GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Mandryka on October 05, 2016, 09:44:34 AM

Title: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 05, 2016, 09:44:34 AM
(http://he3.magnatune.com/music/Colin%20Booth/Louis%20Couperin%20Harpsichord%20Music/cover.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91Nag3HvKeL._SX522_.jpg)

An newish recording  Colin Booth, interesting not least for the instrument, an original 17th century French harpsichord (Nicolas Celini 1661) which is both sweet and muscular, and has a powerful bass response, and is lucid despite being rich, colourful and resonant. It's like a mix of the best of French and Italian harpsichords.  Colin Booth's playing in no way disappointed me, he is dignified and warm and open to the variety of feelings in the music. He has, I think, a distinctively British way of placing the notes, so that the textures never seem to be congested, they always have the space to breath. It's a technique I associate most with Colin Tilney. There are some really wonderful things here.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 07, 2016, 08:30:54 AM
(http://www.musicologie.org/Biographies/c/couperin_louis_01.jpg)

As a matter of fact, this the sole recording Leonhatdt made which is dedicated to Louis Couperin has taken me a long time to get into. Years. Now I think it is a masterpiece.

The reason I found it so challenging  is that Leonhardt avoids any attention seeking behaviour.  He doesn't woo the listener with either obviously virtuosic keyboard effects, or by grabbing on to and emphasising  attractive tunes in the music.

There's a self effacing quality at the emotional level too, and in a rather special sense. It would be grossly misleading to suggest that Leonhardt's style here is cold or "academic" or aloof or inhumane or inexpressive. But I do think that the expression is depersonalised: the emotions are there aplenty, but they're not Leonhardt's emotions: there's never the sense that he is expressing himself rather than expressing the music. That's to say, we have here a performance of great abandon: Leonhardt abandons his own ego.

The result is something which is probably justly described with the word "reticent": when Leonhardt plays he's not saying "me, me, me, just listen to me and what I can do and how intensely I feel the bliss and the pain" And for me, because of that impersonality, that abstraction, it was easy not to bother listening.

But if you do listen, rather than just let it wash over you, its qualities are really remarkable. There's great care to achieve a sort of fluid and continuous quality to the sound, which gives the music an almost languid quality, languid in a positive way: unhurried and relaxed. It's rich at the level of effect, and there's a great sense of forward momentum and pace and living pulse.

Above all there's the rapturous preludes: I think Leonhardt is particularly impressive in the preludes and it makes me wish he would have  been more open to improvisation.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 08, 2016, 08:31:59 AM
(http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0657/5689/products/HS13543-1_grande.jpeg)

Unbelievably tender and introspective and lyrical, this recording by Christopher Hogwood. To my mind his fluid, undramatic and "level-headed", Apollonian style works better here than in Frescobaldi. SQ is distant and IMO pretty truthful: but not what people expect from modern harpsichord recordings.

Two minor key suites and the F major music that everyone plays. I'm beginning to wonder whether LC wasn't more at home in minor keys.

Don Satz put me on to this years ago, the softy! He's got a warm and fuzzy side. Shame there's no Froberger from Hogwood.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on October 08, 2016, 06:48:44 PM
Thanks. I will read these tomorrow or whenever my eyes recover. I am suffering eye strain right now and can't do much more than a cursory look. This composer and these recordings are of interest, definitely!
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 08, 2016, 10:24:10 PM

I'm beginning to wonder whether LC wasn't more at home in minor keys.


This was complete rubbish, though it may well be a reflection of something about Hogwood's style.

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0003/202/MI0003202778.jpg)


Listening again to the complete LC from Egarr I'm struck by the enormous variety of music, and having it all arranged in little suites by key makes me think of WTC. You could maybe the talk about the complexity of the C major music, the tenderness of the D major music and so on. In some of the suites I'm reminded of D'Anglebert, in others Froberger. What I would really like is more information on dating, style and influences: I once read a comment of Davitt Maroney's which suggested that very little is known.

Anyway LC is a composer who I think is satisfying when approached by means of a complete set, and this one by Egarr is imaginative, improvisatory, light, resonant, bold. Richard Egarr can sometimes make the voices collide to produce music of great expressiveness and turbulence and complexity. And at other times he knows how to take you by the hand and lead you through a simple flowing river of melody. And Egarr really can make his quill plectra make soul music: the dynamics and colours and textures are astonishing.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 22, 2016, 10:16:21 AM
(http://cdn.naxos.com/SharedFiles/images/cds/others/8.555936.gif)

Quote from: T S Eliot in East Coker
O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,

This was the poem which sprang to mind on listening to Glen Wilson play Louis Couperin. There is no consolation in the emotions he finds in the music, apart from the consolation knowing that someone suffers like you do. It is a Frobergian Louis Couperin - late Froberger, Froberger contemplating his own death. There is no joy, or not for long. The whole CD is a sort of essay on the horror of the human condition.

Truthful sound, distant, like when you hear a harpsichord from the audience. Copy of a Ruckers, resonant and rich, shades of grey, red rather than kaleidoscopic. Good choice for Wilson's majestic conception.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 23, 2016, 09:38:48 AM


Does anyone have the CD that Glen Wilson made for his Breitkopf edition of the preludes?
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: (: premont :) on October 23, 2016, 11:33:07 AM

Does anyone have the CD that Glen Wilson made for his Breitkopf edition of the preludes?

You have prompted me to order the edition including the CD.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 23, 2016, 09:30:14 PM
You have prompted me to order the edition including the CD.

I hope you will play some of them yourself and post them on YouTube for us to hear.

Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 28, 2016, 02:24:56 AM
(http://pxhst.co/avaxhome/34/3d/00113d34_medium.jpeg)


Blandine Verlet's Louis Couperin, the first CD.

At first I thought that part of my frustration on listening to this recording was due to the Ruckers (Colmar.) It sounds rich and powerful, and it's  well recorded, but I prefer the greater brilliance and muscularity of Italian instruments in this music. Louis Couperin sounds most excellent on an instrument which has the sonorities of a lute and a harp; I say this  while acknowledging and relishing the extraordinary beauty and refinement and colouration and resonances of the Colmar Ruckers.

But that's only part of the reason for my frustration, Surprisingly given her reputation for impetuousness, Verlet is mostly sweet and lyrical with the the music. She has a tendency to prefer seamless flow over rhetoric and spontaneity. In short, in this CD at least, Verlet's Louis Couperin wrote "belle musique", it's as if she wants to stress his closeness to Chambonnières.  This is not the only way to play Louis of course, and it's not the way which I'm most respondent to.

One exception to this is the tombeau for Blancrocher, where she brings out the dissonances really effectively, and the wonderful Allemande which follows it is also memorable.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 28, 2016, 04:44:46 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51LEzFzVxTL.jpg)

Jan Willem Jansen at St Michel de Thiérache. Perfect instrument well recorded, I think this is an unfaultable recording, just the right degree of interiority, his sense of love and wonder in the music somehow comes across. Registrations colourful without being flamboyant. What Jansen does seems always totally natural, his ego kind of disappears, which is what I like. Even the sound engineering is spot on, with a certain ambiance but everything sounds crisp - you could imagine yourself sitting in a pew. I could not feel more positive.

Always good to hear French music played without too much court swagger, this is spiritual music, for the soul. And a plus is that it predates the Louis XIV formula.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: aukhawk on October 28, 2016, 02:13:07 PM
I'm beginning to wonder whether LC wasn't more at home in minor keys.

Aren't we all?  :-X
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 29, 2016, 09:54:51 AM
(http://direct-ns.rhap.com/imageserver/v2/albums/Alb.53001513/images/500x500.jpg)

Asperen's style in this the second instalment for Aeolus is

1. Psychological. That's to say Asperen reveals a music with surprising mood swings.

2. Spontaneous. The rubato and changes in tempo and volume make the music sound like an intense spontaneous outpouring. The rubato is particularly impressive because it is so natural. I know this is an odd thing to say, but Asperen here reminds me of Sofronitsky at his greatest (eg the Schubert op 90/3 from May 5th 1960 - never off Melodiya LP I'm afraid.)

3. Not so well recorded - too much reverberation. Shame that, 'cause the Vaudry at the V and A is nice and suits the music to a tee. The perspective is good - you're in the audience, not too close to the instrument.

4. Very different from Leonhardt. Listening to it I felt strongly that over time Asperen's style, particularly the freedom of his relation to the basic pulse, is very different from that of his erstwhile colleague Gustav Leonhardt.

5. Not at all genteel. That's to say, he relishes, indeed creates, asperities and dissonances. One is constantly being jolted by an unexpected rhythm etc.

6 Fluid. Given (5) it's remarkable that there is such a strong feeling of momentum forward. The play is so "rhetorical", the articulation is so "small cell" that the danger that the structure of a complete movement gets lost. But somehow he carried it off. Such is the paradoxical nature of great music.

Basically I think this is a great recording, marred by disappointing sound engineering.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on December 05, 2016, 10:20:03 PM
You have prompted me to order the edition including the CD.

http://www.glenwilson.eu/partituur.jpg

In this essay, Glen Wilson talks about the restraint and the sobriety of his approach to rubato for Froberger, his attitude towards inner life, my guess the same sort of considerations apply to his Louis Couperin too.

In the absence of a serious book on Froberger, the essay is the best thing I've read on the composer.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on July 09, 2017, 05:34:40 AM
(https://images.cdbaby.name/k/a/karenflint8.jpg)

Karen Flint. All the interest comes from the melody in the top voice. There's hardly any drama through interplay of voices. It's über-lyrical, not a jolting rhythm in sight. Emotionally level headed, we're not in a world of  mood swings. There's a feeling of routine about the impeccable playing, it never really seems to take off. Good pair of Ruckers, well recorded. Having said that I've been enjoying Asperen's recordings so much I've started to think that the music really sounds at it's best on French harpsichords. It runs to 4 CDs so it may well be more complete than anything else around.

I may have missed something, let me know if you think I'm not being fair to Karen Flint.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on July 09, 2017, 05:39:52 AM
(http://direct-ns.rhap.com/imageserver/v2/albums/Alb.53001513/images/500x500.jpg)

Asperen's style in this the second instalment for Aeolus is

1. Psychological. That's to say Asperen reveals a music with surprising mood swings.

2. Spontaneous. The rubato and changes in tempo and volume make the music sound like an intense spontaneous outpouring. The rubato is particularly impressive because it is so natural. I know this is an odd thing to say, but Asperen here reminds me of Sofronitsky at his greatest (eg the Schubert op 90/3 from May 5th 1960 - never off Melodiya LP I'm afraid.)

3. Not so well recorded - too much reverberation. Shame that, 'cause the Vaudry at the V and A is nice and suits the music to a tee. The perspective is good - you're in the audience, not too close to the instrument.

4. Very different from Leonhardt. Listening to it I felt strongly that over time Asperen's style, particularly the freedom of his relation to the basic pulse, is very different from that of his erstwhile colleague Gustav Leonhardt.

5. Not at all genteel. That's to say, he relishes, indeed creates, asperities and dissonances. One is constantly being jolted by an unexpected rhythm etc.

6 Fluid. Given (5) it's remarkable that there is such a strong feeling of momentum forward. The play is so "rhetorical", the articulation is so "small cell" that the danger that the structure of a complete movement gets lost. But somehow he carried it off. Such is the paradoxical nature of great music.

Basically I think this is a great recording, marred by disappointing sound engineering.

I have revisited this one and I find myself in complete agreement with my former self. Vol 3 from the same series, on an anachronistic anonymous French instrument, may well be even more successful - less preoccupied with small musical gestures, more of a sense of long singing line, but still lots of inner life.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91u-SniJ2ML._SX522_.jpg)

Anyway I just want to wax lyrical about Bob van Asperen, the Cortot of the harpsichord. I chose Cortot carefully, a pianist who brought Dionysus, who brought opium to the music. It's the disturbing and probing psychological depth of the two musicians, when they're at their best, which makes them so special.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on July 17, 2017, 11:13:43 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0000/965/MI0000965284.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

Noelle Spieth. Eloquent, she knows how to make the music convincing, like an argument which leads inevitably from premise to conclusion. Not too lyrical, the voices interrupt each other to produce a rough, uneven surface, far from the lyricism of Verlet or Flint. And that roughness never sounds gratuitous, always expressive. And that expressiveness reveals the emotional changeability of LC's music. Nicely recorded French sounding harpsichord. There's a magisterial seriousness about her style, but there's no sense of austerity. 
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on September 23, 2017, 01:18:02 AM
(https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41lY4e%2BpkAL._SS500.jpg)
I'm listening to this this evening. I passed on this listening to this before because I love the L. Couperin recording by Skip Sempe so much - I just couldn't focus on this at the time. This is a program built around the instrument: Louis Denis in 1658. I think it's a great-sounding instrument, perhaps it sounds more like an Italian than a German? Marville delivers an introspective performance of introspective music. This is a very hardy (and throaty) instrument with a nice bite. French music is about mood and spontaneity and Marville brings across the drama. I think I shall listen to Van Asperen a bit too. 
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on September 23, 2017, 03:36:04 AM
The cover of that CD is a bit misleading because there's quite a bit of Froberger in there, and even some Chambonnieres.

What Marville does really well I think is make it sound like a plucked instrument, which may be no bad thing in French music from this time. I like her style, but not as much as Giulia Nuti's recording on the same instrument. Nuti makes the music sound as emotionally changeable as birds singing. That's what I want French music to sound like now - birdsong, lots of different bird species all singing at the same time in a forest. I also hear a greater sense of intense engagement in Nuti, but this may be just my mood when I've listened, I'm not sure.

There's also Rousset to take into account, who recorded LC on the Louis Denis. But in truth I don't think he drives it as well as Nuti or indeed Marville, though this may be a feature of the recording - he has other strengths maybe.

If you do decide to listen to Asperen remember he has an early recording too, on EMI.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on September 23, 2017, 03:40:47 AM
The cover of that CD is a bit misleading because there's quite a bit of Froberger in there, and even some Chambonnieres.

What Marville does really well I think is make it sound like a plucked instrument, which may be no bad thing in French music from this time. I like her style, but not as much as Giulia Nuti's recording on the same instrument. Nuti makes the music sound as emotionally changeable as birds singing. That's what I want French music to sound like now - birdsong. I also hear a greater sense of intense engagement in Nuti, but this may be just my mood when I've listened, I'm not sure.

There's also Rousset to take into account, who recorded LC on the Louis Denis. But in truth I don't think he drives it as well as Nuti or indeed Marville, though this may be a feature of the recording - he has other strengths maybe.
I'd like to find the Giulia Nuti. I'm gong to look around. The Rousset never clicked with me. Sempe is my favorite. It's one of my favorite recordings, period. Have you ever heard the Wladyslaw Klosiewicz Froberger?
(https://i.scdn.co/image/4d2500b5e107e4b0c428e3ce5d295a0265f4f871)
I really like the sound of the Denis.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on September 23, 2017, 03:48:18 AM
Check out Klosiewicz's extraordinary Scarlatti!
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on September 23, 2017, 03:56:20 AM
Check out Klosiewicz's extraordinary Scarlatti!
I downloaded Nuti and am enjoying it presently. I'll look at the Scarlatti, but perhaps I should watch my budget. Hmm...Nuti is grand! The chaconne of Chambonnières F major!
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on September 23, 2017, 04:08:57 AM
but perhaps I should watch my budget.

Un linceul n'a pas de poches.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on September 23, 2017, 04:34:41 AM
 
Un linceul n'a pas de poches.
:laugh: But I just found out I'm to be a dad.  :o Gotta save those pennies.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on September 23, 2017, 05:19:47 AM
  :laugh: But I just found out I'm to be a dad.  :o Gotta save those pennies.



(http://cdn.mdjunction.com/components/com_joomlaboard/uploaded/images/Congratulations_Baby.gif)
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Florestan on September 23, 2017, 05:29:25 AM
But I just found out I'm to be a dad. 

Great news! Congratulations!
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: North Star on September 23, 2017, 09:20:27 AM
  :laugh: But I just found out I'm to be a dad.  :o Gotta save those pennies.
Congratulations!
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on September 23, 2017, 03:42:55 PM


(http://cdn.mdjunction.com/components/com_joomlaboard/uploaded/images/Congratulations_Baby.gif)
Thanks so much! I will be an "old dad."
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on September 23, 2017, 03:43:16 PM
Great news! Congratulations!
THank you my friend!
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on September 23, 2017, 03:43:45 PM
Congratulations!
Very kind. Thank you.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Omicron9 on October 03, 2017, 06:58:11 AM
I own/love the Egarr set.  Is that the only complete recording of these works?
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 03, 2017, 07:48:01 AM
I own/love the Egarr set.  Is that the only complete recording of these works?

I don't know, I'd always assumed that Karen Flint is completer but I haven't checked. Neither have I checked against Asperen and Verlet and Moroney.

And anyway there's organ music to think about too,

Has anyone else tried Flint, I really can't get along with it.

Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on October 03, 2017, 03:44:36 PM
I don't know, I'd always assumed that Karen Flint is completer but I haven't checked. Neither have I checked against Asperen and Verlet and Moroney.

And anyway there's organ music to think about too,

Has anyone else tried Flint, I really can't get along with it.
I thought Van Asperen had a complete one?
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 03, 2017, 08:03:25 PM
I thought Van Asperen had a complete one?

What I don't know is how whether new music is been  found between Asperen and Flint.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Omicron9 on October 04, 2017, 04:17:37 AM
Fascinating.  I'd not heard of Karen Flint or this recording.  Amazon shows it as complete:

https://www.amazon.com/Louis-Couperin-Complete-Works-Harpsichord/dp/B072845PPZ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1507119381&sr=1-1&keywords=louis+couperin+complete+harpsichord (https://www.amazon.com/Louis-Couperin-Complete-Works-Harpsichord/dp/B072845PPZ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1507119381&sr=1-1&keywords=louis+couperin+complete+harpsichord)

Has anyone heard it?
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 04, 2017, 08:28:42 AM
Fascinating.  I'd not heard of Karen Flint or this recording.  Amazon shows it as complete:

https://www.amazon.com/Louis-Couperin-Complete-Works-Harpsichord/dp/B072845PPZ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1507119381&sr=1-1&keywords=louis+couperin+complete+harpsichord (https://www.amazon.com/Louis-Couperin-Complete-Works-Harpsichord/dp/B072845PPZ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1507119381&sr=1-1&keywords=louis+couperin+complete+harpsichord)

Has anyone heard it?

Yes but I do not like the way she plays the music, I think it is too lyrical.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on October 04, 2017, 06:42:04 PM
This was complete rubbish, though it may well be a reflection of something about Hogwood's style.

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0003/202/MI0003202778.jpg)


Listening again to the complete LC from Egarr I'm struck by the enormous variety of music, and having it all arranged in little suites by key makes me think of WTC. You could maybe the talk about the complexity of the C major music, the tenderness of the D major music and so on. In some of the suites I'm reminded of D'Anglebert, in others Froberger. What I would really like is more information on dating, style and influences: I once read a comment of Davitt Maroney's which suggested that very little is known.

Anyway LC is a composer who I think is satisfying when approached by means of a complete set, and this one by Egarr is imaginative, improvisatory, light, resonant, bold. Richard Egarr can sometimes make the voices collide to produce music of great expressiveness and turbulence and complexity. And at other times he knows how to take you by the hand and lead you through a simple flowing river of melody. And Egarr really can make his quill plectra make soul music: the dynamics and colours and textures are astonishing.
Egarr takes such a different approach to Couperin than Froberger. Is it just his appreciation for the difference in style?
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 04, 2017, 09:08:26 PM
Egarr takes such a different approach to Couperin than Froberger. Is it just his appreciation for the difference in style?

The froberger is a much earlier recording, there's an early Louis Couperin recording here, I prefer the later style.

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0000/999/MI0000999078.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on October 04, 2017, 09:57:24 PM
The froberger is a much earlier recording, there's an early Louis Couperin recording here, I prefer the later style.

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0000/999/MI0000999078.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)
I see. But I like his Froberger. It's a total outlier among recordings. The Couperin sounds much more like what other great harpsichordists do. And it's unmistakably French in style (the music and his approach). But with Froberger, he doesn't try for much drama. The Froberger is so specific.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Omicron9 on October 05, 2017, 06:38:47 AM
Additionally: the Egarr set on Harmonia Mundi is very nicely recorded.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 05, 2017, 07:00:56 AM
I see. But I like his Froberger. It's a total outlier among recordings. The Couperin sounds much more like what other great harpsichordists do. And it's unmistakably French in style (the music and his approach). But with Froberger, he doesn't try for much drama. The Froberger is so specific.

Maybe, I'm  not sure. Certainly the second LC is dramatic, the first I'm not sure, I don't like it so I never listen.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on February 02, 2018, 10:56:40 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51zpCNIk9OL.jpg)

Extremely sweet performances by Andrew Lawrence King. A part of the interest comes from the harp effects , highly contrasted timbres and textures and volumes. The harp can produce a teardrop tone which makes the Tombeau for Blancrocher verge on the maudlin, and this is sometimes melodramatically contrasted with rougher timbres. The liaison between notes is sometimes quite legato, producing a sing song effect. The sustain of the instrument shrouds everything in a warm glow.

Not really my cup of tea I don't think.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: (: premont :) on February 02, 2018, 11:57:28 AM
Extremely sweet performances by Andrew Lawrence King. A part of the interest comes from the harp effects , highly contrasted timbres and textures and volumes. The harp can produce a teardrop tone which makes the Tombeau for Blancrocher verge on the maudlin, and this is sometimes melodramatically contrasted with rougher timbres. The liaison between notes is sometimes quite legato, producing a sing song effect. The sustain of the instrument shrouds everything in a warm glow.

Not really my cup of tea I don't think.

The conclusion is what I expected.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on May 29, 2018, 06:46:38 AM
(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0001/047/MI0001047289.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

This is van Asperen’s first Louis Couperin CD. I think it is particularly well recorded on an attractive Dutch instrument; the three cds on Aeolus all use French harpsichords. He moves the music forward, but without preventing us from savouring the resonances and colours of the instrument. His style is full of contrasts of mood and tone and touch and texture. Asperen always plays here with great vitality, and at his best there’s a tremendous feeling of jubilation. The performances are “wide awake”, there’s not a sense of the oneiric. There is often a sense of intense focus, the feeling of a man really engaged with getting to the bottom of the poetry in the music - this is an Asperen gift which I very much admire - it’s one of his main strengths as a musician IMO. His approach makes the playing sound effortless, but no one could say he’s distant. Altogether a great recording despite the unidiomatic harpsichord.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on June 13, 2018, 02:03:41 AM
(https://is1-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Music118/v4/33/c3/28/33c328b8-8ccb-4797-399d-bc33f82a09b9/034571282244.jpg/268x0w.jpg) this is interesting.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on June 13, 2018, 06:39:31 AM
(https://is1-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Music118/v4/33/c3/28/33c328b8-8ccb-4797-399d-bc33f82a09b9/034571282244.jpg/268x0w.jpg) this is interesting.

I thought his Chopin mazurkas were OK, light and fresh.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: (: premont :) on June 13, 2018, 11:23:01 AM
(https://is1-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Music118/v4/33/c3/28/33c328b8-8ccb-4797-399d-bc33f82a09b9/034571282244.jpg/268x0w.jpg) this is interesting.

Louis Couperin on piano? What for?
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on June 13, 2018, 11:49:10 AM
Louis Couperin on piano? What for?
I wonder how many ways a young pianist can distinguish themselves these days? Maybe some will say there's always room for more Chopin but the field is pretty crowded. 
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on June 28, 2018, 08:11:32 AM
Re the Louis Couperin on this LP

(http://www.ambergreen-classical.co.uk/ekmps/shops/padmagupta/images/leonhardt.-french-masterpieces-.vics-1370-24921-p.jpg)

According to discogs it consists of the Blancrocher Tombeau and a suite in D

https://www.discogs.com/Gustav-Leonhardt-French-Harpsichord-Masterpieces/release/5620890

I believe the suite was transferred onto this CD

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41oFt3t744L.jpg)

In fact, all but the D major suite was issued on this CD, which is, unfortunately, the one that I have, though I do get the pavane as some sort of consolation

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51hHLkgFn4L.jpg)

If anyone has the D major suite, could they let me have it?  I'll swop it for the pavane.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: (: premont :) on June 28, 2018, 09:33:18 AM
Re the Louis Couperin on this LP


According to discogs it consists of the Blancrocher Tombeau and a suite in D

https://www.discogs.com/Gustav-Leonhardt-French-Harpsichord-Masterpieces/release/5620890

I believe the suite was transferred onto this CD

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41oFt3t744L.jpg)

In fact, all but the D major suite was issued on this CD, which is, unfortunately, the one that I have, though I do get the pavane as some sort of consolation

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51hHLkgFn4L.jpg)

If anyone has the D major suite, could they let me have it?  I'll swop it for the pavane.


The one you own is also the one I own. I have ordered the other one (with the D major suite) from an AMP seller.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on June 28, 2018, 12:35:43 PM
Here's a very good Leonhardt discography

http://users.libero.it/enrico.gustav/Leonhardt/home.htm
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on June 29, 2018, 09:13:57 AM
https://youtube.com/v/T591jCiCG28

This is Roland Götz playing a pavane by Chambonnières, one or two things by D'Anglebert and a Louis Couperin suite and Tombeau. As far as I can see it’s never been off LP, which is a shame because it’s not without interest.

Oh there’s a bit of François Couperin and Rameau too.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: (: premont :) on June 30, 2018, 03:11:11 AM
https://youtube.com/v/T591jCiCG28

This is Roland Götz playing a pavane by Chambonnières, one or two things by D'Anglebert and a Louis Couperin suite and Tombeau. As far as I can see it’s never been off LP, which is a shame because it’s not without interest.

Oh there’s a bit of François Couperin and Rameau too.


"May contain traces of Francois Couperin" - allergy sufferers are warned. :)

Recorded before 1980, so concerning informed style of performance Götz was indeed ahead of his time.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on July 13, 2018, 02:17:23 PM
(https://is1-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Music118/v4/33/c3/28/33c328b8-8ccb-4797-399d-bc33f82a09b9/034571282244.jpg/268x0w.jpg) this is interesting.
In the end, I did not enjoy this. Not only does he find it hard to resist dynamics, but I can’t help but but feel that he doesn’t get LC. For me, this is too sunny and lacking intensity. For piano, I believe a different approach is warrented.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on July 13, 2018, 09:38:59 PM
Here's Luc Beausejour playing a famous bit on a modern piano, not my cup of tea.

https://www.youtube.com/v/5sNBHmpnnVA
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on July 14, 2018, 12:40:39 AM
Here's Luc Beausejour playing a famous bit on a modern piano, not my cup of tea.

https://www.youtube.com/v/5sNBHmpnnVA
Video unavailable now...It's really tricky pulling off early baroque. L Couperin is atmospheric music. Seems like some pianists don't take it that way?
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: (: premont :) on July 14, 2018, 01:40:15 AM
Video unavailable now...It's really tricky pulling off early baroque. L Couperin is atmospheric music. Seems like some pianists don't take it that way?


Also for me. I have searched it on you tube, but can't find it. Did he upload it himself?
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on July 14, 2018, 01:44:12 AM
It’s from this

(http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wcrb/files/styles/medium/public/201608/luc_beausejour_baroque_session_on_piano_album_artwork_500x5001.jpg)

Quote from: Luc Beauséjour here https://www.analekta.com/en/albums/beausejour-moments-baroques-au-piano/
The repertoire on this recording was written for harpsichord during the Baroque period, generally considered to span the years 1600 to 1750. While many pianists have played Bach, Scarlatti, Handel, Rameau, and even Couperin and Froberger, few harpsichordists have come to the defence of the harpsichord repertoire on the modern piano. The idea was born during a meeting with Analekta president, François Mario Labbé. I was submitting some recording proposals for harpsichord and clavichord, and he asked me, “Why not make a CD of piano music?” Somewhat taken aback, I asked for a few days to think about it. Not long after, I suggested a program that would not only include harpsichord repertoire already covered by pianists–Bach, Scarlatti, and Handel– but would also feature some lesser-known works.

In compiling this program, I played for several friends on various occasions to get their opinions. After reading through quite a number of works, I selected those that appealed to me most and that I felt worked best on the piano. Some pieces borrowed from the harpsichord repertoire sound very good on the piano, but I quickly realized that not all Baroque repertoire lends itself to the modern instrument with equal satisfaction. Highly ornamented works are generally less pleasing on piano and more diffi cult to perform than on harpsichord. Similarly, contrapuntal works or works in a polyphonic style also require a great deal of adaptation. This is due not to how the piano produces sound (hammered strings) but rather to the nature of that sound and to the characteristics of the piano’s different registers. For example, creating defi nition for the inner voices of a Bach fugue is much harder on a piano than on a harpsichord. The thicker texture of the piano’s tenor and bass registers necessarily reduces the clarity of the music.

One other thing I soon noticed was the essential need to produce a wide range of dynamics within a piece. The fugue again provides the best example. On the harpsichord, the lack of dynamics is compensated for by its timbre, which provides great clarity in all voices. However, though all the voices of a fugue should have equal prominence, it is necessary on the piano to bring out one or more of them over the others so as not to obscure or flatten the polyphony.

One of the obvious differences between the harpsichord and the piano is the duration of sound; contrary to what one might think, however, this has a limited infl uence on phrasing and on how the music plays out. On the other hand, the piano’s pedal can be put to interesting use in many cases; if it doesn’t muddle the harmonies, the pedal can produce marvellous “watercolour” effects. I am often asked how harpsichordists play legato on their instrument without a sustain pedal. The answer is found in, among other sources, Rameau’s ornamentation table, in which he illustrates how to extend the resonance of one note over the next–which he called surlegato, or “overlegato”. This technique connects the notes and even makes the fi rst note sound louder than the second, since the fi rst’s resonance slightly covers the second’s attack. There are many examples in Bach’s two-voice works in which he directs the performer to extend the sound of certain notes to increase the harpsichord’s resonance.

To make a plucked string instrument speak expressively, the performer must use different articulations, just as a singer must enunciate consonants. These articulations consist of short bits of silence inserted between notes and that make certain notes stand out, creating a kind of hierarchy that helps listeners to understand the music. The piano and clavichord take a different approach, however. There is less emphasis on the notion of articulation, and musical expression is created more through contrasts, accents, crescendos and decrescendos–in short through a wide range of nuances and colours.

To give the harpsichord a pleasing sound, it is often necessary to incorporate subtle arpeggiation, slight offsets between bass and treble, or clear arpeggios in chords. On the piano, however, arpeggiation is required much less frequently. As a harpsichordist, it has been fascinating to play a program of harpsichord works on the piano. It has shown me that certain works can benefi t from the clarity imparted by the techniques of a plucked string instrument. They work much better when approached by way of the 17th and 18th centuries rather than the 19th and 20th centuries. On the other hand, some pieces, like Louis Couperin’s Pavane in F-sharp minor or the first part of the work by Böhm on this recording, lend themselves to a freer style and, in my opinion, must be rethought in truly pianistic terms.

This robustly pianistinc approach to the music seems to me very wrongheaded! Is this really true?

Quote
It is necessary on the piano to bring out one or more of them [the voices of a fugue] over the others so as not to obscure or flatten the polyphony.

I suppose it would sound flat if he refused himself rhythmic rubato and ornamentation.

Or this? There’s more colour possibilities in a clavichord or old harpsichord than a modern piano!

Quote
There is less emphasis on the notion of articulation, and musical expression is created more through contrasts, accents, crescendos and decrescendos–in short through a wide range of nuances and colours.

And I wonder what exactly  “freer style” means? Style like a Chopin nocturne?

Quote
On the other hand, some pieces, like Louis Couperin’s Pavane in F-sharp minor or the first part of the work by Böhm on this recording, lend themselves to a freer style and, in my opinion, must be rethought in truly pianistic terms.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: (: premont :) on July 14, 2018, 02:47:41 AM
I have listened to the clips from this recording on the JPC site. I am immediately offput by the sound of this piano (or maybe rather the sound of his touch) and the equal tuning. About his style of performance I find it very conventional and not particularly pianistic nor re-thought, So even if I agree with much of his comments, I do not quite hear the results in his playing. You only need to compare with Rübsam's or Virginia Black's piano recordings (both excellent organ or harpsichord players too), which both have a very distinct and revelatory individual style.

It is true, that one on a piano often needs to emphasize the middle voices discretely in a fugue in order to make them stand out from muddy piano sound.

And this:

Quote Beausejour: The piano and clavichord take a different approach, however. There is less emphasis on the notion of articulation, and musical expression is created more through contrasts, accents, crescendos and decrescendos–in short through a wide range of nuances and colours.

is also true.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on July 15, 2018, 11:03:43 PM
I recall enjoying Alan Feinberg, Francesco Tristano and Andrew Rangell's approach to early English baroque. I have to go back and see why I responded to it. Does it seem that early baroque is trickier for pianists than later? There are countless fine performances of Bach and Handel. On another note, just listening again to Skip Sempe's Couperin and it's electric. It's like on fire! Maybe it's just not possible to do that on a piano. 
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on September 19, 2018, 11:56:45 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81dVPB501sL._SY355_.jpg)

My initial impression is that this is a very well balanced and level headed recording, that’s to say  it strikes a good balance between lyricism and a more turbulent style. The LH interrupts the melody in the right, as it were, but not so much as to break the melody up, just enough to give the music some relief, to prevent flatness. I like it. And of course it sounds very good.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Traverso on September 20, 2018, 03:33:48 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81dVPB501sL._SY355_.jpg)

My initial impression is that this is a very well balanced and level headed recording, that’s to say  it strikes a good balance between lyricism and a more turbulent style. The LH interrupts the melody in the right, as it were, but not so much as to break the melody up, just enough to give the music some relief, to prevent flatness. I like it. And of course it sounds very good.

I have listened to some samples and I liked what I have heard and indeed a very refined recording.Still waiting however for vol.4 with Bob van Asperen.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on November 07, 2018, 10:44:54 PM
https://youtube.com/v/NaV6Y40oB7E

This is Blandine Verlet’s 1972 recording on a Hemsch, as far as I know it’s never been off LP. Eloquent, urgent, surprising, light, radical, dazzling. Above she communicates superbly her love for the music. 
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Irons on November 08, 2018, 12:45:12 AM
https://youtube.com/v/NaV6Y40oB7E

This is Blandine Verlet’s 1972 recording on a Hemsch, as far as I know it’s never been off LP. Eloquent, urgent, surprising, light, radical, dazzling. Above she communicates superbly her love for the music.

Brilliant playing, perhaps recorded a little too closely which may be due to the YouTube transfer. I have Zuzana Ruzickova's recording of these forever inventive pieces.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on November 08, 2018, 01:22:22 AM
https://youtube.com/v/NaV6Y40oB7E

This is Blandine Verlet’s 1972 recording on a Hemsch, as far as I know it’s never been off LP. Eloquent, urgent, surprising, light, radical, dazzling. Above she communicates superbly her love for the music.
I wonder if these are the same ones streaming on Amazon. There's an edition there released 1990
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on November 08, 2018, 02:00:33 AM
I wonder if these are the same ones streaming on Amazon. There's an edition there released 1990

No, they are different and IMO this one from 1972 is better
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on November 08, 2018, 04:05:31 AM
No, they are different and IMO this one from 1972 is better
Ah!
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on November 08, 2018, 02:10:53 PM
Brilliant playing, perhaps recorded a little too closely which may be due to the YouTube transfer. I have Zuzana Ruzickova's recording of these forever inventive pieces.

I didn’t know Ruzikova recorded Louis Couperin.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: (: premont :) on November 08, 2018, 02:44:18 PM
I didn’t know Ruzikova recorded Louis Couperin.

I would become very surprised if she did.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Jo498 on November 09, 2018, 12:22:06 AM
Ruzickova probably did a Francois Couperin recital. This this maybe the only forum where Louis seems to be discussed more frequently than Francois le Grand, so the confusion is somewhat understandable.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 09, 2018, 04:39:57 AM
Ruzickova probably did a Francois Couperin recital. This this maybe the only forum where Louis seems to be discussed more frequently than Francois le Grand, so the confusion is somewhat understandable.

Meaning François le grand no discourtesy, this sort of re-emphasis is one of many things I love about GMG.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on December 10, 2018, 12:15:50 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61AD7n5701L._SS500.jpg)
Booth must have come up recently in this thread? This is an interesting recording. The instrument is recorded very up-close and dry with crisp sound. Unlike Sempe, Booth is not presenting a wild, passionate, Louis but a mournful one. I think Booth understands French music well. Next, I want to go back to Van Asperen's L. Couperin to listen more closely. I like Booth even though he's not my first choice. 
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on February 16, 2019, 07:55:24 AM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/94/99/0886445649994_600.jpg)

Yes I know, it's Couperin on piano. (And I still have mixed feelings about the Kolesnikov.) Any opinions despite that?


He’s put his hands on a good piano, I haven’t got the booklet so I can’t say what it is or how it’s been tuned.  He sometimes uses the timbres in the upper registers very effectively.

He’s developed a distinctive touch - the liaison between adjacent notes. He doesn’t use it all the time of course.  It makes the music sound jittery.

He sometimes finds a singing melody, and fix things up so that all the othe voices support or dance round it, rather than than interrupt it.

But these two things - jittery portato in one hand and cantabile in the other - make quite a distinctive sound, one which is far from smooth and polished. This is quite original as far as I know.

There’s quite a bit of variety of touch and tone.

Hats off to him for having a go at the unmeasured music, IMO rather nicely done.

He can play quite loudly sometimes.

Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on February 17, 2019, 05:22:29 AM

He’s put his hands on a good piano, I haven’t got the booklet so I can’t say what it is or how it’s been tuned.  He sometimes uses the timbres in the upper registers very effectively.

He’s developed a distinctive touch - the liaison between adjacent notes. He doesn’t use it all the time of course.  It makes the music sound jittery.

He sometimes finds a singing melody, and fix things up so that all the othe voices support or dance round it, rather than than interrupt it.

But these two things - jittery portato in one hand and cantabile in the other - make quite a distinctive sound, one which is far from smooth and polished. This is quite original as far as I know.

There’s quite a bit of variety of touch and tone.

Hats off to him for having a go at the unmeasured music, IMO rather nicely done.

He can play quite loudly sometimes.
I wish I could get ahold of this. It's not been released widely in the American venues. Not on Amazon, iTunes, etc. It looks much better than Pavel Kolesnikov.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on February 17, 2019, 05:38:24 AM
Can’t you order it directly from Challenge Records?

I just compared Chalmeau and Luc Beauséjour in the pavan because of this comment on the review on musicweb

Quote
Luc Beauséjour (Analekta) and Moira Lo Bianco (Steinway & Sons) – I was struck by the greater crispness and level of ornamentation in their playing compared to that of Chalmeau. His style borders on the Romantic and certainly contrasts with that of Angela Hewitt, for example.

I’m not a great admirer of Luc Beauséjour.

Anyway, I think that when you’re thinking about Louis Couperin on a piano, the thing to consider first is how the music could be made to work on a clavichord.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on February 17, 2019, 06:59:11 AM
Can’t you order it directly from Challenge Records?

I just compared Chalmeau and Luc Beauséjour in the pavan because of this comment on the review on musicweb

I’m not a great admirer of Luc Beauséjour.

Anyway, I think that when you’re thinking about Louis Couperin on a piano, the thing to consider first is how the music could be made to work on a clavichord.
I don't own a cd player. I can probably find an indirect way to get it but there's no American online service that carries it for downloading. None that I can see. Let's see. I'll report back on what I think.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on February 17, 2019, 07:37:20 AM
Let me know if you want me to get it for you from Qobuz.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: (: premont :) on February 17, 2019, 07:59:38 AM
I’m not a great admirer of Luc Beauséjour.

He is very variable, but it is beyond doubt that he has released at least some excellent recordings, e.g. Bach on pedal harpsichord. Also his J. K. Fischer recordings (Naxos) in a certainly not crowded field deserve mention. And then there is this impressive recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4rUAkJiNZM
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on February 17, 2019, 08:36:13 AM
lso his J. K. Fischer recordings (Naxos) in a certainly not crowded field deserve mention.


Another Musical Parnassus here, I've not managed to enjoy this music.

http://www.fernandodeluca.it/audio-m48usf83Ge567FGhtxWm48usfz3Ge567jGhtxWm48usf83Ga567Fkhtx1-2k10/json/_gfharpsichord.php?sdc_ref=a2010_09.json
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on February 18, 2019, 04:21:33 PM

He’s put his hands on a good piano, I haven’t got the booklet so I can’t say what it is or how it’s been tuned.  He sometimes uses the timbres in the upper registers very effectively.

He’s developed a distinctive touch - the liaison between adjacent notes. He doesn’t use it all the time of course.  It makes the music sound jittery.

He sometimes finds a singing melody, and fix things up so that all the othe voices support or dance round it, rather than than interrupt it.

But these two things - jittery portato in one hand and cantabile in the other - make quite a distinctive sound, one which is far from smooth and polished. This is quite original as far as I know.

There’s quite a bit of variety of touch and tone.

Hats off to him for having a go at the unmeasured music, IMO rather nicely done.

He can play quite loudly sometimes.
I'm enjoying this quite a bit. Music Web didn't like this much because of his selection of pieces; too same-y they said. That's why I like it though. How would you compare this to Pavel Kolesnikov? I wonder if I should give that one another chance? I thought it was too much cantabile.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on August 05, 2019, 02:22:33 AM
Here's one for Milk

https://www.youtube.com/v/KY3lY1ZVup8
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on August 07, 2019, 10:15:26 PM
Here's one for Milk

https://www.youtube.com/v/KY3lY1ZVup8
Indeed! That’s a pleasure. Guitar kind of equals everything out and make baroque sound like Impressionism.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on August 14, 2019, 05:55:21 AM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/wa/lx/rndlowsdelxwa_600.jpg)


I think this is absolutely fabulous and rather original for the “rhetorical” way he plays the preludes, it’s something he mentions in the booklet but when you hear it in action it has quite an effect. He thinks, basically, that LC’s preludes have nothing to do with lute music and everything to do with Italianate toccatas, apparently it’s an idea he’s filched from Moroney. In practice that means that the music is clearly punctuated into large sections, each of which has its own role to play in the overall oration, making explicit.

Quote
the necessary punctuation marks, not evident in the writing, which, in addition to highlighting a change of character, oblige the player to contrive pauses of varying length in order to clarify the structure of the discourse.

Alessandrini has thought hard about the dances too, about tempo, and he plays them with much more nobility than virtuosity - but it’s thrilling to hear partly because of the sound of his harpsichord ( I have no idea what it is, as far as I can see the booklet neglects to tell us.)  The impression is of something dramatic, operatic,  but seriously so, like Corneille or Racine.

That’s a good way to explain this interpretation in words, it’s the musical equivalent of a French tragedy.

Anyway, whatever, it’s a source of great pleasure
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on September 12, 2019, 10:55:55 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0003/202/MI0003202778.jpg)




Listening again to the complete LC from Egarr I'm struck by the enormous variety of music, and having it all arranged in little suites by key makes me think of WTC. You could maybe the talk about the complexity of the C major music, the tenderness of the D major music and so on. In some of the suites I'm reminded of D'Anglebert, in others Froberger. What I would really like is more information on dating, style and influences: I once read a comment of Davitt Maroney's which suggested that very little is known.

Anyway LC is a composer who I think is satisfying when approached by means of a complete set, and this one by Egarr is imaginative, improvisatory, light, resonant, bold. Richard Egarr can sometimes make the voices collide to produce music of great expressiveness and turbulence and complexity. And at other times he knows how to take you by the hand and lead you through a simple flowing river of melody. And Egarr really can make his quill plectra make soul music: the dynamics and colours and textures are astonishing.

And listening to the first CD again this evening, first time in two years,  what I’m hearing most clearly is how dramatic Egarr’s conception is, with large theatrical gestures flamboyantly swaggered, it’s very good, but it’s the sort of thing I would have expected from a thespian like Rousset than Egarr.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 13, 2019, 04:26:08 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0003/202/MI0003202778.jpg)


And listening to the first CD again this evening, first time in two years,  what I’m hearing most clearly is how dramatic Egarr’s conception is, with large theatrical gestures flamboyantly swaggered, it’s very good, but it’s the sort of thing I would have expected from a thespian like Rousset than Egarr.

Nice!
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 13, 2019, 12:34:59 PM
(https://static.wixstatic.com/media/d4046e_e234fa847f544e519b8fe22bb83fa9b2~mv2_d_1573_1452_s_2.jpg/v1/fill/w_1573,h_1452,al_c,q_85/d4046e_e234fa847f544e519b8fe22bb83fa9b2~mv2_d_1573_1452_s_2.jpg)

Karen  Flint is one of my favourite musicians in Chambonnières and Jacquet de la Guerre and maybe Lebegue too, but this Louis Couperin integral didn’t do much for me when it was released. So I thought I’d better give it another chance.

And as a result I’ve become slightly clearer about what she’s up to.

1. She’s playing Louis Couperin as if he wrote character pieces in the style of François Couperin. The emphasis in these performances is not on the drama nor the counterpoint, it is on the distinct feeling, sentiment, character that each piece expresses. And from that point of view she’s pretty successful.

2. She  plays this music in a highly civilised way. That’s to say, there’s a sort of fluid elegance to what she’s about with Louis Couperin. There’s nothing which would ruffle the feathers of any noble salonista, no asperities, no jolts.

3. She uses very little rubato, maybe none at all. And when you’re used to rubato it’s a challenge to adjust to her style.  it would be wrong to think that they lose out in lyrical expressiveness, she shows very well that this music is melodically expressive. It’s just that the pulse is so steady it becomes a bit boring from that point of view, ponderous even when the tempos are slow. I wonder if anyone thinks this is a good idea.

The harpsichords are recorded closely. Maybe that’s what they sound like when you’re playing them or sitting inside them, but they don’t sound like when you’re in the audience of a recital. If you turn the volume down it’s a pleasure to hear.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on October 13, 2019, 04:13:37 PM
(https://static.wixstatic.com/media/d4046e_e234fa847f544e519b8fe22bb83fa9b2~mv2_d_1573_1452_s_2.jpg/v1/fill/w_1573,h_1452,al_c,q_85/d4046e_e234fa847f544e519b8fe22bb83fa9b2~mv2_d_1573_1452_s_2.jpg)

Karen  Flint is one of my favourite musicians in Chambonnières and Jacquet de la Guerre and maybe Lebegue too, but this Louis Couperin integral didn’t do much for me when it was released. So I thought I’d better give it another chance.

And as a result I’ve become slightly clearer about what she’s up to.

1. She’s playing Louis Couperin as if he wrote character pieces in the style of François Couperin. The emphasis in these performances is not on the drama nor the counterpoint, it is on the distinct feeling, sentiment, character that each piece expresses. And from that point of view she’s pretty successful.

2. She  plays this music in a highly civilised way. That’s to say, there’s a sort of fluid elegance to what she’s about with Louis Couperin. There’s nothing which would ruffle the feathers of any noble salonista, no asperities, no jolts.

3. She uses very little rubato, maybe none at all. And when you’re used to rubato it’s a challenge to adjust to her style.  it would be wrong to think that they lose out in lyrical expressiveness, she shows very well that this music is melodically expressive. It’s just that the pulse is so steady it becomes a bit boring from that point of view, ponderous even when the tempos are slow. I wonder if anyone thinks this is a good idea.

The harpsichords are recorded closely. Maybe that’s what they sound like when you’re playing them or sitting inside them, but they don’t sound like when you’re in the audience of a recital. If you turn the volume down it’s a pleasure to hear.
do you think Scott Ross played this way? Does she just apply this to Couperin? I guess I have to check it out but it seems to me like L. should be mercurial.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 13, 2019, 08:52:33 PM
do you think Scott Ross played this way? Does she just apply this to Couperin? I guess I have to check it out but it seems to me like L. should be mercurial.

I think this is an interesting question, at least thinking of Scott Ross’s François Couperin. It’s true that he plays with very little, if any, rubato, that’s a particularly enigmatic decision given that François Couperin explicitly asked for rubato. It’s as if Ross is making the schoolboy error of confusing the score with the music.

In my opinion, Ross is less inspired in FC at finding the expressive character of each piece, compared with Flint in LC. And I think that Ross has a very individual and elusive way of making the music flow and swing despite the strict pulse, that’s his core skill! Flint can’t come close in the swing department.

As far as I remember there’s no Louis Couperin from Scott Ross, am I forgetting something?
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on October 14, 2019, 01:08:55 AM
I think this is an interesting question, at least thinking of Scott Ross’s François Couperin. It’s true that he plays with very little, if any, rubato, that’s a particularly enigmatic decision given that François Couperin explicitly asked for rubato. It’s as if Ross is making the schoolboy error of confusing the score with the music.

In my opinion, Ross is less inspired in FC at finding the expressive character of each piece, compared with Flint in LC. And I think that Ross has a very individual and elusive way of making the music flow and swing despite the strict pulse, that’s his core skill! Flint can’t come close in the swing department.

As far as I remember there’s no Louis Couperin from Scott Ross, am I forgetting something?
I really like this answer. It's hitting the nail on the head with his Bach, especially the WTC. Little rubato but there's a charm and an individuality or expressiveness. I get a lot from it but it's hard for me to say why since the obvious things I usually hear are lacking. I don't know if he did L. Couperin. This isn't the thread for it but I'm interested in your opinion of his Frescobaldi. Maybe I'll go back and listen tonight. That's a kind of music that seems like it really needs flexibility because it could get rather same-y. Ross liked Frescobaldi and recorded a bit of it.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 14, 2019, 04:33:44 AM
One place where Ross plays with more rubato is Rameau. It’s quite a successful thing, his Rameau.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 14, 2019, 11:24:23 PM
Ross liked Frescobaldi and recorded a bit of it.

This was his final recording, when he made it he knew he was about to die of AIDS.  Can you hear that in the performance? Bitterness, anger, disillusion? I can. And I don't like it at all.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on October 14, 2019, 11:58:01 PM
This was his final recording, when he made it he knew he was about to die of AIDS.  Can you hear that in the performance? Bitterness, anger, disillusion? I can. And I don't like it at all.
Wow! Hmm... So, disturbing but not in a good way...I might sample it. ETA: I don’t know if I can here all that stuff, and there’s the power of suggestion, but it’s missing something. Joy, perhaps. There’s a lack of sensitivity or something. Tilney is really excellent in that music, but I’m hijacking this thread  ???
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on October 15, 2019, 12:25:16 PM
Wow! Hmm... So, disturbing but not in a good way...I might sample it. ETA: I don’t know if I can here all that stuff, and there’s the power of suggestion, but it’s missing something. Joy, perhaps. There’s a lack of sensitivity or something. Tilney is really excellent in that music, but I’m hijacking this thread  ???

To hijack this thread more, under your suggestion I took a gander at Ross' Frescobaldi. I think it's actually one of the most interesting Frescobaldi recordings I've heard. In a way, it reminds me of Louis Couperin. I'll write more...
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on October 15, 2019, 09:05:04 PM
To hijack this thread more, under your suggestion I took a gander at Ross' Frescobaldi. I think it's actually one of the most interesting Frescobaldi recordings I've heard. In a way, it reminds me of Louis Couperin. I'll write more...
Listening to Vartolo, it's like night and day to Ross's Frescobaldi.
Back to thread duty:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71-YjbHzjIL._SL1094_.jpg)

Not all Louis but I feel I'm in safe hands.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 15, 2019, 11:57:50 PM
You see why the notion of a romantic performance, as opposed to an authentic performance, is of very limited value? Ross and Vartolo play Frescobaldi very differently, both are bringing themselves, their selves, their egos, to the interpretation. Like Edwin Fischer and Wilhelm Fürtwangler used to.

And maybe this is authentic. Yesterday Que mentioned Cuiller’s François Couperin. Well the best things about that release in my opinion is the essay in the booklet by someone I haven’t come across before called Manuel Couvreur. He discusses, inter alia, the role of titles in FC’s music, and argues for (or asserts, I’m not quite sure)  this proposition

Quote
The title has a different function, and that function is both playful and poetic, a poetry that it yields up through its sonority and the different referential universes that it is likely to evoke in the mind of each performer and each of his or her listeners. The titles, far from closing off the meaning, are a way of reminding us that music, unlike literature, is not about cognition, but also, a contrario, a means of demonstrating – with the aid of ambiguous titles – that the cognitive capacity generally acknowledged in language is less evident than it seems. In this respect, Couperin is singularly modern: performers are left free to choose such and such a perspective, sometimes noble or tender, sometimes critical and piquant, and to let themselves be guided by such and such a meaning; if the titles are indeed doors, they are not doors that lock, but doors that open out into the imaginative world of each of us.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on October 16, 2019, 01:25:26 AM
You see why the notion of a romantic performance, as opposed to an authentic performance, is of very limited value? Ross and Vartolo play Frescobaldi very differently, both are bringing themselves, their selves, their egos, to the interpretation. Like Edwin Fischer and Wilhelm Fürtwangler used to.

And maybe this is authentic. Yesterday Que mentioned Cuiller’s François Couperin. Well the best things about that release in my opinion is the essay in the booklet by someone I haven’t come across before called Manuel Couvreur. He discusses, inter alia, the role of titles in FC’s music, and argues for (or asserts, I’m not quite sure)  this proposition
There's probably a hundred pages devoted to this on GMG so it may be a tired question but...the last 50 years or so brought a big change to baroque keyboard music. Obviously one big change is the beautiful sounding instruments and recording technologies. What's the next biggest thing? Is it merely how to play these instruments correctly so they sound good?

 
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on October 16, 2019, 05:41:14 AM
My own feeling is that we’ll see an expansion of repertoire - the sort of thing that Glen Wilson is pioneering. And a more widespread appreciation of the meaning of the score - the sort of thing that Colin Booth is encouraging.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on December 05, 2019, 09:29:57 AM
Listening to Vartolo, it's like night and day to Ross's Frescobaldi.
Back to thread duty:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71-YjbHzjIL._SL1094_.jpg)

Not all Louis but I feel I'm in safe hands.

Maybe he makes you feel too safe!

The characteristic seems to me to be lyricism, he makes the music sing. So the Couperin here seems very gracious and noble, maybe the most gracious and noble I know, but it lacks the feeling of audacious, surprising harmonies and rhythms.

Generally I wonder if the later Tilney project, here and in (Contrapuntal) Byrd or Bach (Art of Fugue, French Suites, WTC2) and  Froberger and Frescobaldi, is one of simplification, reduction.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on December 05, 2019, 06:46:14 PM
Maybe he makes you feel too safe!

The characteristic seems to me to be lyricism, he makes the music sing. So the Couperin here seems very gracious and noble, maybe the most gracious and noble I know, but it lacks the feeling of audacious, surprising harmonies and rhythms.

Generally I wonder if the later Tilney project, here and in (Contrapuntal) Byrd or Bach (Art of Fugue, French Suites, WTC2) and  Froberger and Frescobaldi, is one of simplification, reduction.
he’s definitely restrained in most of his projects, even in Mozart. I haven’t gone back to this recently but I probably don’t really like it as much as Sempe, Van Asperen and some of the others.
I want to say that Tilney is very English, but I don’t mean it as an insult. 
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on December 05, 2019, 11:21:03 PM
he’s definitely restrained in most of his projects, even in Mozart. I haven’t gone back to this recently but I probably don’t really like it as much as Sempe, Van Asperen and some of the others.
I want to say that Tilney is very English, but I don’t mean it as an insult.

No not English, If you listen to English musicians like Egarr, Davitt Moroney and Colin Booth, they’re not really like him in the later recordings. Still less so Mahan Esfahani and Thurston Dart.

Tilney wrote a book on the unmeasured prelude. If you look at Alessandrini’s notes on Louis Couperin he has some interesting things to say about these preludes, which he basically thinks are a bit like toccatas in Frescobaldi’s Bk 2 - several different sections each of which has its own emotional feel.

Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on December 06, 2019, 03:32:30 AM
No not English, If you listen to English musicians like Egarr, Davitt Moroney and Colin Booth, they’re not really like him in the later recordings. Still less so Mahan Esfahani and Thurston Dart.

Tilney wrote a book on the unmeasured prelude. If you look at Alessandrini’s notes on Louis Couperin he has some interesting things to say about these preludes, which he basically thinks are a bit like toccatas in Frescobaldi’s Bk 2 - several different sections each of which has its own emotional feel.
Right. I was probably thinking of some silly caricature of Englishness. Is Mahan Esfahani good in this genre? I should check him out. And I need to listen more to Alessandrini too. I've never gotten over the awe I felt for Sempe's Couperin. Maybe it's because it was one of the first I'd heard. Nothing ever matches it and I only wish Sempe would record more Bach some day. I really like Skip Sempe's solo keyboard recordings.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on December 06, 2019, 03:45:16 AM
Right. I was probably thinking of some silly caricature of Englishness. Is Mahan Esfahani good in this genre? I should check him out. And I need to listen more to Alessandrini too. I've never gotten over the awe I felt for Sempe's Couperin. Maybe it's because it was one of the first I'd heard. Nothing ever matches it and I only wish Sempe would record more Bach some day. I really like Skip Sempe's solo keyboard recordings.

You could plot performances of Louis Couperin’s measured music on a 2D chart. The y axis showing how turbulent and flamboyant the music is made to sound - sudden unexpected changes in tempo and mood (as opposed to noble, gracious.) The x axis showing how melodic (as opposed to contrapuntal) the music sounds - whether one voice interrupts  another to make scrunchy chords and interrupt the flow.

Alessandrini is noble and contrapuntal; Egarr is flamboyant and contrapuntal; Verlet . . . is melodic and noble. I’m starting to appreciate Verlet much more than before.

 Not sure about any of this!
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on December 06, 2019, 03:28:45 PM
You could plot performances of Louis Couperin’s measured music on a 2D chart. The y axis showing how turbulent and flamboyant the music is made to sound - sudden unexpected changes in tempo and mood (as opposed to noble, gracious.) The x axis showing how melodic (as opposed to contrapuntal) the music sounds - whether one voice interrupts  another to make scrunchy chords and interrupt the flow.

Alessandrini is noble and contrapuntal; Egarr is flamboyant and contrapuntal; Verlet . . . is melodic and noble. I’m starting to appreciate Verlet much more than before.

 Not sure about any of this!
Verlet has a couple of recordings, right? There's one with a very mean-tone sound - kind of moody and dark...wait, no, I'm thinking of Froberger. Do you think she takes Froberger differently or is it in line with her conception of baroque music? Or did she change during her career? I seem to remember the Froberger as really spicy and off-kilter.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: dissily Mordentroge on December 06, 2019, 03:41:22 PM
Verlet has a couple of recordings, right? There's one with a very mean-tone sound - kind of moody and dark...wait, no, I'm thinking of Froberger. Do you think she takes Froberger differently or is it in line with her conception of baroque music? Or did she change during her career? I seem to remember the Froberger as really spicy and off-kilter.
I recall going into shock the first time I was exposed to Wanda Landovska’s Couperin mangled on one of her blunderbuss Pleyel 'Grand Modèle de Concert' harpsichords. Encountering these peculiar recordings again today for the first time in decades they almost sound strangely manic and contemporary. Warning: The graphics in the link below however are just as likely to induce epilepsy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1hm64X9ANo
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on December 06, 2019, 05:58:18 PM
I recall going into shock the first time I was exposed to Wanda Landovska’s Couperin mangled on one of her blunderbuss Pleyel 'Grand Modèle de Concert' harpsichords. Encountering these peculiar recordings again today for the first time in decades they almost sound strangely manic and contemporary. Warning: The graphics in the link below however are just as likely to induce epilepsy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1hm64X9ANo

I don't think Landovska played Louis Couperin (the better couperin :) ). But here's a wonderfully strange version of L. Couperin's Fis minor Pavane on a Pleyel harpsichord, by a student of hers. https://youtu.be/du8yRywaqcE?t=3096
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: Mandryka on December 06, 2019, 10:43:36 PM
Verlet has a couple of recordings, right? There's one with a very mean-tone sound - kind of moody and dark...wait, no, I'm thinking of Froberger. Do you think she takes Froberger differently or is it in line with her conception of baroque music? Or did she change during her career? I seem to remember the Froberger as really spicy and off-kilter.

Three Froberger recordings, all made at different times, I’ll try and make some sense of what she does some time soon. There are 5 volumes of Louis Couperin by her, a big survey project.
Title: Re: Louis Couperin
Post by: milk on December 07, 2019, 06:12:47 AM
Three Froberger recordings, all made at different times, I’ll try and make some sense of what she does some time soon. There are 5 volumes of Louis Couperin by her, a big survey project.
The one that stood out as odd and interesting to me is "Froberger ou l'intranquillité" - which from the title promises something. I think it's a very interesting recording but I wonder if it's different than what she'd done previously. 
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and day there's something maddening in this performance, even frightening.