What the Critics Say about Toutes Suites’ recordings:
Sebastian Bodinus (1700–1759) Musicalisches Divertissement IV
Sonata I Eb major Sonata II Bb major Sonata III F major Sonata IV d minor Sonata V a minor Sonata VI G major
Jean Michael Muller (1683-1743)
Sonata I G major Sonata II G minor Sonata III B-flat major Sonata IV F major Sonata V C major Sonata VI C minor Sonata VII G minor Sonata VIII D minor Sonata IX D major Sonate X G major Sonata XI C major Sonata XII B-flat major
Sebastian Bodinus (1700-1759): Musicalisches Divertissement, IV: Six Trio Sonatas for Two Hautbois and Basso Continuo. Performed by Toutes Suites, dir. Marianne R. Pfau. Leipzig: genuin, 2009. Modern Premier Recording
Sűddeutsche Zeitung (2009):
Weltersteinspielung! Die Barock-Oboistin Marianne Pfau und ihre brillant und beseelt aufspielenden Kollegen haben nun nicht nur die Noten entstaubt, sondern putzen mit der frischen und galanten Musik des vor genau 250 Jahren gestorbenen Komponisten auch unsere Boxen kräftig durch.
World Premier! The baroque oboist Marianne Pfau and her colleagues have not only dusted off the music, but with their brilliant and poignant style of playing, they deftly sweep through our loudspeakers presenting the fresh and gallant music of Bodinus who died exactly 250 years ago.
Presto Classical (2009):
This disc commemorates the 250th anniversary of Bodinus’ death and features 6 Trios for two oboes and Basso continuo. The members of Toutes Suites give brilliant and inspired performances …”
Toccata (7/8 2009):
Das sind sechs Sonaten in recht barocker Manier komponiert und ebenso klangschön vorgetragen.”
These six Sonatas are composed in the baroque manner and are presented with equally beautiful sound.
International Record Review, UK, 9/2009:
Regular readers of these pages may remember a two-CD Geniun release of oboe sonatas by Johann Michael Műller, or Jean-Michel Muller as he was better known, which I reviewed enthusiastically in April 2008. Now the excellent Toutes Suites ensemble has turned its attention to six trio sonatas for two oboes and continuo by Sebastian Bodinus. Bodinus was a Thuringian contemporary of Bach and Telemann who was born near Arnstadt in 1700 and died further south in Pforzheim in 1759. Toutes Suites celebrates the 250th anniversary of his death with a recording of these trio sonatas, which date from the mid-1720s and which comprise the Fourth Part of his Musicalisches Divertissement.
These are beautifully crafted trio sonatas which possess a character of their own, almost as distinctive as that of his Dresden contemporary Zelenka, though, generally speaking, less virtuosic in their demands. The faster movements, many of them fugal, have an airy, formally unencumbered quality which looks towards the gallant style. Sometimes they recall the idiom of Handel, sometimes that of other contemporaries, but there are many instances where Bodinus speaks with arresting individuality. One such occurs in the arresting Andante en Polonaise of the Fourth Sonata in D minor. Here a throbbing bass underpins an almost hypnotic melody introduced by the bassoon and taken up in turn by the oboes: an exotic moment in the programme which is likely to make wide appeal. As the director of the ensemble, Marianne Pfau, remarks in her excellent introductory note, the music aims to delight and surprise.
Pfau and her fellow musicians give technically secure and expressively refined performances of pieces that are well worth getting to know. The strands of texture are lucid and evenly balances and tempos are effectively judged. The players furthermore make the most of the contrasts which exist between fast and slow movements. These last mentioned sometimes yield a melancholy utterance which is affecting. The Aria en Sarabande of the Fifth Sonata and the Affettuoso of the Sixth provide appealing examples. In short, this is a fascinating discovery of music hitherto rarely if ever recorded, and probably hardly ever played since the demise of its composer. I eagerly look forward to further recitals by Toutes Suites – a current top favourite in this household. Recorded sound is first rate.
Jean Michel Muller: XII Sonates a un Hautbois de Concert.... Performed by Toutes Suites, dir. Marianne R. Pfau. Leipzig: genuin 2008 (2 CD-set)
Pizzicato, Luxembourg, 2008
Johann Michael Müller gehört zu der Riege illustrer Komponisten, über die selbst die umfangreichsten Nachschlagewerke nur ziemlich spärlich Auskunft geben, wenn sie ihnen überhaupt einen Eintrag widmen. Müller ist daher auch eines der zahlreichen verkannten und verborgenen Genies, die man nur über den Umweg einer Schallplattenaufnahme kennenlernen kann...Mit Müllers Werk kann man hier sehr ergötzlich Bekanntschaft schließen...Das Ensemble 'Toutes Suites' unter der Leitung von Marianne R. Pfau liefert uns eine höchst lebendige, technisch absolut einwandfreie Interpretation dieses Werkes auf höchstem Niveau, die nichts zu wünschen übrig lässt.
Johann Michael Müller is among the illustrious group of composers about whom even the most exhaustive music encyclopedias give hardly any information if any mention at all. Thus Müller too is one of the countless neglected and hidden geniuses whom one can meet only with the help of a modern recording … Making acquaintance with Müller’s work here is delightful …the ensemble Toutes Suites, under the direction of Marianne R. Pfau, serves up a highly spirited interpretation of his work, with impeccable technique and of utmost quality, leaving nothing to be desired.