Boismortier, Joseph Bodin de: Six Trio Sonatas, op. 18 (Vol. 1 - nos. 1-3) (2 Violins, Basso Continuo)

First volume of the six trio sonatas by Boismortier. Score and three separate parts (2 violins, Basso).
389,00 DKK
Skaffes inden for 3-7 dage
Skaffes inden for 3-7 dage
Produktnr.HH 364.fsp
ForlagEdition HH
KomponistBoismortier, Joseph Bodin de
Instrumentation2 Violins, Basso Continuo
Edited by Michael Elphinstone

Trio Sonata in C minor, op. 18/1
Trio Sonata in G major, op. 18/2
Trio Sonata in G minor, op. 18/3

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier’s [VI] Sonates en Trio Pour deux Violons avec la Baße Op. 18 appeared in 1727, the same year in which the composer published a number of other ground-breaking compositions, including the strikingly original VI Concertos Pour 5 Flûtes-Traversieres ou autres Instrumens sans Baße Op. 15, the [VI] Sonates Pour la Flute-Traversiere avec la Baße Op. 19 and the [VI] Sonates A Violon seul avec la Baße Op. 20. All of these are overtly Italian as regards their musical language and formal organization.

Partly on account of their instrumentation, the Op. 18 sonatas are closely modelled on Corelli’s Opp. 1–4, both in terms of style and violin technique. Each consists of four or five movements, at least one being a dance; most of the slow movements feature the familiar Corellian “walking bass”, while one of the fast movements in each sonata is fugal or based on imitative entries. In spite of their adherence to Italian models, however, the sonatas do display certain French elements, along with characteristics of Boismortier’s individual style. The harmonic language is particularly rich, with a marked predilection for chords of the seventh, and two of the sonatas feature the composer’s own version of a (loosely constructed) double fugue.

Boismortier’s Op. 18 would appear to have been hastily forgotten in the wake of other French trio sonatas that were more “violinistically” conceived and more technically interesting. Nevertheless, it is clear that these expertly crafted works — veritable gems of high-baroque French instrumental music — served as the models for the very compositions that superseded them, such as the trio sonatas of Quentin (Op. 4, 1729), Leclair (Op. 4, 1730) and Mondonville (Op. 2, 1734).

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1689–1755), occasionally referred to as the “French Telemann”, was perhaps the most prolific and experimental composer working in France during the period 1724–47. Ironically, until relatively recently his posthumous reputation, like that of his German counterpart, suffered on account of his prolificacy and from the fact that many of his compositions were written for amateurs. Today these are the very aspects that play a part in the rediscovery of Boismortier’s music: not only are many of his works still to be explored, but their not unreasonable technical demands render them accessible to a widely diverse group of musicians.

Boismortier contributed to all of the principal musical genres of the day, from theatrical works and sacred vocal compositions to songs (airs), cantatas, chamber concertos, suites, and sonatas (for one or two instruments and basso continuo, or for two or three unaccompanied instruments), as well as various other peculiarly French musical forms. He showed a marked predilection for instrumental music, and the majority of his compositions involve either the transverse flute (for which he also wrote an instruction method), the hurdy-gurdy, or the musette (small bagpipes), these being the most popular instruments used in amateur music making in early eighteenth-century French society. While much of his music is written in the “French style”, Boismortier was equally conversant in the “Italian style”; indeed, he can be credited with the introduction and/or diffusion of various Italian instrumental forms in France. And yet, unlike several of his compatriots, most notably Couperin, he showed no interest in integrating these two national styles: there is always a clear distinction between “French” and “Italian” compositions in Boismortier’s output. His compositions thus stand as a testimony, on the one hand, to the features of French popular music in the early decades of the eighteenth century and, on the other, to the salient characteristics of contemporaneous Italian instrumental music as perceived by French composers.