|Jean-Marie LECLAIR, Violin Concertos|
Few French musicians of the 18th century were as appreciated, admired and hailed during their lifetime as was the virtuoso
violinist from Lyons Jean-Marie Leclair. In 1753, he was described in Mercure de France as 'the most famous artist that France has
had for purely instrumental music'. Three years after his tragic death – he was murdered in 1764 by a jealous nephew –, Charles
Henry de Blainville remembered him as 'the Corelli of France', where he was thus celebrated up until the early 19th century. In
1754, Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg placed Leclair on the level of Telemann, Handel and members of the Bach family in terms of
harmony and counterpoint; and for Francesco Galeazzi, he was, in 1790, the sole Frenchman on the list of principal masters of the
violin in 18th century Europe, alongside such major names as Corelli, Vivaldi, Somis, Locatelli, Geminiani, Tartini and Stamitz.
The Opus 7 concertos can thus be considered the crowning achievement and a sublime summary of Leclair's talents as a virtuoso
and composer, one of the greatest of his era.
Fireworks of wit and virtuosity, with the brilliant violinist Luis Otavio Santos (Diapason d'Or for his album of Leclair Sonatas released by Ramée) and Les Muffatti (5th album for Ramée), under the magic wand of Peter Van Heyghen.
Born in Brazil, LUIS OTAVIO SANTOS comes from a family of musicians, and began musical studies at an early age – fi rst on the piano, then on the violin. His interest in baroque music took him to the Netherlands in 1990 to study baroque violin at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag with Sigiswald Kuijken, and harpsichord with Jacques Ogg. Since 1992 he has been a principal member of the baroque orchestra La Petite Bande, where he is now soloist and concert-master. He has made many recordings with the group, and has also joined concert tours in Europe, China, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. He also works with other well-known early music groups in Europe, such as Ricercar Consort (Philippe Pierlot), and Le Concert Français (Pierre Hantai). In 1999 he recorded the Bach sonatas for violin and harpsichord for the Dutch CD label Brilliant, and in 2005 received the Diapason d'Or for his recording of Jean-Marie Leclair sonatas for the label Ramée. From 1997 to 2001 he was professor of baroque violin at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, Italy. Luis Otavio Santos was also a guest teacher at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, as assistant to Sigiswald Kuijken, from 1998 to 2005. In his home country he is the Artistic Director of the Festival Internacional de Musica Colonial Brasileira e Musica Antiga de Juiz de Fora – an annual event now in its 23rd year – which is taking decisive steps towards the preservation and teaching of early music practices in South America. His recordings of Brazilian Colonial Music were awarded the Brazilian Ministry of Culture's IPHAN prize for the preservation of Brazil's heritage and cultural past. At the moment he is the director of the early music department of the School of Music of São Paulo (EMESP), where he also teaches baroque violin. He received a doctorate in music from UNICAMP (University of Campinas), and he is increasingly being invited to conduct modern orchestras in Brazil, in repertoire ranging from opera to the symphonic.
The Baroque orchestra LES MUFFATTI originated from the need felt by a group of young Brussels musicians to establish a professional working environment where the sheer basic pleasure of music-making, the refinement of skills, and the investigation of content could be equably combined. Their enthusiasm and idealism resonated with Baroque specialist Peter Van Heyghen, who joined the ensemble in 2004 as permanent coach and conductor. Ever since then they have performed numerous successful concerts together in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal, and have become often-seen guests at specialized festivals, such as the Musica Antiqua festival in Bruges, The Holland Early Music festival in Utrecht, the Musica Sacra festival in Maastricht, and the Tage Alter Music in Regensburg. Since 2007 they have been "ensemble in residence" at the Augustinus Music Centre (Amuz) in Antwerp, and since 2010 at the cultural centre De Bogaard in Sint-Truiden as well. The ensemble's name refers to the cosmopolitan composer Georg Muffat (1653-1704), a key figure in the birth of the orchestra, and one of the earliest writers to describe in detail the great differences between French and Italian musical performance practice. The central element of Les Muffatti's performance practice is their permanent endeavor to perfect a musical presence grafted to the inherent theatricality so elemental to Baroque art. In this they are driven by the conviction that this highly affective and rhetorical form of communication is not merely typical of the Baroque, but is essentially universal, and therefore timeless in character. A thorough knowledge of style, appropriate playing techniques and a carefully assembled instrumentarium are the tools which allow Les Muffatti to continually entertain, move and convince modern audiences with historic repertoire.
Peter Van Heyghen, direction
Dmitry Badiarov, Marie Haag, Catherine Meeùs, Marcin Lasia, Laurent Hulsbosch, Madoka Nakamaru, violins
Wendy Ruymen, Julie Vermeulen, violas
Marian Minnen, Corentin Dellicour, cellos
Benoît Vanden Bemden, double bass
Kris Verhelst, harpsichord
The musical activities of Belgian Early Music specialist PETER VAN HEYGHEN are manifold. As a recorder player, he performs solo concerts, and tours with the chamber music ensemble More Maiorum and the recorder consort Mezzaluna, of both of which he is a founding member. As a conductor he is primarily active with the baroque orchestra Les Muffatti of which he is the artistic director. He also regularly conducts the baroque orchestras of the Brussels and The Hague conservatories and occasionally accepts invitations as a guest conductor by such orchestras as Les Agrémens, Wroclaw Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, or the Deutsche Händelsolisten. Until recently he was also active as a specialized singer of Renaissance music. He performed with ensembles such as Capilla Flamenca and Weser- Renaissance, and for a period of four years he was one of the artistic directors of the vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis. As a researcher he has published a number of trail-blazing articles on the history and performance practice of the recorder. As a professor of historicallyinformed performance practice (Renaissance and Baroque) he teaches at the Early Music departments of the conservatories in Brussels and The Hague. In addition he is regularly invited to give lectures, teach masterclasses and lead workshops at conservatoriums and universities all over the world. As a researcher, conductor and teacher Peter Van Heyghen has been increasingly active in the field of the Baroque operatic repertoire, for which he closely collaborates with the Belgian stage-director and choreographer Sigrid T'Hooft. Together they have been leading, amongst others, the annual opera workshop at the Händel-Akademie in Karlsruhe since 2003, and in 2009-10 they formed the team of artistic directors of the highly successful production of Handel's opera Radamisto at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe.
|2. Largo – Adagio|
|3. Allegro assai|
|5. Allegro ma non troppo|
|8. Allegro moderato|
|12. Aria Gratioso|
|14. Allegro ma non presto|
|15. Aria Grazioso non troppo adagio|
|16. Giga Allegro|