Loeillet De Gant: Recorder Sonatas / Rothert, Young, Haugsand

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LOEILLET DE GANT Recorder Sonatas Daniel Rothert (rec); Keith Haugsand (hpd); Vanessa Young (vc) NAXOS 8.572023 (73:35)


The Flemish Loeillet family produced several musicians in the late 17th century, including two cousins with the identical name Jean Baptiste Loeillet, both of whom were instrumentalists and composers. The longer-lived (1680–1730) and more prominent of the two emigrated to England around 1705 and subsequently styled himself “of London”; the other, shorter-lived (1688–c.1720) and more obscure, is featured here and known as “de Gant” after his birthplace of Ghent in Belgium. Virtually nothing is known of him except that at some point he entered the service of the archbishop of Lyon and died between 1720 and 1729, with the former date probably closer to the mark. His main musical legacy is a set of 48 recorder sonatas; 12 of these were published as opp. 1–4, from which eight have been selected for this release. While showing the influence of Corelli, French patterns of ornamental decorations are followed and there is significantly more use of counterpoint and development of the bass line than in most Italian models. Several of the sonatas also vary from the standard three- and four-movement patterns of the sonata da camera and sonata da chiesa , having five or even six movements.


Daniel Rothert is yet another top-notch recorder virtuoso to add to the ever-swelling ranks of the same. He plays with sweet, beguiling, liquid tone, and the most rapid passagework holds no terrors for his agile tongue and fingers. Keith Haugsand and Vanessa Young provide vital and skilled support in the continuo parts, and the recorded sound is fine. This disc does not have any competitor for repertoire; a Musica Ficta CD with the La Caccia ensemble features some different sonatas alongside trio sonatas by the London Loeillet, while ArkivMusic mistakenly lists a Christophorus CD with the Ensemble Mediolanum performing works by “John of London” under Loeillet de Gant. But even if an alternative existed, all lovers of recorder music should snap this up forthwith.


FANFARE: James A. Altena


Product Description:


  • Catalog Number: 8572023


  • UPC: 747313202379


  • Label: Naxos


  • Composer: Jean-B Loeillet


  • Performer: Daniel Rothert, Ketil Haugsand, Vanessa Young