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Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764)

Sonatas, Vol. 2

Label: Hyperion
Recording details: March 1998
St Michael's Church, Highgate, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: April 1999
Total duration: 64 minutes 12 seconds

Leclair's four publications of sonatas for the violin seem to reflect, in microcosm, the general development of violin performance in France. The first two books (1722 and 1728) present relatively straightforward dance and sonata movements of moderate difficulty, the third and fourth books (as featured here), written in 1734 and c1738-1743 show considerable developments in violin technique together with a bolder harmonic style. The Quatrième livre de sonates (Op 9, dedicated to Princess Anne of The Netherlands) shows an interesting development of the more virtuosic style that the composer first displayed in the third book only a few years before.


‘Elizabeth Wallfisch, one of the Baroque violin's most natural technicians, is well able to negotiate the difficulties of this music with confidence, showing no fear of a fall from her high-lying melodies or gymnastic strong-crossing’ (Gramophone)

‘This disc, played by someone I once referred to as 'Locatelli incarnate', dismisses the technical difficulties with ease’ (Early Music Review)

‘Superb ensemble musicianship and a rare interpretive lucidity. Wonderful playing’ (Classic CD)

‘Polished and spirited performances brimming with joie de vivre and musicality’ (Early Music)

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