The Fourth Book of Violin Sonatas by Jean-Marie Leclair is considered the pinnacle of French Baroque violin artistry. Hélène Schmitt, herself celebrated as an exceptional violinist, has for many years intensively studied the life and work of the great musician, whose career repeatedly took unexpected turns and whose life ended abruptly with a murder that is still unsolved today.
On this CD she shows not only the virtuosity but also the many amazingly different colours of the sonatas. She is supported by her top-class continuo group in various instrumentations.
Leclair pushed the development of violin playing further and further until hardly anyone could follow him. Accordingly, these sonatas are played by only a few and are unfortunately rarely heard.
The album is the first part of a complete recording of the twelve sonatas of the Fourth Book. The booklet contains an extensive text penned by the artist, who thus shares her personal insights into Leclair's life.