Passacaglia Annabel Knight (recorders, flute) Louise Bradbury (recorders) Reiko Ichise (viola da gamba) Robin Bigwood (harpsichord, organ), With Dan Laurin (recorders) and Eligio Quinteiro (theorbo)
Antoine Dornel’s imaginative and dynamic compositional style was perfectly suited to the lively and ever-changing musical environment of Paris in the first decades of the eighteenth century.
The few works that survive testify to a seemingly talented and inventive composer eager to try the latest musical fashions, as exemplified by the opening work on this recording, the magnificent Sonate en Quatuor.
This harmonically adventurous and dramatic work, especially in the first movement which alternates sections of slow, expressive writing with virtuosic, Italianate outbursts, was quite probably Dornel’s first experiment with the title and genre ‘sonata’.
“The members of Passacaglia, in various combinations, play all with a sharp ear for balanced ensemble and for the wealth of little nuances contained within this ingenuous repertoire.” BBC Music Magazine