Les Dominos / Florence Malgoire

Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre: Sonates pour violon

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AllMusic Review by

Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, who lived from 1665 to 1729, was a female composer at a time when there were few of them, and the fact that her fans included Louis XIV probably preserved her career. It's a good thing, for her music is worthwhile on its own terms, and this release from the apparently multinational group Les Dominos (no biographical material is included) is a reasonable introduction to her style. These sonatas for violin and a relatively rich continuo group are a fascinating mixture of the Italian sonata, which was not a terribly common item in France in 1707, and the French suite. With numbers of movements ranging from four to eight, in irregular sequences, they mostly avoid dance rhythms. In many ways they're quite contemporary, but in the slow movements there's a certain gravity and inwardness that looks back to the French chamber music of the late 17th century. The entire program has a delightful quality of surprise that is well captured by violinist Florence Malgoire, although one could wish for a lighter quality in the slow movements and a bit less insistence on the vibrato-free quality of Baroque instruments overall. The unpleasant and inappropriate church sonics detract from the overall enjoyment, but recordings of Jacquet de la Guerre's music are not abundant, and this one is a worthwhile addition to the corpus.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata No. 1 in ré mineur
1 3:18
2 1:52
3 1:10
4 1:49
5 1:55
6 5:11
7 2:20
Sonata No. 2 in ré majeur
8 1:41
9 1:20
10 1:41
11 2:21
Sonata No. 3 in fa majeur
12 2:32
13 1:29
14 2:06
15 2:23
16 3:08
Sonata No. 4 in sol majeur-mineur
17 1:44
18 2:03
19 2:13
20 1:33
21 4:03
Sonata No. 5 in la mineur
22 3:26
23 1:37
24 0:45
25 1:56
26 5:11
Sonata No. 6 in la majeur
27 3:07
28 1:37
29 5:33
30 0:24
31 1:48
32 0:51
33 1:33
34 2:32
blue highlight denotes track pick