French Baroque composer and violinist Jean-Marie Leclair l'aîné (the elder) was born in Lyon on 10 May 1697 into a musical family - his three brothers (including Jean-Marie Leclair the younger, 1703-1777) were also musicians.
He studied dance and violin in Turin, and moved to Paris in 1723, working for Louis XV from 1733 until 1737. Later he worked for the Princess of Orange (part-time, 1738-1743) and after that for the Duke of Gramont between 1740 and 1764.
He wrote one opera, Scylla et Glaucus, first performed in 1746, which survives, along with much of his other output.
Leclair was found stabbed to death, possibly by his ex-wife or nephew, on 23 October 1764, at his home in Paris, at the age of sixty-seven.
CD Spotlight. Much to Enjoy - Violin concertos by Vivaldi, Locatelli and Leclair senior delight Gerald Fenech. 'Théotime Langlois de Swarte despatches these pieces with glorious dexterity, and the freshness of his playing is so engaging that you never tire of listening.'
CD Spotlight. Fascination and Influence - Gerald Fenech is impressed by Lucille Boulanger and friends. 'The talented foursome heard here rise brilliantly to the hurdles presented and performances are consistently full of charm and warmth, wrapped up in an aura of unmitigated sensitivity.'
CD Spotlight. Splice the Mainbrace - Red Priest's 'Pirates of the Baroque', heard by the late Howard Smith. 'The foursome are outrageous, hugely entertaining, and Red Priest take no prisoners.'
Ensemble. Sparkle and Brilliance - An exploration of the celebration and imitation of national styles, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. An Enriching Experience - The Repast Baroque Ensemble, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... delectable performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Deceptive Naturalness - Red Priest's 'Nightmare in Venice', entertains Howard Smith. '... irrepressible, chic ...'
CD Spotlight. A superb craftsman - Music by Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, investigated by John Bell Young. '... spirited, inventive and charming ...'