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Louis-Gabriel Guillemain – Amusements – Stephanie Paulet, Aliquando (2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Louis-Gabriel Guillemain – Amusements – Stephanie Paulet, Aliquando (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:08:22 minutes | 1.37 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Front Cover | © Muso
Recorded: Church of Courtomer (France), 22-25 September, 22 October 2010

Stéphanie Paulet, one of the most brilliant French baroque violinists, plunges us into the world of Louis-Gabriel Guillemain, 18th-century composer, at the heart of the Enlightenment. A programme alternating pieces for solo violin of formidable virtuosity, sonatas, symphonies, divertimentos and ‘amusements’.

“When talking of a full fiery man, one of genius and vivacity, one must name Mr. Guillemain, ordinaire of the King’s music, who is, perhaps, the most rapid and the most extraordinary violin ever to be heard; his hand dazzles, there are no difficulties that can stop him, and he alone creates them in his own skilful productions that at times embarrass his rivals.

This famous artiste is one of the most prolific of the great masters, and it is agreed that his works are filled with the most zestful beauty.”

Born in the latter years of Louis XIV’s reign, Guillemain, a brilliant violinist, was employed as a Court musician. He who became the protégé of Madame de Pompadour, the king’s favourite, was also a prolific composer, and the first in France to tackle the sonata for solo violin. His ultimate opus, the guiding thread of this disc, appears as a synthesis of his musical investigations; each piece requires ever greater virtuosity, pushing further back the performance limits of the instrument.

With ensemble Aliquando, Stéphanie Paulet presents a broad and varied view of Guillemain’s output, accompanied by the finest French musicians of the day (Maude Gratton, François Lazarevich, Lucile Boulanger).

Louis-Gabriel Guillemain was one of the more striking musical figures in mid 18th-century France. Italian-trained, he was prominent as composer and violinist alike. He led the second violins in the orchestra of Louis XV’s mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour, to whom he also dedicated his Op. 15 trios, one of which is recorded here. If evidence were needed that French chamber music continued to flourish after François Couperin, here it is in abundance. Guillemain’s music is not only accomplished, it is eminently enjoyable; the ‘divertissement’ dedicated to Madame de Pompadour, for example, begins with an arresting French overture and concludes with a rhythmically fascinating, supremely elegant ‘Chaconne Gay’.

The performance throughout this varied collection matches the brilliance of Guillemain’s writing, notably the four pieces for ‘harpsichord with violin accompaniment’, a clear pre-echo of the classical sonata. Maude Gratton’s keyboard playing is deft, while Stéphanie Paulet’s violin is appropriately understated. The delivery is stylish without being fussy, from players who are clearly attuned to Guillemain’s soundworld. Excellently recorded, this is a fascinating insight into the late French Baroque. Performance Recording –Jan Smaczny, BBC Music Magazine

Louis-Gabriel Guillemain (1705-1770)
Amusement et Capriccio pour le violon seul, Op. 18
1. Gratioso
Troisième livre de sonates à violon seul in D, Op. 11
2. I. Allegro
3. II. Aria Gratioso
4. III. Prestissimo
Amusement et Capriccio pour le violon seul, Op. 18
5. Allegretto
Premier amusement à la mode pour deux violons ou flûtes et basse, Op. 8
6. I. Ouverture
7. II. Air Gracieusement
8. III. Rondeau & 2è Rondeau
9. IV. 1er Passepied & 2è Passepied
10. V. 1ère Musette & 2è Musette
11. VI. 1er Tembourin Trio, Tamborino Altro (Op. 18) & 2è Tembourin Trio
Amusement et Capriccio pour le violon seul, Op. 18
12. Minueto
13. Altro
Premier livre de sonates, Op. 1
14. Largo 1ère sonate
Troisième livre de sonates à violon seul, Op. 11 & 18
15. Allegro
Pièces de clavecin en sonates avec accompagnement de violon in G, Op. 13
16. I. Allegro
17. II. Aria un poco allegro & Altro
18. III. Presto
Amusement et Capriccio pour le violon seul, Op. 18
19. Furstemberg
Deuxième divertissement de simphonies en trio, Op. 15
20. I. Ouverture avec Cadence extraite du XII Capriccio (Op. 18)
21. II. Pantomime
22. III. Chaconne Gay

Stéphanie Paulet, violon et direction
Maude Gratton, clavecin
Lucile Boulanger, basse de viole
François Lazarevitch, flûte et musette
Claire Gratton, violoncelle
Bérangère Maillard, second violon


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