – perhaps the world has not changed quite as much as we’d like to think…).  According to the liner notes, only three copies of the score for this set of sonatas exist, so it’s not at all surprising that this recording serves as these works’ world premiere.

These sonatas could not be in more capable hands.  Energetic without going over the top, respectful of the work and simultaneously creative in approach, this disc provides a lovely and captivating listen, one that’s kept me company for several days running now.  For those of you in or near Terrebonne, you have a chance to hear these delightful pieces performed live by the trio next month, as they will officially celebrate the album release with a performance at le Collège Saint-Sacrement, 901, rue Saint-Louis, Terrebonne.  (Details are here on Facebook.)

This also appears to be Sonate 1704’s debut on Analekta – I hope this is the first of many discs from this engaging trio, and I look forward to hearing more exploration of French Baroque violin music from them.

Visit Sonate 1704 on Facebook.

Preview and buy the album on Analekta’s website.

Lesley Carter

Exposed to the wonders of CBC and Montréal Canadiens hockey as a teenager thanks to a satellite dish in rural Kansas, I have been an unabashed lover of all things Canadian ever since. I am a lifelong collector of esoteric and varied music, a teacher of piano, and an aspiring multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, mandola, ukulele). In real life, I work in the field of technology.

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