London circa 1740

Handel's musicians

Harmonia Mundi - 2023

For this new instalment of their series devoted to British music of the eighteenth century, the musicians of La Rêveuse take us to London in the 1740s. The leading Italian and German virtuosos Handel invited to play in his orchestra brought a powerful wind of change to English musical life, while the Scot James Oswald achieved the tour de force of making the music of his country fashionable in the drawing rooms of London.

London Circa 1740, Handel’s musicians : Recording in October 2021 at the German Protestant Church in Paris (France)

La Rêveuse – Photo Robin Davies

La Rêveuse – Florence Bolton & Benjamin Perrot

  • Olivier Riehl, traverso and piccolo
  • Sébastien Marq, soprano and tenor recorders Stanesby
  • Stéphan Dudermel, violin
  • Ajay Ranganathan, violin
  • Sophie Iwamura, viola
  • Florence Bolton, bass violin and viola da gamba
  • Carsten Lohff, harpsichord
  • Benjamin Perrot, archlute, theorbo, guitar and cistrum
  • Benoît Vanden Bemden, double bass

Harmonia Mundi


«This is a splendid disc, which will give you more than an hour of musical entertainment at the highest level.»
Johan van Veen,, 14 juillet 2023

« It’s a fantastic mix of strings and woodwind, high galant elegance and folkier lilt, performed with an abundance of finesse-filled charm »
Charlotte Gardner, Dcs, Classical Choices, august 2023

« This is a delightful and eclectic disc, with a group of musicians giving us wonderfully engaged performances, full of style and all played with a great chamber music sensitivity »
Planet Hugill, 15 août 2023

« Brightness meets tenderness, intimacy meets exuberance, and this interplay captures the listener’s attention. »
Norbert Tischer, Pizzicato, 15 août 2023

« The nine players of La Rêveuse, founded by Florence Bolton and Benjamin Perrot, make lively guides through the music of the decade.»
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 15 août 2023

« Het Franse ensemble La Rêveuse schetst een mooi en bruisend beeld van die tijd. Een mooie ontdekking. »
Joost Galema, NRC, 25 agust2023

« A carefully researched and imaginative programme »
Nicholas Anderson, Classical Music, BBC Music Magazine, 5 sept. 2023

«This is an enticing disc that includes a range of influences and composers to give us a hint of London’s musical life in the 1740s, when musicians in Handel’s orchestra could be star names in their own right. As in previous issues, the ‘La Reveuse’ ensemble deliver some magnificent performances full of insight and warm-hearted feeling, and the music is consistently treated with deep emotional sensitivity. »
Gerald Fenech, Classical Music Daily, 7 sept. 2023

« A programme that should be self-recommending, its attractions enhanced by an entertaining note on the music’s social and political background. »
Richard Wigmore, Gramophone, 8 sept. 2023

« The bouquet on offer here from La Rêveuse is as fragrant as a fine July day, often light-hearted – which doesn’t preclude whimpers of melancholy – and wonderfully well performed »
Emmanuelle Giuliani, La Croix, 22 sept. 2023

« An album where agility and delicacy excel »
Thierry Hilleriteau, Le Figaro, 28 sept. 2023

«Endless pleasure ! »
Ivan Alexandre, Diapason, oct. 2023

«Außer ihrer Musik waren in den Gärten von Vauxhall “Folk tunes”, populäre Tänze und Lieder, zu hören – wie jene des Schotten James Oswald, der Variationen auf Volksweisen und Tänze aus Schottland für Fiddle oder Flöte komponierte. Beeindruckend, wie überzeugend die Musiker:innen von La Reveuse beide Klangwelten, Konzerte im italienischen Stil wie schottische Folklore, auf diesem Album einfangen. »
Hans Georg Nicklaus, ö1-Österreichischer Rundfunk, 30 oct. 2023

“This is a delightful and eclectic disc (…) The performances from La Rêveuse are anything but polite and academic. Here we have a group of musicians giving us wonderfully engaged performances, full of style and all played with a great chamber music sensitivity.”
Millenium of Music, 20 nov. 2023

«Zwar geht es durchweg mit Verve zur Sache, aber dabei achtet es immer auf die Ausgewogenhait seiner Gestaltung une auf die kammermusikalische Klangkultur. Einmal mehr wird deutlich, dass die Musiker um Florence Bolton und Benjamin Perrot emotionalen Ausdruck une gute Laune nicht auf Kosten der Komponisten und ihrer Werke erzielen. Sehr interessant ist zudem der Einführungstext, der politische une soziale Aspekte von Händels Umfeld in den Blick nimmt. »
Matthias Hengelbrock, FonoForum, dec. 2023