Thursday, August 27, 2009

Telegraph: 'Sonata for Flute and Harp' of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges 'is a work of Gallic charm'

[Le Salon de Musique de Marie-Antoniette; Ambroisie AM179 (2009)]

Rashida Black, Founder/Executive Director of The Myrtle Hart Society, has brought this CD review to our attention:
“Le Salon de Musique de Marie Antoinette, classical CD of the week
Le Salon de Musique de Marie Antoinette. Sandrine Chatron (harp), Isabelle Poulenard (soprano), Jean-François Lombard (tenor), Stéphanie Paulet (violin), Amélie Michel (flute).
By Geoffrey Norris
Published: 11:08AM BST 27 Aug 2009
Ambroisie AM179, £13.70
This enchanting disc is one to be enjoyed in tranquil moments. It conjures up the flavour of the salon of Marie-Antoinette, who counted music among her pleasures during the politically turbulent times at the court of her husband, Louis XVI. Aside from her penchant for the serious operas of Gluck and for the lighter ones of Grétry, Marie-Antoinette liked to play and listen to chamber music, an attractive, varied range of which is enshrined in this programme.

"The harp that Sandrine Chatron plays so stylishly here is a restored Érard dated 1799, six years after Marie-Antoinette was guillotined. But no matter: its character is of the period, and, as Chatron says, its 'crystalline sonority, rich in harmonics, its great responsiveness and its flexibility' introduced particular expressive possibilities and invited a refinement of gesture.

"The effects of this stimulus are a constant joy in Chatron’s performances, notably in a little gem of a sonata by the French harpist and composer Jean-Baptiste Cardon, who left France at the outbreak of the Revolution and, like so many European musicians, pitched up at the court of Catherine the Great in St Petersburg. Another sonata for flute and harp by Joseph-Boulogne de Saint-Georges, composer, violinist, swimmer, skater and fencing instructor, is a work of Gallic charm, and Les Folies d’Espagne by Francesco Petrini attests to his own virtuosity as a harpist.” [Full Post] [Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) performed music with Marie-Antoniette regularly, as is explained on the Saint-Georges page at The CD Le Salon de Musique de Marie-Antoniette is widely available from websites based in the United States. A quick check of,, and showed they all sell it.]

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