Early Music Review - 48 - March 1999

Les voix des Loeillet: Recorder sonatas of the Loeillet family Ensemble Fiori Musicali Copen- hagen 70 51
Classico CLASSCD 229
Jean-Baptiste Loeillet de Gant Sonatas op. 3/ 1,3 & 5
John Loeillet of London Sonatas op. 3 / 1,7, 9 & 10

The sonatas of the Loeillet family, though well-known to recorder players, are habitually regarded as belonging to the attractive but not too taxing environs of baroque recorder music. What this disc sets out to prove is that amongst the sixty or more flute sonatas written by the cousins Jean Baptiste Loeillet and John Loeillet of London ( confusingly both were born in Ghent with the same christian nam e, Jean Baptiste ) there are several wich contain far greater layers of depth, virtuosity and interest than anyone might guess. Their cause is considerably enhanced by a beautiful collection of instruments intriguingly. Nikolaj Ronimus uses six different recorders, including two voice flutes and an alto recorder in E flat, most of which are Fred Morgan copies of English instruments by Bressan and Stanesby Senior. The blend of voice flute and organ is exquisite, and with the generous acoustic of Kastelkirken in Copenhagen the overall result is magical. Ronimus is a very natural musician who produces some of the most elaborate and exciting ornaments I have heard, yet they are never once intrusive, This is a varied, well-researched and surprisingly fresh recording of a repertoire witch obviously deserves reappraisal. Marie Ritter - Recorder Magazine Summer 1999 p. 1.

Les Voix des Loeillet
Ensemble Fiori Musicali Copenhagen
Classico - CLASSCD 229

A CD of sonatas by members of the Loeillet family is surely going to remain on shelves of the record shops for a very long time. After all each of us knows the Op. 1 sonatas by Jean-Baptiste Loeillet de Gant which, in their duet form, lack the depth of Telemanns and, in their standard form, do not exhibit the refined elegance of Handels Op. 1. But to pigeon-hole the Loeillet family as composers of second-rate amateur music would be a grave injustice. For as the excellent accompanying booklet points out this was a group of well- educated musicians capable of writing wsonatas of great virtuosity and elegance.

Ensemble Fiori Musicali Copenhagen have considered the complete sonatas for recorder by the three Loeillets: Jean-Baptiste ( 1680 - 1730 ) usually known as John of London; his younger brother Jacques ( 1685 - 1748 ), whose works were not of a high enough standard to be included on this recording; and their cousin Jean- Baptiste de Gant ( 1699 - c.1720 ), who wrote no fewer than 48 sonatas for recorder. The CD includes the sonatas in C major ( Op. 3, no. 1 ), C minor ( Op. 2, no. 5 ) and F major ( Op. 3, Nos. 7, 1, 10 & 9 respectively ) by John of London.

From the first note right through to the last I was held spellbound by the incredible virtuosity of the works as well as the extreme depth of emotion of the slow move ments. Some of these sonatas, for example de Gants C major, have much in common with Telemanns sonata in D minor from Essercizii Musici. The wide - ranging Recorder Magazine Summer 1999 p. 2.

expressive content and technical complexity of these sonatas are preformed with ease and aplomb by recorder player Nikolaj Ronimus, who shares many characteristics with his teacher Dan Laurin ( not least of which is a penchant for the instruments of Fred Morgan* - he uses no less than six! ). Apparently, a Danish critic once described Ronimus as the wild man of the recorder, although I found no evidence of this accolade, his playing is highly charged in every sense. He has a virtuosic technique in addition to an impressive expressive range and the ability to create the most ingenious and flamboyant ornamentation. * ( Whose recent death will be felt by the entire recorder world ).

I hope you too are prepared to have your eyes opened by this star of tomorrow as this really is a must have CD. I wholeheartedly recommend this disc to you safe in the knowledge that you cannot fail to be impressed and moved by Ronimus playing.

Adam Dopadlik
The Recorder autumn 2001