Jean Marie Leclair (complete Violin Concertos)
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Format: COMPACT DISC
Ruhadze, Igor; Ensemble Violini Capricciosi
The stylish idiom and sensitivity of this period string ensemble’s previous recordings for Brilliant Classics has won wide critical praise. Concerning their 5-album set of Locatelli’s Sonatas Opp. 8 & 12: ‘Brilliant’s collection should prove a most enjoyable, most entertaining, and, at times, moving experience… Strongly recommended, therefore, across the board’ (Fanfare, July 2013). ‘The Ensemble Violini Capricciosi, founded and led by Igor Ruhadze, who have bravely taken up the cause of performing the virtuoso violin repertory on period instruments, emerge from these recordings as fine advocates… The exuberant Op. 8 sonatas are here brilliantly and at times breathtakingly performed’ (Gramophone, December 2012). Born in Lyon, Leclair (1697-1764) travelled widely as a young man thanks to his prowess as a violinist, dancer and lace-maker. He created a sensation in Turin as well as Rome, and then on a visit to the German town of Kassel he met the foremost Italian violinist of the age, Pietro Locatelli. Leclair’s own music became even more virtuosically refined thanks to the influence of Locatelli, who became the dedicatee of his first set of concertos, Op.7. Having taken up and then left a prestigious post at the French royal court, Leclair encountered Locatelli once more in Amsterdam, but he soon moved on and lived a somewhat restless life, murdered outside his front door, probably by his nephew. Leclair’s music reflects his cosmopolitan life, but for all his deep familiarity with Italian music, Leclair remained French to the core. His technical prowess never descends into mere virtuosity for its own sake, making his music a telling embodiment of ‘les Goûts réunis’, or the ‘reunited tastes’ of French and Italian styles, which became an aesthetic rallying-cry for the age.