- L'Ouverture de Pigmalion, transcription for harpsichord (after Rameau)
Jory Vinikour's two discs of the keyboard works of Rameau actually contain more than Rameau himself published, including a barn-burner of a finale. In addition to Rameau's five published suites, Vinikour included Rameau's transcriptions for solo harpsichord of selections from the chamber work "Pièces de clavecin en Concert"; a couple of pieces published separately from Rameau's collections; a piece ascribed to Rameau; and a transcription by Claude Balbastre -- another keyboard wizard of the age -- of the overture to "Pigmalion." This is the show-stopping end to the collection that will grab your attention, if nothing else, such as "Les Tricotets" or "La Poule," in Rameau's inventive writing does. The overture begins as majestically as any processional-like Baroque overture might, but then breaks out into rapid-fire repeated notes and chords that continue right through to the end. Vinikour delivers it with gusto, building excitement despite the fact that listeners don't get the ballet that should follow. Vinikour is excellent in all of these pieces, not only bringing out the different characters in them, but also managing to evoke other instruments after a fashion in pieces such as the "Musette en rondeau in E minor" and the following "Tambourin," thanks to Rameau's ingenious writing. The slower movements have a thoughtfulness to them, just as the fast dances have an infectious energy. Vinikour's Rameau is delightful throughout.