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The Four Nations Ensemble has released its Leclair disc in good time for next year’s 250th anniversary of his brutal demise (he was stabbed in the back by a disgruntled nephew), an event that, together with Rameau’s death the previous month, effectively marked the end of French baroque. A celebrated composer for violin, Leclair specified that nine sonatas from his four collections for violin could also be played on transverse flute: Four Nations flautist Charles Brink glides elegantly through the designated pair from the Op. 9 set, though Barthold Kuijken’s benchmark recording of the complete flute sonatas remains unmatched for its expressive subtlety. The Four Nations also present Leclair’s Deuxième Récréation de Musique, a 25-minute suite for two flutes or two violins. Unfortunately, they’ve chosen instead to employ one flute and one violin, a coupling which alters the timbral interplay that is one of the work’s principal attractions

Graham Lock Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Early Music Today, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing