Rameau suites (2002)
Bach Italian concertos (2005)
Chopin waltzes (2006)
|Available at Amazon:|
Tic toc choc, Alexandre Tharaud (released May 8, 2007)
Couperin 1 (2003)
Couperin 2 (2004)
Couperin 3 (2005)
|Couperin on Harpsichord:|
William Christie and Christophe Rousset
Les ombres errantes, the last piece in the 25e Ordre, is a good example. Hewitt's shadows wander mutely in a murky twilight, hands reaching out timidly to find something familiar to guide their way, while Tharaud's are more erratic, with stronger voicings that cause lines to ping out against one another. It is the same theatrical leaning that comes out in Tharaud's jagged Tricoteuses (Knitting ladies) and his wistful Carillon de Cithère (Carillon of Cythera, the soundtrack of Watteau's Embarkation for Cythera) with its softly clanging, quasi-obsessive A bell.
Tharaud adapted Musète de Taverni, an evocation of rustic bagpipes notated by Couperin for five hands, by layering his own recording over himself. In a similar way, the Bruit de guerre from La Triomphante is augmented with the sound of a drum, played by Pablo Pico. These playful interpretations are in line with the spirit found in the works selected by Tharaud, many of which are named for games (Tours de passe-passe, or sleights of hand, and Les Maillotins, or rope-dancers) or require the performer's hands to make a playful show of dexterity, especially in hand crossing or inter-manual exchange (difficult, but not impossible, to reproduce on the piano). Appropriately, the world of childhood is evoked by other movements, like the hypnotically beautiful Le Dodo ou l'Amour du berceau (Nighty-night, or Cradle's love), indicated by Couperin to be at the tempo of a cradle song.
As Tharaud did on his Rameau CD, which ended with Debussy's Homage à Rameau, he concludes this Couperin disc with a piece by another composer, Jacques Duphly's La Pothoïn. While not expressly a tribute to Couperin, it was composed at a time when the fortepiano was supplanting the harpsichord, and Tharaud observes quite correctly in his liner note comment that Duphly seems to be looking backward to the golden age of French harpsichord music, represented by the four books published by Couperin.
Harmonia Mundi HMC 901956