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Johan van Veen
musica Dei donum, June 2019

Instrumental Ensemble Music (Baroque)—LULLY, J.-B. / TELEMANN, G.P. / RAMEAU, J.-P. (The Lully Effect) (Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Kuijken) 8.573867
Orchestral Music (Baroque)—LULLY, J.-B. / MUFFAT, G. / MARAIS, M. (The Versailles Revolution) (Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Kuijken) 8.573868

The players of the Indiana Baroque Orchestra deserve much praise for their willingness to accompany Kuijken on his travels in the world of Lully and his sphere of influence. Their account of these orchestral suites is excellent.

This is a most interesting and stimulating development, which could change our perception of French music under the ancien régime. These two splendid discs attest to that. © 2019 musica Dei donum Read complete review

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, March 2019

… Kuijken has endeavored to get into the heads of musicians during Lully’s time “The result,” writes Kuijken, “is a much more understandable and emotionally far richer performance of these remarkable compositions.” Kuijken also applied Muffat’s directives to Rameau’s suite from Dardanus.

… When not directing the IBO he might be playing the lute. (Older brother Sigiswald plays the Baroque violin, and even older brother Wieland plays the viol and cello … and there are more Kuijkens where those came from!) I wish him well with this project, and with what follows it, because this strikes me as an important step forward in period performance practice. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Michael Johnson, January 2019

This recording is an unalloyed delight. If a city in the Midwestern United States might seem an unlikely place to find a 17-member ensemble that can play centuries-old music with such style and warmth, keep in mind that one of the world’s best music schools is nearby. Let’s not overlook the presence of Barthold Kuijken who has been a vital presence in the baroque music scene for decades. The very title of his book, The Notation is not the Music, says a lot. © 2019 Read complete review

Steven A Kennedy
Cinemusical, October 2018

The Indianapolis orchestra is on excellent display here with great energy. The music really sparkles here where it needs to and adds a great sense of drama. © 2018 Cinemusical Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, October 2018

The performances are delightful and go a long ways to make us appreciate the irresistible charm of the music. Is there a “Lully Effect?” Sure! And you can hear it to happy advantage on this fine recording! Very recommended. © 2018 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, October 2018

Kuijken’s orchestral layout, based on period documents, sets the perfect balance and soundstage. And as far as the playing is concerned, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra deploy all the sense of occasion and flamboyance the monarchy of the day would have witnessed. Even the basso continuo players get into the action and sound just as highly commited as the lead instruments. French baroque music is highly ornamented and embellished with trills and mordents which in this case are made to sound as crucial elements of the music’s vitality, and when multiple instruments are involved, the precision of attack is akin to synchronized swimming. © 2018 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2018

For quarter of a century Jean-Baptiste Lully reigned as the most powerful musician in France, and from there his influence was to spread throughout Western Europe. That power was to be particularly felt in the theatre where Lully was prolific in his composition of opera and ballet, though much he had imported from his native Italy. The presentation became increasingly elaborate, reaching its zenith with his last tragic opera, Armide, completed in 1686, the year before his death. He was also instrumental in creating a new style of French overture, the one to Armide opening this disc. Added to the changes he brought to opera were his use of a specific instrumentation of his scores, and that was handed down to his successors that included Jean-Philippe Rameau. On this new disc, given the title ‘The Lully Effect’, the eminent Flemish flautist, Barthold Kuijken, has created an Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra that would be similar in size and instruments to the one used by Lully, and playing period instruments. It is most probable that by the time Rameau’s Dardanus was first staged, a much larger group would have been used, though the numerical relationship of instruments would have been much the same. After some initial success the opera was to be one of Rameau’s most spectacular failures and even changing the unlikely plot failed to save it. Here Kuijken has a suite of fifteen extracts many being dances together with four Prologues. Certainly influenced was the German, Georg Philipp Telemann, but here the inclusion of the Ouverture Suite is rather tenuous. Those well versed in Early Music will greatly welcome this expertly played disc, the sound of gut strings adding an impact to the overall quality captured in a recording that avoids adding any gloss. Now listen to all of Armide on Naxos 8.660209-10. Issued ten years ago it is a benchmark release. © 2018 David’s Review Corner

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