Featuring Debra Nagy (baroque oboe), Mélisande Corriveau (viola da gamba), and Eric Milnes (harpsichord).
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SONGS WITHOUT WORDS, Les Délices’ second release on Navona Records, was initially inspired by the artists’ desire to recover a lost repertory. Motivated by the sensuous sounds and rhythms of the French language, and enabled by advances in instrument building, 17th century woodwind players adapted vocal airs - complete with rich and complex ornamentation - as a source of solo repertoire.
While recording SONGS WITHOUT WORDS initially presented an opportunity to discover and present that lost practice, as a 21st-century musician, Nagy chose to expand her own repertoire with 20th Century with jazz standards and pop tunes – from artists as diverse as Lennon and McCartney, Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson, Edith Piaf and Erroll Garner – arranged for and improvised by the ensemble. The French airs on the album are by some of the greatest writers of the 17th century: Michel Lambert, Jean-Baptiste de Bousset, and Jean-Philippe Rameau.