Couperin Keyboard Music – 1

Couperin Keyboard Music 1

FRANÇOIS COUPERIN ‘LE GRAND’ (1668-1733)

Hyperion Records CDA 67440

If Bach, why not also Couperin on the piano? Purists will be shocked, but Angela Hewitt makes an impressive case for it, and this disc became a bestseller!

‘By turning her attention to these works, Angela Hewitt may succeed in reviving and popularising Couperin’s enchanting music as no modern-day harpsichordist has been able to do’ (Gramophone)

‘Of all living pianists, Hewitt makes the strongest case for hearing Bach on the piano as opposed to harpsichord. Here, she applies the same staggering technique and intellectual grasp to three suites by François Couperin … outstanding’ (The Independent)

Sixième Ordre
1. Les Moissonneurs (2’05)
2. Les Langueurs-Tendres (4’57)
3. Le Gazoüillement (1’55)
4. La Bersan (2’51)
5. Les Baricades Mistérieuses (2’28)
6. Les Bergeries (4’09)
7. La Commére (1’50)
8. Le Moucheron (2’10)

Dix-huitième Ordre
9. La Verneüille (4’34)
10. La Verneüilléte (1’38)
11. Sœur Monique (3’56)
12. Le Turbulent (1’49)
13. L’Attendrissante (4’27)
14. Le Tic-Toc-Choc ou Les Maillotins (2’09)
15. Le Gaillard-Boiteux (3’12)

Huitième Ordre
16. La Raphaéle (5’39)
17. Allemande: L’Ausoniéne (2’12)
18. Première Courante (1’41)
19. Seconde Courante (2’28)
20. Sarabande: L’Unique (3’44)
21. Gavotte (1’18)
22. Rondeau (2’11)
23. Gigue (2’38)
24. Passacaille (5’42)
25. La Morinéte (2’19)

We are used to hearing the keyboard music of the great harpsichord masters Bach, Scarlatti, even Handel, played on the piano, but why not that of their contemporary, François Couperin ‘le Grand’? Putting this question to Angela Hewitt initiated appropriate investigation, with the result that she has now taken the jewelled miniatures of the French maître into her repertoire.
This is the first of three CDs devoted to the composer, and includes Ordres 6, 8 and 18 which contain several of his most well-known pieces: Sœur Monique, Le Tic-Toc-Choc, Les Baricades Mistérieuses and the famous Passacaille.

Recorded in Henry Wood Hall, London, on 16-19 December 2002

Buy this record at Hyperion: http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/details/67440.asp

For online sales in Canada, please go to: http://angelahewitt.ca

Sleeve notes
‘By turning her attention to these works, Angela Hewitt may succeed in reviving and popularising Couperin’s enchanting music as no modern-day harpsichordist has been able to do’ (Gramophone)
‘not only fabulously played, but also fine-tuned to the sparkle and finesse of Couperin’s world’ (Classic FM Magazine)

‘Hewitt bridges the gulf between studio and home listener with uncanny directness. An outstanding disc’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘Of all living pianists, Hewitt makes the strongest case for hearing Bach on the piano as opposed to harpsichord. Here, she applies the same staggering technique and intellectual grasp to three suites by François Couperin … outstanding’ (The Independent)

‘Its virtues are those that distinguish her Bach: Clarity of line, delicacy of touch, a sense of rhythm that neither forgets nor overplays the importance of dance in baroque music’ (Independent on Sunday)

‘it is the highest possible compliment to her playing to say that after a very few minutes the listener loses any awareness that this is not the instrument for which they were written … playing of exquisite subtlety and refinement (The Daily Telegraph)

‘crisply articulated and exquisitely musical playing’ (The Sunday Times)

‘In all three of the Ordres here, Hewitt finds plenty of variety, and she is always punctilious in her observation of the nuances of Couperin’s ornamentation’ (The Guardian)

‘the point is of course whether the music is interpreted in a fresh, imaginative way, and that is always the case with Angela Hewitt … here Hewitt has a chance to be witty as well as formidably dextrous – a side to her that is rather attractive’ (Pianist)

‘Angela Hewitt shows that when properly used the piano can project Couperin’s thought with grace and accuracy. Her playing is vividly alive to detail and her choice of tempi is wholly convincing. She is finely recorded. Not to be missed’ (Musical Opinion)

‘Angela Hewitt’s initial foray into the 226 harpsichord pieces of François Couperin, short works that were originally published in 27 Ordres, so deeply appealed to me … poignant music and the superb performances … By instinct, inclination, and training, Angela Hewitt emerges as the perfect interpreter of the music of François Couperin’ (Ottawa Citizen, Canada)

‘particularly haunting, for along with her crisp technique, she adapts many of the expressive devices of the time to the piano’ (Turok’s Choice)

Available audio excerpts from this recording

François Couperin: Les Moissonneurs (2’05)

Reviews of this record

BBC Music Magazine / George Pratt / Couperin’s Keyboard Works – I
ClassicsToday.com / Jed Distler / Couperin: Keyboard Works – I
Ottawa Citizen / Richard Perry / Couperin Keyboard Works I
The Commercial Appeal / Fredric Koeppel / Couperin: Keyboard Works – I