The Nightingale and the Butterfly - Pamela Thorby & Elizabeth Kenny - The Herald

I'll be honest about this: when word comes out that a new album is on the way from Pamela Thorby, the greatest recorder player in the world, half the fun is wondering what delightful scheme of programming she'll come up with next. Teaming up with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, who shares the research honours on this magical new disc, Thorby has unearthed a wonderful strand of French baroque music by composers, numerous of whom are completely unfamiliar names to me: Louis Caix d'Hervelois, Robert de Visee, Anne-Danican Philidor (a bloke) and Charles Dieupart, to name but four, alongside that great lyrical master Francois Couperin. The music, a beautiful collection of suites and other pieces, is all characterised by a light, airy quality that could only be French: I've not heard such precisely non-Germanic music. It is music of wit, endless charm, poignant and tender expressiveness and a kind of weightless quality. A gentle, thoughtful experience.

04 August 2010