Couperin & Rameau “en concerts”

Masques revels in the French Baroque in a programme featuring music by its two unrivalled masters, François Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau.

2018 marks 350 years since the birth of that most distinguished member of the Couperin musical dynasty, François “Le Grand.” Best known for his harpsichord works, his “L’Art de toucher le clavecin” and his “Ordres” (suites) brought French keyboard music to new heights. Masques Artistic director and harpsichordist, Olivier Fortin, is marking the occasion with a solo disc of these works (for the ALPHA label), some of which appear on this programme. No less brilliant is Couperin’s chamber music. Masques will perform works for viola da gamba, and selections from his celebrated “Concerts Royaux.” Truly fit for a king, these were written for Louis XIV’s evening entertainments and were published in 1722.

Born just 15 years after Couperin, Jean-Philippe Rameau would become a towering figure in French opera in the generation after Lully. His “Pièces de clavecin en concert” of 1741 marks his only chamber music publication. Highly original, these pieces turn the Italian trio sonata on its head: Rather than the keyboard accompanying the violin, flute or viola da gamba, Rameau anticipates what the piano-forte will be in coming generations with evocative pieces in which the harpsichord, accompanied by melodic instruments, plays the main role.

Distribution

Ensemble Masques

Olivier Fortin,harpsichord
Anne Thivierge, flute
Jasu Moisio, oboe
Sophie Gent, violin
Mélisande Corriveau, bass viol

Programme

First part

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764)
Premier concert from Pièces de clavecin en concerts
– La Coulicam
– La Livri
– Le Vézinet

François COUPERIN
Second prélude from L’Art de toucher le clavecin

Second concert from Concerts Royaux
– Prélude
– Allemande fuguée
– Air tendre
– Air contrefugué
– Échos (rondeau)

Septième prélude from L’Art de toucher le clavecin

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764)
Quatrième concert from Pièces de clavecin en concert
– La Pantomime
– L’indiscrète
– La Rameau

Second part

François COUPERIN
Premier concert from Concerts Royaux
– Prélude
– Allemande
– Sarabande
– Gavotte
– Menuet en trio
– Gigue

Cinquième prélude from L’Art de toucher le clavecin

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU
Troisième concert from Pièces de clavecin en concerts
– La Lapoplinière
– La Timide
– Tambourins

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