Balicourt, Simon, Set 1: Sonatas nos. 3 in D minor and 4 in A minor
The Andante opening Sonata 3, in D minor, demonstrates Balicourt’s mastery of a lyricism that is entirely natural and elegant without ever becoming bland. The vivacious Allegro that follows has an endearing playfulness reminiscent of Vivaldi. The third movement, Andante, moves to F major and is noteworthy for some delightful imitative play between flute and bass. A sprightly Minuetto brings up the rear.
Sonata 4, in A minor, opens with a Largo of almost Handelian gravitas and continues with a fleet-footed Allegro that at several points contains Vivaldi-like violinistic figurations. For the concluding movement, a graceful Affettuoso, Balicourt switches to A major, a way of lightening the mood that was not yet common in 1750 but was soon to become a favoured practice in minor-key works.
Music example No. 3 (pdf)
Music example No. 4 (pdf)