Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, November 2015

…Couperin’s Les Nations is a significant milestone in the composer’s output and in the history of French Baroque chamber music which belongs in every serious collector’s library.

…the performance, though a little raw at times, is a very good one. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Johan van Veen
MusicWeb International, July 2015

Although there are various recordings available I am glad that these fine musicians who belong to the very best in the business have added their interpretations of these beautiful works to the catalogue. Every single player has made a career as a soloist, and Monica Huggett is one of the pioneers of historical performance practice. It is good to see that she and her colleagues are ready to share their knowledge and experience with the students of the Juilliard School which for many years stayed away from historical performance practice. This disc is an impressive testimony of their skills in the interpretation of baroque repertoire.

Even if you have a good recording of Les Nations in your collection, you should seriously consider adding this one. I am sure you will return to it regularly. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

George Pratt
BBC Music Magazine, June 2015

All eight players are totally absorbed in the style. Their often dense ornamentation never sounds calculated or contrived; their rhythmic flow in slower movements has a captivating insouciance, relaxed, gently fluid. This is French playing that would be hard to better. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine Read complete review

Bruce Hodges
The Juilliard Journal Online, May 2015

…the period-instrument group Juilliard Baroque…gives Couperin’s cycle a joyful sparkle, with sensuous textures and rhythmic precision. © 2015 The Juilliard Journal Online Read complete review, April 2015

…this recording of Les Nations uses its instrumental mixture very well, producing a performance that is historically informed…very well played, and quite interesting to hear even some 300 years after Couperin’s original was published in 1726. © 2015 Read complete review

Salvatore Pichireddu
artistxite, April 2015

…the ensemble plays with an agile elegance, and an aristocratic reserve, but not without a sparkling love for the music. Their flawless, crystal clear performance is lean and supple, the tempos flow without sudden jarring changes or any other extremes. The recording is wonderfully transparent, allowing the voices of every individual instruments to be heard. © 2015 artistxite Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2015

One of the great achievements of the French Baroque era, Francois Couperin’s Les Nations was a collection of ‘Sonatas et Suites de Simphonies’ in four books. The contents had been written throughout much of his career as a composer, and in his autumnal period he brought them together, with each book celebrating the nationality of a Catholic power in Europe. Though he was to become one of the most highly regarded French composers, he only rarely ventured outside music for the keyboard, this ensemble work one of his few calling for multiple instruments. Even here he was mostly writing a solo line with an accompaniment coming from the remaining players…Originally he tried to pass off his early sonatas as having come from an Italian composer, but now looking back they could have come from nowhere else but France. Elegance is the key word throughout, and though often in dance form, they have the grace and beauty of a salon in a French chateau. That atmosphere is brought to reality by the star-studded Juilliard Baroque, an international group of today’s great names in Baroque music, and who are now the mentors at the famous music college in New York. Headed by the violinist, Monica Huggett, these are sprightly but unhurried performances, played with immaculate intonation on period instruments… © 2015 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group