Dieupart is best known today for his Six suittes de clavessin, partly because J.S. Bach copied them out, and was supposedly influenced by them in his English Suites. The suites were probably composed in 1701, whereas these less familiar sonatas are considerably later works, dating from 1717: we don’t know when Dieupart was born, but a contemporary biographer records that he died ‘far advanced in years, and in very necessitated circumstances, about the year 1740.’
Dieupart spent his entire career working in and around London as a harpsichordist and composer: He was a prominent member of the musical establishment in Drury Lane though he later became a founding and popular member of the orchestra in a rivalestablishment, the Queen’s Theatre in the Haymarket. It was probably once he had become a private music teacher in his later years that he wrote this highly attractive set of six sonatas, which are dedicated to Lady Essex Finch (d. 1721), the member of a noble English family who was likely a student of Dieupart and would have paid for the sonatas.
Even if Dieupart had not advertised himself as a ‘scholar’ of Arcangelo Corelli’s, his recorder sonatas betray the influence of the great Roman violinist and composer in the types of movements, the varied support of the bass, and an elegant simplicity. The dance movements often have an English flavour that is reminiscent of Purcell, but otherwise Dieupart’s French heritage predominates in the lively formality of his melodies.
This new studio album is led by the Brazilian recorder player Isabel Favilla, who has played with many distinguished early-music ensembles in Europe and South America. Since 2009 she has also played with Inês d'Avena in a recorder duo, Schifanoia: their debut recording was praised for its ‘highly musical phrasing and an entirely natural flow’ (MusicWeb International).
Little is known about the life of Charles (or François, as he sometimes called himself..) Dieupart. The first mention of his name was as founder of the Opera Season at the Queen’s Theatre of Haymarket. He was much sought after as a harpsichord and violin player, who probably studied with the great Corelli, whose works he often performed. He died in poverty in 1740.
The set of “Six Sonatas for a Flute and Through Bass” were published by the famous publisher Walsh in London in 1717. This CD presents its first recording. The Sonatas consist of various movements, varying between 4 and 8, some of which are dance forms. The style is clearly inspired by his master Arcangelo Corelli, in its vivacious mood, instrumental brilliance and elegant simplicity.
Recorder player Isabel Favilla received her education in Brussels and The Hague. Since then she played in prestigious Early Music ensembles like La Sfera Armoniosa, Concerto d’Amsterdam and Les Muffatti. On this recording she is seconded by cello, theorbo and harpsichord.