Founded by former students of McGill University, the ensemble Les Barocudas first made its mark with a first album released in October 2020, deliciously titled La peste. Performed with three musicians (violin, viola da gamba/bass violin and keyboards), it explored the output of composers who had or could have had contact with the great pestilence during the 1600s.
Two and a half years later, the ensemble, now composed of seven musicians (violin, recorder, viola da gamba, organ, harpsichord, baroque harp and percussion), released its second album, Basta parlare (Enough spoken).
The choice of this astonishing title is explained in the disc’s instructions: “The 17th century was a period of exploration, invention and research in all directions, including in music. The voice, which hitherto occupied the center of the stage, begins to give way to the instruments, which develop technically to better serve a new music, centered on virtuosity and lyricism. »
The assortment of pieces chosen by the group – some of relatively well-known composers such as Giovanni Legrenzi, Tarquino Merula and Dario Castello, others more confidential – is ideal because eminently contrasted. Violinist Marie Nadeau-Tremblay and recorder player Vincent Lauzer are mostly featured as “treble” (treble solo parts), although the others stand out at times.
From all this transpires a real pleasure to play, with an innate sense of rhythmic twist and ornamentation. We are far from certain ensembles that play this music with too much seriousness…