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John W Barker
American Record Guide, July 2018

The period-instrument group here consists of Leela Breithaupt, traverso flute; Erica Rubis, viola da gamba; and David Walker, theorbo; they are apparently based at Indiana University.

All this is relaxed music for gentle enjoyment, and it is presented with fine stylish feeling by these players. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, April 2018

“Les Ordinaires” is composed of three U.S baroque specialists: Leela Breithaupt on the flûte traversière (transverse flute); Erica Rubis on viola da gamba; and David Walker on theorbo. They take their name from the “Ordinaries to the King,” the trio of musicians who were assigned specifically to the bed chamber of King Louis XIV of France. “Inner Chambers,” seen in that light, has a double meaning of music for the retirement-to-bed ritual of a monarch as well as music that goes right to the other “inner chambers,” those of the heart.

The aristocrats of that time understood the dichotomy of inner turmoil versus a calm, poised outer façade. Accordingly, the French composers of the day used trills and other ornaments essentially for expressive, emotional purposes. They favored strong down beats, and played the down-bow notes longer than the weaker up-bow notes, a practice known as notes inégales (“unequal notes”), which imparts a smoothly swung, jazzy rhythm to passages where it occurs.

Subtlety of phrasing and expression is particularly important in pieces based on poetic texts. In the setting of “Je sens naître en mon Coeur” by Michel Pignolet de Montéclair, for instance, trills suggest the emotions of a fluttering heart, while downward leaps describe the effect of a command to a lover to avert her eyes from the speaker. © 2018 Audio Club of Atlanta Read complete review



Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, February 2018

…the performances are as refined, not to say restrained, as the music. That doesn’t mean that the playing is not accomplished—far from it. Don’t misinterpret the title of the group: players, physicians or chaplains ‘in ordinary’ were so called because they were regular members of the inner circle at the French and English courts. Hence the title of the programme: this was chamber music in the strictest sense of the term, intended for the inner apartments of the king.

The performances here, on copies of period instruments, are well attuned to the music and the recording does the playing justice by being unobtrusive. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review





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