Notes & Reviews:
La Petite Bande (Belgium) was founded in 1972 by Sigiswald Kuijken at the request of the record company Harmonia Mundi (Germany) in order to record Lully's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, under the direction of Gustav Leonhardt. The orchestra takes its name and constitution from Lully's own orchestra at the court of Louis XIV. All its members are internationally renowned specialists in the early music field.
Although originally La Petite Bande (LPB) was not meant to become a permanent orchestra, the success of the recordings was such that they began to give concerts regularly. Having initially concentrated mainly on French music, the orchestra's repertoire has expanded over the years to include music by the Italian masters and that of Bach, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, Mozart and others.
There is a strong relationship between La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken and the Belgian label Accent that is documented in more than 30 recordings issued over the last 30 years. Accent celebrates the 40th anniversary of La Petite Bande with three releases: the cycle of Mozart's da Ponte Operas (as 9-CD-set), Haydn's The Creation (the first LPB recording issued on Accent in 1982) and a Portrait on 3 CDs, a personal selection of LPB-recordings made by Sigiswald Kuijken.
American Record Guide, January/February 2013
Two of the soloists are quite good. Laki is a perky, agile soprano with a forward voice, good diction, and excellent coloratura skills. Mackie's tenor is sweet and juicy (many of his other recordings are much less impressive), and he sings with great understanding and relish. Huttenlocher lets the team down. The lower part of his voice is almost non-existent, and it often disappears entirely. His vocal shortcomings are very slightly offset by his imaginative way with the text. The sound is fairly good, though hardly spectacular; the audience is quiet. To his credit, Kuijken does not make the standard cut in the second Adam-Eve duet. Really not a bad Creation, but the recorded competition is just overwhelming.