Balicourt, Simon, Set 1: Sonatas nos. 1 in D major and 2 in G major
Sonata 1 in D major opens with a Larghetto full of the kind of rhetorical expression one associates with Handel. It is followed by a busy Allegro and a concise Tempo di Minuetto movement that celebrates the extreme popularity of this dance, which, in contrast to its role in the Classical symphony, most often serves as a finale in works written around the middle of the eighteenth century.
Sonata 2 in G major is in a traditional pastoral key. This association is confirmed immediately in a charming siciliana marked Andante. The Allegro assai that follows is dominated by its three-hammer-blow opening motive, which Balicourt treats with great insistence and some ingenuity. The concluding pair of movements illustrates Balicourt’s Janus-like cultivation of both galant and baroque musical languages. The Andante in E minor takes us into the world of a slow movement in a mid-eighteenth-century operatic sinfonia, while the Allegro has all the characteristics of a Corellian giga written fifty years earlier.
Music example No. 1 (pdf)
Music example No. 2 (pdf)