Le Clavecin Français: Louis Marchand & Louis-Nicolas Clérambault

Le Clavecin Français: Louis Marchand & Louis-Nicolas Clérambault

by Davitt Moroney


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Le Clavecin Français: Louis Marchand & Louis-Nicolas Clérambault

On Plectra's Davitt Moroney Plays Louis Marchand & Louis-Nicolas Clérambault, harpsichordist Davitt Moroney continues his survey into French harpsichord music apart from Rameau and the two Couperins. This release clearly forms a companionship with Plectra's Le Clavecin Français: Music from the Borel Manuscript, although it was released earlier. However, in this instance rather than matching the ambitious number of composers, both named and anonymous, represented on that volume, here Moroney only concentrates on three, all of whom are better known for other things; Clérambault is mainly known for his cantatas and other vocal music, whereas both Marchand and Nicolas Lebégue are primarily regarded as organ composers. This collection contains the entire harpsichord-dedicated music of Marchand and Clérambault; although Lebégue wrote no harpsichord-specific music, his "Les Cloches" is among a small number of organ pieces that Lebégue singled out as being suited for the harpsichord, as well. For this music, Moroney chooses a 1707 Nicolas Dumont harpsichord, which he also used on Music from the Borel Manuscript, but not for the full album; it has a strong, rich sound with a slightly tart edge and is recorded with stunning clarity and imposing presence by Plectra. Moroney has edited the harpsichord works of Marchand for publication and includes a scattering of pieces from manuscript in addition to the two Marchand suites known from early prints; the Sarabande from the "Suite in D minor" is especially beautiful. Clérambault's harpsichord likewise consists of only two suites and one additional prelude. The C major suite of Clérambault does not seem particularly inspired; while it has an air of elegant civility, it also seems a bit precious and shallow. The C minor suite is better, but when it comes to the harpsichord, Clérambault simply does not seem as on the ball as Marchand or for that matter Lebégue, whose "Les cloches" is definitely a highlight of the disc; its descending bass figures and ringing, high-register writing really makes the Dumont harpsichord sing. Davitt Moroney Plays Louis Marchand & Louis-Nicolas Clérambault may not be quite up to the level of the Borel Manuscript volume; however, those who enjoyed that release should be able to get something out of this one.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/18/2007
Label: Cd Baby
UPC: 0837101339223
catalogNumber: 5637267011


  1. Harpsichord Suite No.1 in D minor
  2. Venitienne, for harpsichord
  3. Badine, for harpsichord (Berkeley MS 775)
  4. Harpsichord Suite in G minor
  5. Gavotte, for harpsichord (Berkeley MS 1372)
  6. Prélude in G major, for harpsichord (Saint-Genevieve MS 2374)
  7. Suite for harpsichord No 1 in C
  8. Suite for harpsichord No 2 in C minor
  9. Les cloches

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