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Seven E. Ritter
American Record Guide, April 2001

"I have already delved somewhat into the charmed life of Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (Jan/Feb 1999). Suffice it to say that he was as successful as almost anyone in the 18th Century and was roundly criticized for it. As the notes so humorously point out, it was said of him: 'Happy is he, Boismortier, whose fertile quill/Each month, without pain, conceives a new air at will.'

"And make no mistake, there is no pain in any of this music. But such unrelieved happiness is matched against such extraordinary skill and talent that we don't suffer any romantic pains of conscience over the lack of suffering and remorse. It's party time, and Boismortier knew when he had hit on a formula that worked and stuck with it. The music is airy, light, inventive, well-crafted. From the bassoon concerto to the two suites (this is more of an anthology album than anything else, culling music from the stage as well as the concertos) to the highly good-times Zampogna Conerto (an Italian bagpipe for you neophytes-I didn't know that either), Boismortier is entertaining from first to last, and if you don't know him at all, this issue is a good and inexpensive way to do so.

"Le Concert Spirituel (named after the 1725 Paris concert series-that city's first) has been doing a lot of recording for Naxos recently, and this is as good as I have heard. Using a variety of exotic period instruments, this 16-member band is fully up to the challenge, captured in nice mid-hall sound. If you are looking for a non-Bach-Handel-Telemann-Vivaldi baroque album to dazzle your friends with on the next holiday, look no further. As Boismortier repeatedly told his critics, 'I am earning money.' No doubt he did."

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