Louis' latest review by Kemer Thomson, Music Musings, August 2005
I find Louis' musicianship to extraordinary. Each piece makes complete sense. It is hard to describe just how completely he understands this music, except to say that I have the same reaction when I hear Laurent Stewart play Louis Couperin and Froberger. He has a simplicity and directness that is utterly charming and compelling.
There are now some very good recordings of 17th century French lute music that are more polished and better sounding, but overall it seems that Louis Pernod's is the most heartfelt and genuine. For years I have struggled to understand why La Rhétorique des Dieux was important, I am convinced that this is one of the very important collections. Truly music of the gods.
If there is such a thing as divine rhetoric, Louis Pernot is no stranger to it. From a particularly volubile instrument, he draws the art of speaking well (clarity, neatness of the melodic line, precision of the rhythm), which is none other than a meticulous balance between intelligence and emotion... A seductive approach, which will contribute to broading the circle of fans of music for pinched strings.
Xavier Lacavalerie and Paul Meunier in The Year's Best Compact Discs (1991) on the double CD "La Rhétorique des Dieux" by Denis Gaultier.
It's this balance between the line and the ornament, between the spoken and the silent, which is the charm of Louis' technique. A charm which is true to what it was in the 17th century, and not a pretense sentiment. The sound is ample, generous, but also feverish and plaintive (the instrument is entirely strung with gut strings). Here and there, a few notes vacillate, or seem to get lost in the deeps of the intstrument... But what momentum, what firmness in the dance rhythms! What vehements in the discourse! Louis knows not only the possibilities of his instrument, but superbly masters the expressive power of his music. His lute not only sings or danses- though it does that, and very well- it also lives, it breathes, it speaks! Is that not the most divine rhetoric? If the technique of Hopkinson Smith may seem more sophisticated, that of Louis has no equal to tell the story with ease and spontaneity.
Francis Albou, Répertoire 1990 on the double CD "La Rhétorique des Dieux" by Denis Gaultier.
"Dufaut's music is more dramatic than it is moving; and certain pieces, such as "The Grave of Mr. Blancrocher", are particularly dark. Faithfully and soberly recorded, the only thing we can say about Louis' technique is that it is perfect in all respects."
Alexandre Perrin in Diapason 1989, on the Dufaut CD.
At the same time intimate and refined, the musician moves with ease and grace within the delicacy and preciousness of these pieces. The moderate allure chosen for the most viviacious danses (courantes) shows a musician dedicated to enhancing the subtleties of their writing.
Marc Desmet in Le Monde Musique 1989, on the Dufaut CD.
"It is with ardor and passion that Louis brings to life these marvelous pieces. His technique is never seeks megalomania. The use of the gut strings preclude any unnecessary emphasis or lyrism. The sound is pure, sparse, on the dry side. We're far from the sophistication of Hopkinson or Konrad Junghänel... On the other hand, the nimbleness, the sincerity of expression confer to Louis' technique a sparkle of rare authenticiy. Listen to the way he traces with ease the obstinate base of the "Grave of Mr. Blancrocher", one of the master pieces of the disk. The music flows with grace, and in every moment, one feels this pleasant invitation to dance.
Françis Albou in Répertoire, Dec. 1988, on the Dufaut CD.
Louis' first press critic, received for his second concert, was already of national scope:
"One needs the enthusiasm of youth to devote oneself to the study of lute and theorbo. Louis Pernot, a fresh and charming engineering student of twenty-three, knows this well. He says with a smile, while repairing a broken string: "Lute musicians spend two-thirds of their time tuning up and the last third playing off-key". A disciple of Antoine Geoffroy-Dechaume, he plays with as much finesse as clarity, and an acute sense of tone variations, often infinitely subtle. (...) The lute starts to speak and dance with a music so much more free, so baroque (...) Sonorities blossom miraculously...
Jacques Longchampt in Le Monde Culture, Dec. 1982