Rameau on Hyperion

2007-01-05 / The Guardian / Andrew Clements

Rameau: Keyboard Suites in E minor, G minor and A minor, Angela Hewitt

Hewitt complements her continuing series of Couperin’s keyboard music with a disc devoted to his younger French contemporary. Rameau’s keyboard suites contain some of his best known music – vividly pictorial movements such as La Poule and L’Egyptienne, both from the G minor suite, and the Tambourin and Le Rappel des Oiseaux, from the E minor, have appeared in countless instrumental arrangements – and all predate the series of stage works begun in 1733 on which his reputation mainly rests today, and in which some of the pieces are recycled.

Hewitt clearly relishes the colour and rhythmic energy of these dance sequences; her performances have a wonderfully fluid stylishness, with scrupulous ornamentation that never seems self-consciously correct, and they are founded upon a willingness to use the full tonal resources of a modern concert grand in a way that seems to make utterly irrelevant any question of what is historically or musicologically correct” in playing this music.”