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

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
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...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
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: 2/15/1994
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 730099546126
  • Catalog Number: 550461

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–16 13e ordre for harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin, III) - François Couperin & Alan Cuckston (20:45)
    Composed byFrançois Couperin
    1. 1Les Lis naissans (The Lillies in Bud)
    2. 2Les Rozeaux (The Reeds)
    3. 3L'engageante (The Engaging One)
    4. 4Les folies françoises: La Virginité, sous le Domino couleur d'invisible (Virginity, in an invisible
    5. 5Les folies françoises: La Pudeur, sous le Domino le rose (Modesty, in a pink costume)
    6. 6Les folies françoises: L'ardeur, sous le Domino incarnat (Ardour, in a crimson costume)
    7. 7Les folies françoises: L'Espérance, sous le Domino vert (Hope, in a green costume)
    8. 8Les folies françoises: La Fidélité, sous le Domino bleu (Faithfulness, in a blue costume)
    9. 9Les folies françoises: La Persévérance, sous le Domino gris de lin (Perserverance, in a grey linen
    10. 10Les folies françoises: La Langueur, sous le Domino violet (Languor, in a violet costume)
    11. 11Les folies françoises: La Coquêterie, sous différents Dominos (Coquetry, in a different coloured co
    12. 12Les folies françoises: Les Vieux Galons et les trésorières suranées (Old Gallants and Retired Finan
    13. 13Les folies françoises: Les Coucous bénévoles, sous le Dominos jaunes (Kindly Cuckoos (Cuckolds), in
    14. 14Les folies françoises: La Jalousie taciturne, sous le Domino gris de maure (Taciturn Jealousy, in a
    15. 15Les folies françoises: La Frénésie, ou le Désespoir, sous le Domino noir (Frenzy or Despair, in a b
    16. 16L'âme-en peine (Soul-anguish)
  2. 17–21 17e ordre for harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin, III) - François Couperin & Alan Cuckston (14:08)
    Composed byFrançois Couperin
    1. 17La Superbe, ou la Forqueray (The Proud One, or La Forqueray)
    2. 18Les petit moulins a vent (The Little Windmills)
    3. 19Les Timbres (The Bells)
    4. 20Courante
    5. 21Les petites Crémières de Bagnolet (The little Dairymaids of Bagnolet)
  3. 22–28 18e ordre for harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin, III) - François Couperin & Alan Cuckston (20:56)
    Composed byFrançois Couperin
    1. 22Allemande La Verneüil
    2. 23La Verneüillète
    3. 24Soeur Monique (Sister Monique)
    4. 25Le Turbulent (The Turbulent)
    5. 26L'atendrissante (Inspiring Pity)
    6. 27Le Tic Toc Choc ou les Maillotins (Clockwork or the little Hammers)
    7. 28Le Gaillard-Boîteux (Limping Galliard)
  4. 29–33 21e ordre for harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin, IV) - François Couperin & Alan Cuckston (15:22)
    Composed byFrançois Couperin
    1. 29Le Reine des Coeurs (The Queen of Heart)
    2. 30La Bondissante (The Leaping Dancer)
    3. 31La Couperin (Couperin)
    4. 32La Harpée. Pièce dans le goût de la harpe (The Harp. In the style of the Harp)
    5. 33La petite Pince-sans-rire (The Little Poker-face)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Alan Cuckston Primary Artist
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