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Wonderful gamba music,
This review is from: Complete Works for two equal viols, vol.1 (Audio CD)All four volumes of this series are excellent. Together they constitute a complete recording of Sainte-Colombe's duos for violas da gamba and are a terrific achievement by Les Voix Humaines.
Sainte-Colombe was a shadowy figure in late 17th-Century France, familiar to many through the film Tous les Matins du Monde. We really know very little about him other than the body of music he left for the viola da gamba, which is magnificent. Much of it is contemplative and rather melancholy, but there is great variety here too, with lively dances and some serenely beautiful movements. The melodic and harmonic invention is outstanding and there is always something fresh and new to discover.
Les Voix Humaines (the two Canadians Margaret Little and Susie Napper) play it wonderfully. They give it just enough of an improvisatory feel while respecting the music's structure and mood. It genuinely does feel like a conversation between equals. Their mutual understanding is remarkable and the sound of their instruments is simply wonderful (and beautifully captured by the ATMA recording.)
I have derived enormous pleasure from every single disc in this series. Very warmly recommended.