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CD Review

L'Orchestre de Louis XIII 1601-1643

Recueil de plusieurs airs par Philidor L'Aisné

Music by Pierre, André, and François-André Philidor
  • Musique de l'enfance du Dauphin
  • Musiques pour le Scare du Roy
  • Musiques pour le Mariage du Roy Louis XIII faites en 1615
  • Concert donne a Louis XIII en 1627
  • Les Musiques Royales de 1634 à 1650
Les Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall
AliaVox AV9824 65m DDD
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I've always been a fan of Jordi Savall's splendid work with early music and this release dedicated to the music from Louis XIII's time is an obvious contendor for another huge success. There are five major works, each charts the progress of the monarch from his time as prince, to his wedding and the final years of greatness when he was to hand the throne to a monarch even greater than him.

The "Musique de l'enfance du Dauphin" is particularly striking for its pompous opening with timpani and brass, one of the more splendid pieces composed by Philidor. The delightful Muzette that follows the first two pieces also includes the classic hurdy-gurdy most ably played here. Without doubt however, grandeur and chivalry are most perennially espoused in the Music for the Marriage of the King which is awash with delightful dance like movements of astonishing melodic invention. Once again, the opening fanfares are imposing and succinctly clear whilst the string and wind music is almost dreamily played to add to the sense of grandeur and occasion.

Savall's ensemble are well schooled in this sort of magnificent music that is distinctly similar to other issues in the series dedicated to kings. The grand 24-violin consort then follows and this is another spectacular example of the wealth of music permeating the Royal Palaces in France at that time. Finally we have the most mournful and intricate music in the shape of "Les Musiques Royales", the grandeur of one reign ending and another beginning as the music here slips over to Louis XIV's reign.

I cannot enthuse enough about this splendid recording, which is utterly professional in all departments. The lavishness of AliaVox's packaging is another incentive to add this CD to your collection.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech