Boismortier: Six Sonates, Op 51

Reviewed on Tue 06 Sep, 2016

The two performers are undoubted experts in this field, their playing elegant and nuanced, highlighting the rhetorical nature of Boismortier’s genteel instrumental dialogues

Greg Dikmans (baroque flute) and Lucinda Moon (baroque violin), the two leads of the period-instrument Elysium Ensemble, here essay a somewhat unusual example of French baroque chamber music. Boismortier, who was something of a specialist when it came to novel instrumental combinations, scores his Op 51 collection for flute and 'violon par accords', which means the fiddle frequently fills out the harmonic accompaniment with chord voicings, at least to the extent that this is possible on four bowed strings. The accompanying booklet is chock full of detail about French baroque performance practices, and the two performers are undoubted experts in this field, their playing elegant and nuanced, highlighting the rhetorical nature of Boismortier’s genteel instrumental dialogues. If the overall result comes across as slightly insipid 'Tafelmusik', it’s no reflection on them. Far removed from the tempestuous energy of, say, Tartini or Vivaldi, this is music for the polite parlours of the French bourgeoisie.
–Mark Walker