BOISMORTIER: BASSOON SONATAS
Joseph Bodin De Boismortier
NADINA MACKIE JACKSON, bassoon
Mathieu Lussier, Solo Bassoon
Fraser Jackson, Contrabassoon
Sylvain Bergeron, Theorbo
Richard Paré, Harpsichord & Organ
"The musicians at the center of the action, bassoonists Mathieu Lussier and Nadina Mackie Jackson and contrabassoonist Fraser Jackson, are ideal for this music: agile, light, and lyrical. You may think you don't particularly like the sound of one bassoon, let alone two of them, but try these slight slices of French elegance and you may change your mind about the instrument."
All Music Guide [February 2008]
"...a quintet of well-credentialed and critically acclaimed young musicians...The soloists are full-toned and nimble, easily capturing the spirit of the music without sounding superficial or labored and the performances are wealthy in understanding that far surpasses the printed page. The sound is good as well, with a nice blend..."
Fanfare [July / August 2007]
"The musicians...provide striking contrasts in timbre and texture. The results are delightful. The hybrid melding of modern and period instruments works beautifully, especially give the musicians' scrupulous and imaginative attention to phrasing, vibrato, articulation and ornamentation...the solo bassoon playing of Mathieu Lussier...couldn't be more refined, quicksilver or swashbuckling. [His] Musica Franca colleagues are sophisticated, animated partners."
Gramophone [August 2006]
"[Musica Franca's] interpretations and instrumentation are exactly what this music needs...Musica Franca has taken these little-known sonatas of Boismortier and dressed them up with superb technique, great energy, and charming musicianship. I like this recording very much"
American Record Guide [July 2005]
"[this disc is a] quite extraordinary recording...The performances are stunning. Lussier...performs some almost unbelievable stunts, nonchalantly pulling off lengthy passages of rapid fingering and/or tonguing that require the very heights of virtuosity. He is joined by Nadina Mackie Jackson, a player of comparable quality, and possessed of a particularly beautiful singing tone. These two carol together in the most utterly beguiling way. The standard of intonation is uncannily good, resulting in many really gorgeous textures. I urge you to try this – delightful music played with consummate skill, and recorded to perfection."
MusicWeb International [June 2006]
"The performances are light and transparent...fast movements
wonderfully weightless...bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson handles adeptly and with clear relish...Fraser Jackson plays contrabassoon with alacrity and lightness...These players clearly have a great affection for this entire repertoire and the instruments chosen to express it... freedom with tempo and phrasing...deep feeling to the music...Tone throughout the bassoons' register is delicious... This is ensemble playing of great mutual respect and undeniable musicality."
Alex Baran, WholeNote Magazine [February 2006]
PROGRAM NOTESThe amalgam of seemingly separate elements is a theme for this group. Our name is inspired by the synthesis of French and Italian styles through the music of composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, a great friend of the bassoon.
As the the cultural hub of Europe, Paris seethed with artistic activity and the inevitable clash of ideas. Artistic and political perspectives were entwined resulting in fierce exchanges of polemical pamphlets, the medium for invective of the day. And yet, Boismortier wrote music that is more genial than confrontational, devoid of defiance yet possessing a certain buoyant confidence. The sonatas show an infinite variety of colour and gesture, a larger world hinted at through the medium of miniatures. Incisive subtlety and feline grace define these pieces while demanding the utmost virtuosity. In perusing the five volumes of sonatas for two bass voices, we have chosen pieces that interested us the most. These offer a perspective on the evolution of Boismortier's writing and style throughout his entire career. In these works, the mere notes on the page have a deceptive simplicity. The music immediately reveals the spirit of the performer, giving full value to the concept of "interpreter."
While all of us are, including our engineer and producer, experienced performers on historical instruments, we have chosen to make this recording on modern instruments. Rather like the musicians of the eighteenth century, it was in the spirit of pleasure in music-making that this recording project was conceived.
PROGRAMJOSEPH BODIN DE BOISMORTIER (1689-1755)
Sonata No.1 in E minor, Op.50
Sonata No.3 in G major, Op.26
Sonata No.1 in D minor, Op.40
Sonata No.5 in G minor, Op.26
Sonata No.3 in D minor, Op.14
Sonata No.1 in G major, Op.50
Sonata No.1 in G minor, Op.40
Sonata No.6 in C major, Op.14
Sonata No.2 in A minor, Op.26
Rondeau in A minor, Op.40
Chaconne in A major, Op.66