B B C   M U S I C   M A G A Z I N E

01 october 2019

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Henri-Jacques de Croes, born in 1723 in Antwerp was director of the musical establishment at the court of Brussels from 1746 until his death in 1786. His last set of trio sonatas, published in Paris before he took up that appointment, shows him a capable and engaging composer in the already outdated Italian Baroque tradition, but also fluent in his handling of the new, simpler galant manner. The combination of the two styles within each piece results in some rather lop-sided constructions, but in the last of the set (a recent rediscovery) they are more successfully reconciled in a Bachian four-movement plan.

BarrocoTout is a quartet of young French and Spanish performers (flute, violin, cello and harpsichord) which was formed at the Brussels Conservatoire and has established a European reputation, notably winning the York Early Music Competition in 2017. The players of the upper lines are well matched in tone and approach, over purposeful continuo support and in clear textures, well caught by the recordings. It's a pleasure to hear this talented and thoughtful group - as it is to encounter the music of the versatile de Croes.

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