Three Recordings by Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse

sacque1sacque2sacque3Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse. Reis Glorios L’Influence de La Musique Arabe Dans la Mythologie Occitane. Flora Records Flora 3916 (2015).

Jean-Pierre Canihac; cornetto, Philippe Canguilhem; chalemie, bombarde, medieval flute a bec, Daniel Lassalle; sacqueboute, Lucile Tesier; bombarde, medieval flute a bec, Jodel Grasset-Saruwatari; medieval lute, rebec, oud, arch lute, Florent Tisseyre, tambourine, daf, panderata, derbuouka, buche, cloches. Guest Musicians: Pierre Hammon; medieval flute a bec, double flute, bansouri, cornemuse, Driss El maloumi; oud, chant, Pierre-Yes Binard; vocal, Renat Jurie; vocal.

Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse. Venise sur Garonne Giovanni Gabrieli. Flora Records Flora 3314 (2014)

Cornetti: Jean-Pierre Canihac, Marie Garnier-Marzullo, Lluis Coll I Trulls, Regis Singlit, Tenor Trombones: Daniel Lassalle, David Locqueneux, Aymeric Fournes, Oliver Lachurie, Elias Toure, Xavier Sibra, Julien Miro, Hugo Liquiere, Bass Trombones: Fabien Dornic, Jean-Noel Gamet, Dulcians: Laurent Le Chenadec, Philippe Canguilhem, Daphne Franqin, Laurent Le Chenadec, Barbara Bajor, Theorbo: Matthias Sopaeter, Organ: Yasuko Bouvard, Maiko Kato, Kaori Kakai.

Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse. Giovanni Martino Cesare Musicali Melodie (1621). Flora Records Flora 3615 (recorded 1996, released 2015)

Cornetto: Jean-Pierre Canihac, Philippe Matharel, Tenor Trombone: Daniel Lassalle, Bass trombone and serpent; Bernard Fourtet, Organ and harpsichord; Jan Willem Jansen. Guest Musicians: Cornetto: Jean Tubery, Trombone: Stefan Legee, Nicolas Valade, Theorbo: Charles-Edouard Pantin, Violins: Brigit Taubl, Gunar Letzbor, Viola da Gamba: Lorenz Duftschmid, Harp: Christine Pluhar, Vocals: Guillemette Laurens, Marie-Claude Valin, Jean-Louis Comoretto, Jean-Yves Guerry, John Elwes, Bruno Boterf, Bernard Fare-Garrus, Yves Berge.

Founded in 1976 by Jean-Pierre Canihac, Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse is celebrating their 40th anniversary. This important ensemble has produced a large recorded musical legacy and under review here are two recent and one older recording that has been newly released. All bear the characteristic virtuosity, creative interpretation, and enthusiastic performance of this group.

The most recent CD, Reis Glorios, is a collection of medieval dances, and vocal works that emphasize the Muslim cultural influence on Occatania. Occitania was a historical region encompassing Southern France, Spain and parts of Italy. Never formally a country Occitania did develop unique cultural and linguistic traditions. Mostly anonymous pieces, these works are brought to light by Les Sacqueboutiers’ imaginative and colorful instrumentation and impressive virtuosity. The title piece, Reis Giorios is a work by the 12th century troubadour, Girau de Bornelh and is mournful and expressively performed by Pierre-Yves Binard and beautifully supported by the ensemble. Of special note is O Felix Templum Jubila by Johannes Ciconia, the one major composer represented on this recording. This four-part motet is given an instrumental rendition by the wind band and their beautiful ensemble sound is showcased. Canihac’s full cornetto tone is clear and vibrant throughout. The bulk of the repertoire on this fine recording are anonymous vocal and dance pieces given a splendid reading by Les Sacqueboutiers. Their interpretation makes a strong case for Muslim musical influence. In any event, the musical outcome is wonderful.
If there is a better adjective to describe the instrumental music of Gabrieli Gabrieli (1555–1612) than, “glorious,” I have yet to hear it. This spectacular recording consists of 18 canzonas and sonatas from the 1597 collection Symphoniae Sacrae as well as La Spiritata from the Raveri collection of 1608. The selected pieces represented in this recording certainly comprise Gabrieli’s “greatest hits” at least in the minds of cornett and sackbut players. The Sonata Pian & Forte a 8, Canzon duodecimi toni in Eco a 10, Canzon Prima a 5, La Spiritata a 4, and the spectacular Sonata XX a 22 are a few of the pieces on this recording. The ensemble plays with perfect intonation, tone quality and balance. There is a vibrancy and lilt hinting at the dance elements at the root of this repertoire. One couldn’t do better than this recording of Les Sacqueboutiers interpretation of the instrumental music of Giovanni Gabrieli.

The earliest recording in this group is of the complete Musicali Melodie (1621) by Giovanni Martino Cesare. Again, the playing on this recording is nothing less than spectacular. Musicali Melodie, as Canihac points out in his informative liner notes is similar to a number of other early 17th century collections which include sacred motets and instrumental canzone. This collection is evenly divided by 14 of each. It does have the distinction of containing the first piece to expressly call for trombone, La Hieronma. Daniel Lassalle beautifully plays it here. These pieces are a field day for the cornetti who play with an extremely high level of virtuosity and musicality. Perhaps not unexpectedly since Ceasare was himself a cornetto player in the Munich court. The players employ a wide range of florid ornamentation. The only complete copy of Musicali Melodi is housed in the Episcopal Library of Regensburg. The recording does not follow the order found in the edition but it does have a satisfying logic.

Jean-Pierre Canihac sent a note about the instrument makers that the cornett and sackbut players used. On the Reis Glorios CD Daniel Lassalle played an Ewald Meinl sackbut and Canihac played a cornett by Damien Bardonnet. On the Venise sur Garonne recording there were 14 brass musicians. Of the 10 sackbuts there were three tenors and one bass by Rainer Egger and five tenor sackbuts and one bass by Ewald Meinl. For the four cornetts, two were by Serge Delmas, one by Matthew Jennejohn and one by Damien Bardonnet.

Little is known of Cesare but certainly the musical world is richer for his wonderful Musicali Melodi. Musicians interested in this repertoire should refer to the fine article by Howard Weiner, “Giovanni Martino Cesare and His Editors” in the Historic Brass Society Journal 3 (1991). Weiner painstakingly analyzes various editions indicating errors with the original edition.

-- Jeffrey Nussbaum