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Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien, guided by François Lazarevitch’s virtuoso flute, have already led us along the roads of Ireland and Scotland, notably the High Road to Kilkenny (ALPHA 234), a great success in 2016. This time, they venture into England with an essentially secular programme devoted to Henry Purcell (1659-95), varying the mood by alternating between instrumental dances and songs performed by the English countertenor Tim Mead, including ‘O Solitude’ and ‘What power art thou’. While Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien have chosen these celebrated pieces for pleasure above all, with this English programme they also fill in a new piece in their jigsaw map of the United Kingdom. At the same time, they demonstrate the musical porosity of Ireland, Scotland and England – and the atypical colours of the small string ensemble complemented by two flutes, a harp and harpsichord/lute continuo further underline the fact. The common thread, dear to Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien, is that of folk music lying at the heart of art music, in a mixture of origins, practices and repertories. We can easily recognise ‘Scotch and Irish tunes’ that Purcell incorporates in his overtures, jigs, hornpipes and chaconnes. The countertenor Tim Mead punctuates the dances with songs composed for the operatic or dramatic stage or for chamber performance.

"...Door de uitgewerkte versieringen, de rijke en hoogst fantasievolle continuogroep en de energieke maar altijd beheerste vocale bijdragen van Tim Mead (Strike the viol) is het een afwisselend, levendig en bij momenten zelfs swingend geheel geworden..."
Keuze van Klara - Bart Tijskens - 20181024
"...François Lazarevitch en Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien laten de dansen uit Purcells theater­muziek feestelijk door de lucht dwarrelen. Een ode aan de barokke verbeeldingskracht. Noten glijden genoeglijk van de partituur af, frases gaan met ­elkaar aan de zwier, dansvoeten zweven over de maatstrepen heen..."
De Standaard - Annemarie Peeters - 20181031