Balicourt, Simon, Set 2: Sonatas nos. 5 in D major and 6 in E major
The Andante opening Sonata 5 in D major, with its delicately chiselled, ever-changing rhythms in the flute line, exemplifies to perfection the galant style. The light-footed Allegro assai that follows looks back to Quantz and even Vivaldi. Balicourt concludes the sonata with his most original movement in terms of structure. This consists of two Presto sections enclosing a Grazioso ‘core’ in D minor. Unexpectedly, the second Presto, starting as if a simple da capo repeat of the first, quickly diverges; its throwaway, staccato ending is a real audience-pleaser.
Sonata 6, in E major, opens with a lyrical Andante that almost breathes the air of the Classical style. The second movement, in contrast, is a typically baroque Siciliana, moving to E minor and displaying a rich harmonic palette. The finale is a variation rondo (rondeau varié) in which both repeats of the refrain are ornamented in different ways. As Balicourt’s description, Alla Polonese, conveys, the rhythm is that of a Polonaise, a stately but slightly exotic dance that had become popular throughout Europe after the electors of Saxony, starting with Friedrich August I, assumed the Polish crown.
Music example No. 5 (pdf)
Music example No. 6 (pdf)