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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jean-Pierre Rampal and René Bartoli - Music for Flute and Guitar (1967)

Jean-Pierre Rampal has long been my favorite flutist and this is an LP that I have had in my personal collection from the 70s. This is just delightful music, delightfully and skillfully played. Liner notes below.

In our electronic age, the average man usually experiences live music as part of an audience in a concert hall, with the performer separated from him by the footlights and proscenium arch of a stage. This is, and has long been, a perfectly normal state of musical affairs, and most of today's music patrons accept it without question.
But there was a time when music was a far more intimate affair, when small groups gathered in salons and drawing rooms of private homes or in the halls of great palaces to hear music of perhaps more immediate impact. From the time of the Renaissance well into the age of Romanticism, music making was a unique participation experience almost unimaginable to today's dial-twisting music lover. To bring music into the courts of the mighty, there were, of course, geniuses of the caliber of Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. But throughout Europe, in homes great and small, amateur music making was of an unusually high order, often on a par with the best professional talent of the day.

Most favored for such "home" entertainment was undoubtedly a keyboard instrument—clavier, harpsichord, or, during the latter part of the 18th century, the pianoforte. But a variety of other less mechanically elaborate instruments vied with the keyboard for popularity, and among these were the guitar and the flute.

The flute has existed since the earliest times, and its dulcet tones have never failed to fall sweetly upon the ears of shepherd and aristocrat alike. The instrument underwent countless improvements until, in the 17th and 18th centuries, it had reached such a sophisticated stage that the famous flutist Johann Joachim Quantz could publish, in 1752, an entire book devoted to the subject of flute playing (Versuch einer Anweisung die Flute traversiere zu spielen). The modern flute was perfected in 1847.

The history of the guitar, while perhaps not as venerable as that of the flute, is nevertheless long and distinguished. Prototypes of the modern guitar have been traced back to ancient Egypt, and it is thought that the instrument came to Europe by way of the Orient via the Moorish occupation of Spain. The five-course "Spanish" guitar was introduced into France in the 17th century by Italian actors. Then, in the middle of the 18th century, six single strings were substituted for the five pairs of strings, and the modern guitar began to take final form.

As popular as were the flute and guitar during the 18th century, surprisingly little music was written for this particularly agreeable combination of instruments. In this album, two of Europe's most celebrated artists, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Rene Bartoli, demonstrate the tonal and stylistic compatibility of these two instruments in a program of music similar to those performed in salons of music connoisseurs of the 18th century.

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Jean-Baptiste Loeillet (1680-1730) was born in Ghent and spent five years, from 1705 to 1710, in 7 London, where he played the flute and oboe in the orchestra of the Queen's Theatre. His style is less typical of French music than of Italian, and it contains elements of what has been called "Handelian solidity."

Robert de Visée (1650-1725) was a French guitarist, singer and composer who served many years as chamber musician to King Louis XIV, at whose court he succeeded in making the guitar more popular than the lute. Like Quantz, he was an author, publishing two instruction books on the art of the guitar.

Mauro Giuliani (1781-1828) has been called "the most renowned of Italian guitarists and one of the most brilliant guitar virtuosos the world has known. He spent the years 1807-1821 in Vienna, during which time his musicianship was much admired by Ludwig van Beethoven; and his style reflects a strong Viennese influence.

Track List:

  1. Adagio (2:47)
  2. Allegro (3:26)
  3. Adagio (2:39)
  4. Gigue (2:03)
  1. Prelude
  2. Sarabande
  3. Gavotte
  4. Menuets I
  5. Menuet II
  6. Bourrée
  1. Andante maestoso (6:32)
  2. Andante molto sostenuto (4:37)
  3. Scherzo; Trio (3:34)
  4. Allegretto espressivo (4:57)
Download Link: Enjoy the Music!
Other recordings by Jean-Pierre Rampal:
Other recordings by René Bartoli:

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