Friday, September 4, 2009

Mike Wright Says Harpsichord Might Have Been Used for Flute & Harp Sonata of Saint-Georges

[Le Salon de Musique de Marie-Antoniette; Isabelle Poulenard, soprano; Jean-François Lombard, tenor; Stéphanie Paulet, violin; Amélie Michel, flute; Ambroisie AM179 (2009)]

On August 30, 2009 AfriClassical posted: “Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma Says a CD of 'Sonata for Flute and Harp' of Saint-Georges is a First.” Three days earlier we had quoted a favorable review in the British newspaper The Telegraph of the new CD Le Salon de Musique de Marie-Antoniette; Ambroisie AM179 (2009). Three tracks of the disc are devoted to a Sonata for Flute and Harp of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799), who is profiled at

We were unaware of any other recording of the work. Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma, Professor of Music, Lawrence University, commented: “Yes, this work has not been previously recorded. It betrays a characteristic of Saint-Georges re voice leading, which I solved by the addition of a cello (not an unusual practice of the time). It was thus performed by Anthony Elliott (cello), D. Antoinette Handy (flute), and Geneva Southall (piano) at our Minneapolis conference in 1975. Dominique”

Mike Wright is Chair of the International Society of African to American Music (ISAAM), and is based in London. He adds a further remark via email:
“Hi Dominique, You mentioned the ‘cello (as part of continuo?) as not unusual. Would it also have been far more likely that a harpsichord or clavichord (rather than a pianoforte or even a fortepiano) would have been used for Saint Georges music? Regards, Mike” Prof. De Lerma then quipped: “Of course, Mike is Wright.”

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