Couperin: Suites Viola Gamba (Mikko Perkola, Aapo Hakkinen) (Naxos: 8.570944)
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François Couperin wrote some of France's greatest music in the classical style. The Suites for Viola da gamba and Harpsichord
are late works, published in 1728, and are perfect examples of his richly expressive style which here draws upon Italian models as well as, perhaps, celebrating another genius of the French school, Marin Marais, who had died in the year the Suites
were published. Intense and passionate, the suites offer lyricism and virtuosity, Italian bravura and French richness. The last of Couperin's harpsichord ordres (or suites) consists of four varied pieces, including Les 8.570944 Chinois
, an early example of interest in China in Western music.