A-L Couperin - Complete Solo Harpsichord Music
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Label: Brilliant Classics
Cat No: 95459
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 13th August 2021
ArtistsYago Mahugo (harpsichord)
It has been suggested that personal modesty, as well as the demands of a schedule which saw him in demand at churches across Paris, was the cause of Armand-Louis publishing so little of his music. Certainly it was highly esteemed during his lifetime. These Pièces de Clavecin were published in 1751 as his ‘Opus 1’ and succeeded only by lesser-known collections of violin sonatas and trios. The Pièces de clavecin deserve consideration alongside the viol fantazias of Purcell and the Lachrymae of Dowland for their rich, saturated exploitation of an idiom passed its high noon.
The collection is divided into two parts by key, G major/minor and B flat major/minor. The titles allude to friends and well-known figures of the time, and much is lost or rather buried within and between the notes in this kind of portraiture, yet the pieces spring to life in the right hands. The Spanish harpsichordist Yago Mahúgo won glowing reviews for a Brilliant Classics volume (94479) of the harpsichord music by Pancrace Royer, another little-known figure from the generation before Armand-Louis Couperin: ‘performed with elegance and refinement… If you purchase [Mahúgo’s] recording you won't regret it.’
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