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In five parts over two discs, this substantial anniversary compilation breathlessly charts Hervé Niquet’s adventure with Glossa Music with extracts from discs of the last 11 years. The flamboyant conductor and French music expert formed Le Concert Spirituel 25 years ago as a vehicle to perform the composers whose music he felt was being neglected, from Marais and Charpentier to Destouches and Campra. Niquet’s recording work has not been limited to French music: Purcell, Handel and Striggio all feature across 67 tracks of extracts of sacred and instrumental music and opera. The ‘bleeding chunks’ approach is unsatisfying, but a recognisable Le Concert Spirituel sound filters through – sumptuous, extrovert and bold. Unsurprisingly, it is the lesser-known French repertoire that packs most punch, for example, in Destouches’ opera Callirhoé, where the bold orchestral colour and edge-of-seat performance bursts from the speakers.

Nicholas Anderson Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Early Music Today, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing