Monteclair: Cantates (Emma Kirkby/ London Baroque) (BIS: BISCD1865)
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Emma Kirkby and London Baroque here return to BIS with a disc of music from the French composer Michel Pignolet de Monteclair. An almost exact contemporary of Francois Couperin and only some 15 years older than Rameau, Monteclair was also a composer working in all the genres current at the time, including that of the chamber cantata for one or two voices and strings, dealing mainly with subjects from classical history or mythology. The large majority used French texts with four Italian ones, including La Morte di Lucretia, recorded here.The works The Return of Peace and Le Triomfe de la Constance both illustrate Monteclair's skill at overcoming the challenges of producing a restricted instrumentation that provides effective backcloth for the action. The trumpets celebrating The Return of Peace are quite satisfactorily suggested by unison violins, and the shepherd's bagpipes are alluded to by two bass viols in Le Triomfe de la Constance. Emma Kirkby and London Baroque have previously worked together on BIS with recordings of solo cantatas by Handel that have met with great acclaim.
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