Pièces de clavecin 7th ordre, La Ménetou - Harpsichord

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It is amazing how much intensity and melancholy Couperin can muster with so few notes. It is certainly not happy-sounding, but rather pervaded by a melancholy that seems so deeply rooted in his music.

Perhaps his happiness lay in solitary hours while others revelled in society. On the piano, it is possible to play it as written, using a minimum amount of sustaining pedal; it is not necessary to play the right hand up an octave as in some of his other pieces of this type e.

Le Tic-Toc-Choc , which would ruin the atmosphere altogether.

Couperin: The Complete Pièces de Clavecin, Vol. 4 / Mark Kroll, harpsichord

It is a simple, gentle lullaby consisting of two rondeaux — one in the major, one in the minor. I repeat the major one at the end not marked in the score but a convention at the time.


  1. BIS Records - Couperin - Pièces de clavecin.
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Perhaps the jerky rhythm of this piece portrayed him in a drunken state. It stays in the lower half of the keyboard, never venturing far above middle C. She was a gifted harpsichordist and composer, known for her delicacy and brilliance. For her, Couperin writes a rondeau with a chromatic descending bass and three couplets, the last of which shows both of these qualities.

Obviously it was just as important then as now to get up in the morning, even with a hangover. The hardest thing here is to play all the trills in the tempo that the music demands. Rousseau states in his dictionary of that chaconnes used to be in either two or three beats to a bar, but that those in duple time were now extinct. Austerity was the order of the day, as France was then involved in the War of the Spanish Succession.

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The refrain of the chaconne is interspersed with five couplets, and the noble, rather gloomy character remains throughout. The opening piece in this ordre — Les Graces incomparables ou La Conti not recorded here — is a depiction of him and his unaffected manners. He was also in love with the married Duchesse de Bourbon, with whom he had an affair that lasted until death.

This is musically one of his most interesting pieces, and is in two distinct parts. The first, marked majestueusement majestically , could be a portrayal of a wedding ceremony with the descending peal of bells heard for a fleeting moment. But then the mood changes abruptly: Some kind of whirling dance is suggested for sure. She was a gifted child who sang, danced, played the harpsichord and flute, and also composed. At the age of nine she performed for the King.

For her, Couperin wrote one of his loveliest rondos, full of tenderness and grace. That is one quality that is really possible to bring out when playing Couperin on the piano. There are ways, of course, of being expressive on the harpsichord and they are many and varied. But the piano has the potential to go one step further in making a phrase expressive.

BIS Records - Couperin - Pièces de clavecin

Couperin was the epitome of grace, of light and shade, of subtle inflections, of melancholy and lightheartedness. Above all, Couperin wanted music to affect people:. Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Don't show me this message again. October Total duration: This third splendid selection of Couperin's keyboard music from Angela Hewitt is reported to be the last in the series. The Canadian pianist doesn't reject period style altogether, as her crisp, precise articulation and stylistically faithful ornamentation demonstrate.

The Duc de Saint-Simon wrote of him, saying: When his ambitions were thwarted he took pride in licentiousness.

About Mark Kroll

The rakes of Paris gained a hold over him. After a pert Gavotte comes Sophie, a whirling moment of repetition, then a last, hauntingly delicate rondeau from Couperin, L'Epineuse, The Thorny One, in six sharps. Just like one of Schumann's maerchen, La Pantomime is a character-study in sprightly march tempo, a study of an Italian actor of the period. The last ordre consists of four pieces, a sort of church-sonata.

Pièces de Clavecin 5.

L'Exquise is a noble allemande much like Bach and pointing to Debussy. The Poppies is a treble-clef, soporific piece in parallel thirds and sixths.

Francois Couperin

Les Chinois is a loure, a slow, French not Chinese gig that Bach used in his solo violin sonatas; a jaunty, fast section appears then disappears. The final work, Saillie Sally of Wit is rife with incongruous elements and knotty upbeats in imitation, the soul of wit. Wit, tenderness, and sensibility-these essential elements of the Couperin style Hewitt provides with grace and scholarly affection, her Steinway piano singing in glorious Technicolor.

ECM New Series Angela Hewitt's second Couperin CD rec.


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