RIGEL: Quatuors dialogués

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Release date : Aug 2005

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ATMA Classique presents the world-premiere recording of the six forgotten but remarkable Opus 10 quartets by the German-born composer Henri-Joseph Rigel (1741-1799), whose career flourished in Paris from the time he established himself there in 1767. Rigel published works for harpsichord and fortepiano, keyboard concerti, symphonies and two sets of string quartets, Opus 4 (c1770) and Opus 10 (c1773). He went on to reap much success in opera and French-language oratorio. His large-scale works were often performed at the Concert Spirituel and the French capital’s most prominent theatres, and he became one of the most respected musicians in Paris. The Montreal-based Franz Joseph String Quartet, on period instruments, revives these scintillating and imaginative works, each in three contrasting movements. Not only are they well-crafted pieces, but their rhythmic vitality, fresh and expansive melodic lines, deft accompanying figures, and harmonic and dramatic interest, all generously shared among the four conversationalists, make them stand out most honourably from the host of quartets issued in France during the last thirty years of the eighteenth century. Rigel’s truly international style exemplified by these quartets was boasted at the time as being one of France’s greatest musical prides.

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