COUPERIN, F.: Imperiale

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Fran?ºois Couperin was the finest composer at the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King. In view of the fact that Versailles was the most vainglorious court in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Europe, it is remarkable to realise that Couperin was both personally and artistically discreet and modest. His musical portraits of people and his descriptions of scenes and events were more often intimate, comic and tender than pompously ceremonial. He wrote some extremely beautiful and genuinely spiritual music for ecclesiastical use and produced instrumental music for both strings and woodwind for the delectation of the King and nobility.

Couperin greatly admired Italian baroque composers such as Corelli, and his sonatas demonstrate his lifelong commitment to uniting, in his music, the best of both French and Italian musical conventions. 'Les Nations' is the title under which Couperin published a collection of four large-scale sonatas, and the final two are recorded here, along with one of the 'Concerts royaux' and two preludes from 'L'Art de Toucher le Clavecin'. The first volume was excellently well received, and it is a delight to complete the set.

The Purcell Quartet's releases on Chandos are consistently well reviewed:

The performances by the Purcell Quartet are marvellous... recommended without hesitation.

The performances are stylish and warmly expressive...
Early Music Today
Item number CHAN 0729
Barcode 095115072929
Release date 09/01/2006
Category Baroque
Label Chandos Records
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Woolley, Robert
Composers Couperin, Francois
Orchestras Purcell Quartet
Disc: 1
Les nations: IV. La Piemontoise
1 L'art de toucher le clavecin: Prelude No. 2 in D m
2 I. Gravement -
3 II. Vivement -
4 III. Gravement, et marque - Tres lentement -
5 IV. Rondeau: Legerment -
6 V. Rondement -
7 VI. Vivement
8 VII. Allemande: Sans lenteur
9 VIII. Courante
10 IX. Courante II: Plus marquee
11 X. Sarabande: Tendrement
12 XI. Bouree: Gayement
13 XII. Gigue: D'une legerete moderee
14 XIII. Rondeau: Gayement - Premier Couplet - Rondea
15 XIV. Chaconne
16 XV. Menuet
17 I. Vivement
18 II. Air: Agreablement
19 III. Sarabande: Tendrement
20 IV. Chaconne: Legere
21 L'art de toucher le clavecin: Prelude No. 3 in G m
22 I. Gravement -
23 II. Vivement
24 III. Gravement
25 IV. Vivement, et marque - Lentement
26 V. Air: Gracieusement
27 VI. Air II
28 VII. Gravement et marque -
29 VIII. Legerement
30 IX. Allemande: Noblement, et sans lenteur
31 X. Courante
32 XI. Courante II: Un peu plus gayement
33 XII. Sarabande: Tendrement
34 XIII. Rondeau: Gayement - Premier Couplet - Rondea
35 XIV. Gigue: Affectueusement, quoy que legrement
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