Rhétorique du Silence
The lute held sway in the homes and royal courts of France in the 17th and early 18th centuries, with composers such as Charles Mouton, Ennemond Gaultier, Jacques Gallot, and Robert de Visée writing intimate and highly expressive music for this complex stringed instrument. Many of their works, which became popular throughout Europe, are in the “style brisé” or “broken style,” characterized by irregularly arpeggiated chords and ambiguous melodic lines. Untethered by any strict metre, each piece possesses a magical freedom and an emotional directness, qualities that come instantly to the fore through David Bergmüller’s exquisite playing. The recorded sound is crystal clear and close-up, recreating an atmosphere of intensely private music-making.