François Couperin: Pièces de Clavecin, Books 3 & 4 (Selections)

François Couperin: Pièces de Clavecin, Books 3 & 4 (Selections)

by Alan Cuckston
     
 

Alan Cuckston's selections from François Couperin's "Ordres for harpsichord" are among the finest offerings in the Naxos catalog. Couperin's character pieces are idiosyncratic and often inscrutable and require intuition and sympathy, which Cuckston has in abundance. A piece like "Les folies françoises," with its fanciful portrayal of domino costumes in colors… See more details below

Overview

Alan Cuckston's selections from François Couperin's "Ordres for harpsichord" are among the finest offerings in the Naxos catalog. Couperin's character pieces are idiosyncratic and often inscrutable and require intuition and sympathy, which Cuckston has in abundance. A piece like "Les folies françoises," with its fanciful portrayal of domino costumes in colors associated with abstract attributes -- e.g., "La Virginité (sous le couleur d'invisible)" -- requires considerable musical imagination and wit to bring it off. Cuckston shades these pieces with subtle distinctions, and the rhythmic flexibility he employs at least conveys Couperin's playfulness. "Le Tic Toc Choc, ou les Maillotins" (Clockwork, or the Little Hammers) and "Le Gaillard-Boîteux" (The Limping Galliard) are also effectively conveyed through Cuckston's use of timing and accentuation as descriptive devices. The portraits, such as "L'engageante"; "La Superbe, ou la Forqueray"; and "Soeur Monique," are harder to decipher aurally, but the charm and bravura supplied in these performances suggest the characterizations Couperin intended. Perhaps the most enigmatic of all these miniatures is "La Couperin," in which Cuckston's playing seems to probe the composer's restless inner state. The excellent sound quality of this 1991 release is worth noting since it is natural and close to the keyboard without sounding artificially boosted.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/15/1994
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0730099546126
catalogNumber:
550461

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. 13e ordre for harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin, III)  - François Couperin  - Alan Cuckston
  2. 17e ordre for harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin, III)  - François Couperin  - Alan Cuckston
  3. 18e ordre for harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin, III)  - François Couperin  - Alan Cuckston
  4. 21e ordre for harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin, IV)  - François Couperin  - Alan Cuckston

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