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Couperin: Pieces de Clavecin - The Complete Harpsichord Works / Richard Egarr

Audio Samples

>Couperin, Louis : Pièces de clavecin, for harpsichord
>Couperin, Louis : Les Carillons de Paris, for organ (Pièces d'orgue, no 140)

Album Summary

>Couperin, Louis : Pièces de clavecin, for harpsichord
>Couperin, Louis : Les Carillons de Paris, for organ (Pièces d'orgue, no 140)
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Hailed for his "revelatory" account of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (The New York Times), Richard Egarr turns to one of the least-known and most entrancing collections in the repertory for solo harpsichord. This complete recording of the works for solo keyboard by Louis Couperin (c.1626-1661) revels in the music's rich harmonic and contrapuntal textures, which are marked by a poignant use of dissonance. None of Couperin's music was published during his lifetime, but manuscript copies of some 200 pieces survive, some of them only rediscovered in the mid-20th century. The first historically important member of the Couperin family, Louis Couperin made seminal contributions to the development of both the French organ school and French harpsichord school. His innovations included composing organ pieces for specific registrations and inventing the genre of the unmeasured prelude for harpsichord, for which he devised a special type of notation.

"Egarr revels in the variety, both harmonic and rhythmic, that this music contains, and the interpretative opportunities it offers. I don't think anyone, even Egarr, would suggest listening to all four of these CDs at a single sitting, but in smaller portions they are genuinely exhilarating and constantly surprising." -The Guardian

BBC Music Magazine
Egarr makes a fervent advocate for Louis Couperin, whom he believes to be 'the greatest composer for the harpsichord of all time'...Egarr, immersed in this repertoire for years, rises to the challenge with playing that is by turns pliant, poetic and balletic...Both [instruments] use a genuine quill plectrum, which produces a silky, singing tone. The recording is detailed and subtly reverberant.

Gramophone Magazine
There are two compelling reasons to own this set: it is endlessly entertaining and vibrant music; and, with the exception of a handful of movements not available to the player, it is presented compelte. Louis Couperin deserves the honour of a new, meticulously performed and recorded complete edition, and lovers of the harpsichord repertoire shouldn't be without one.

International Record Review, January 2012
Egarr's phrasing, though always very characterful, sometimes seems a little too gangling and awkwardly bunched...However, this really only affects the unmeasured preludes...Egarr's refined yet colourful approach to the rest of the music, especially the grave and cerebral allemandes...is irreproachable. As a whole, my minor reservations notwithstanding, this recording is both a magnificent achievement and a profoundly pleasurable experience.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London (02/20/2010-02/24/2010); Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (02/20/2010-02/24/2010); Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London (04/16/2009-04/20/2009); Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (04/16/2009-04/20/2009).



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Works Details

>Couperin, Louis : Pièces de clavecin, for harpsichord
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Notes: Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London (02/20/2010-02/24/2010); Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (02/20/2010-02/24/2010); Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London (04/16/2009-04/20/2009); Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (04/16/2009-04/20/2009)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Couperin, Louis : Les Carillons de Paris, for organ (Pièces d'orgue, no 140)
  • Performer: Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
  • Notes: Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London (02/20/2010-02/24/2010); Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (02/20/2010-02/24/2010); Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London (04/16/2009-04/20/2009); Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (04/16/2009-04/20/2009)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque