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New release: Mimesis. Transcriptions of Bach works

To imitate is not to copy


This recording is an extension of an exploration of the rich Baroque repertoire that Laterna Magica has undertaken for 15 years around great composers such as Handel and Bach, whose vocal and instrumental works invite performers to various reworkings at benefit of a widening of the sound space. Since the fascinating album Exercitium devoted to Bach's trio sonatas, in 2005, Laterna Magica, faithful to its work of transcriptions, appropriates the process of imitation in accordance with the models initiated by Johann Sebastian Bach, so skilful in this art of mimesis, the concept of which dates back to Greek antiquity. (...) Respecting the original source while bringing an authentic sound touch (the softness of the alto flutes and voices) and a harmonic palette enriched by the chords of the basso continuo is the objective of these subtle reworkings which are of course based on the imitatio emancipated from any servile tracing.G. Remy

Opera Minima: Handel with Care

The Laterna Magica ensemble extends, in this discographic edition, the intentions of one of the greatest composers of Italian opera, by offering original arrangements of famous Handel arias reworked for two recorders and basso continuo. Very widespread at the time, the borrowing of pre-existing works is a common practice in musical composition: even more than Bach, Handel draws his inspiration from the repertoire, by plagiarizing, without scruple, entire themes or passages without bringing major modifications, with the aim of giving new life to the original, integrating it perfectly under a new habit.
Gilles Remy, extract from the libretto

Like the famous magic lantern, whose rather simplistic and reduced device allowed individuals to be enchanted by the latest fashionable spectacular events, in the privacy of their living room, the instrumentalists of the ensemble aptly named Laterna Magica know to master the exercise of reduction (and of transcription, thanks in large part to their own skills), and often to express the elegant and poetic virtuosity of the lyrical Handel… but, that is the singularity and the challenge of this program,… without the voices. Here, the song is mainly that of the two recorders, to which the equally liberated and inventive gesture of the cello and the harpsichord responds. (...)
Bold in his transpositions for 2, 3 and 4 concertos and solo instruments, free through a totally assumed gesture, concerned with colors and eloquence, like the superb cover visual (the heart of a golden pink peony), the Laterna Magica ensemble lives up to its name and takes up the multiple challenges of a program as virtuoso as it is passionate.

Benjamin Ballifh , Classic news, 3/10/2018

"(...) Deze cd geeft een bijzonder mooi sonoor beeld van deze bijzondere praktijk. Warm aanbevolen." 
Michel Dutrieue,  Stretto, 09/17/2018

Exercitium: Transcription of Bach works

In the Baroque era, transcription was commonplace and Johann Sebastian Bach never shied away from indulging in this pleasure. Flashback: the transcriptions of his works are legion! The Laterna Magica ensemble has in turn lent itself to the game and offers us its own arrangements (for recorder, harpsichord, cello, organ) of pieces by Bach. A more than gratifying "exercise".
Michel Debrocq, Le MAD, 01/24/07

(...) Deze cd getuigt dan ook vooral van speelvreugde die zulke muziek inspireert en van het hoge technische level van jonge blokfluitisten van vandaag. Ze is dus paradoxaal genoeg eerder actueel dan historisch.
SM De Morgen, 01/31/07

(...) “In short, what is the truth?” It is what is between words and that we experience with joy. You have the pleasure of paraphrasing it while savoring this modestly named Exercitium, a way of homage to Father Bach by the goldsmiths of the Laterna Magica ensemble. "
DC, The essential free, 03.07

Recorder players Nathalie Houtman and Laura Pok have a lively ensemble understanding and carry off the crucial passages, those featuring sweeping arpeggios, quite smoothly. In general, they stick close to Bach's scores, modifying them only occasionally for more idiomatic spacing and range. Each trio sonata is preceded by a prelude, played on the harpsichord and leading into the sonata without pause. (...) This disc will provide an enjoyable and intriguing hour of listening for recorder lovers.
James Manheim,

(...) I certainly should mention by name the excellent players that constitute Laterna Magica: Nathalie Houtman and Laura Pok on a variety of recorders; Bernard Woltèche mans the cello, and Raphaël Collignon slaps a fine organ and harpsichord. The recorded ambiance is wonderful, and this is most definitely an hour of relaxed and enjoyable listening. Recommended.
Steven. E. Ritter,, 01.09.08

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