Barthold Kuijken

Jacques Hotteterre le Romain: Pièces pour la flute traversière avec la basse

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Jacques Hotteterre, a French court musician during and just after the end of the reign of Louis XIV, composed one of the first important treatises on playing the transverse flute. His suites for flute and continuo (played simply here on a viola da gamba and harpsichord) are restrained works, some would say to a fault, but fully in keeping with the severity and strict etiquette familiar from other descriptions of life at Versailles. There is not a trace of the broader and showier Italian manner in these little dances, which are scrupulously ornamented according to the principles laid down in Hotteterre's treatise and in the notation itself. Some of the suite movements have programmatic titles, but most do not, and the dances are not sharply differentiated from one another. There is little of the intellectual adventure of Rameau or of the intense miniature portraiture of Couperin -- instead there are perfectly sanded-down tunes with every note in the right place and ornaments like little flowers on the surface. In the scholarly and skillful playing of Barthold Kuijken, playing a replica of Hotteterre's own plummy-sounding but agile flute, the music finds its ideal interpreter (and in Accent's quiet, exact sound its perfect sound environment). No one would claim Hotteterre as the most exciting figure of the French Baroque, but this reissue disc is a representation of his style that's suitable for any library or collection focusing on music of the period.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Suite for flute & continuo No. 1 in D major, Op. 2/1 (Premier livre)
1
2:54
2
2:35
3
2:07
4
3:15
5
1:48
6
1:15
7
2:19
8
1:16
Suite for flute & continuo No. 2 in G major, Op. 2/2 (Premier livre)
9
1:27
10
1:54
11
3:18
12
1:11
13
0:44
14
1:51
15
2:38
Suite for flute & continuo No. 5 in E minor, Op. 2/5 (Premier livre)
16
2:29
17
1:35
18
1:11
19
1:20
Suite for flute & continuo No. 4 in B minor (Deuxième livre)
20
1:29
21
3:00
22
2:11
23
1:51
24
1:09
25
1:26
Suite for flute & continuo No. 1 in G minor (Deuxième livre) ("Le Romain")
26
1:29
27
1:40
28
2:01
29
2:23
30
0:56
31
1:55
32
1:43
33
1:23
34
1:31
blue highlight denotes track pick