M U S I C W E B  

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

25 october 2019

For a young ensemble there is no better way to make its debut than with a disc of music of fine quality which is largely unknown. Exactly that is the case here. Barrocotout comprises four players who met at the Brussels Conservatoire and together won several prizes, for instance in 2017 at the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition. That is easy to understand. They deliver either sensitive or sparkling performances, depending on the character of a sonata or movement, of a set of six trio sonatas for flute, violin and basso continuo by the little-known Henri-Jacques De Croes, who was quite successful in bringing the orchestras of the courts of Thurn und Taxis in Frankfurt and of Charles of Lorraine in Brussels to a higher level. He held his ground as a composer too, as these sonatas demonstrate. They are written in the galant idiom, but there are also references to tradition in some movements dominated by counterpoint. What we get here is also more than easy stuff: some movements are unashamedly virtuosic, and one can imagine that some members of his orchestra in Brussels may have liked to play them. I encourage anyone who likes to hear something unfamiliar to investigate this disc. I am sure you will return to it regularly. And keep an eye on this fine ensemble.

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© 2020 by C. Garcia