Francois, vous êtes un grand artiste! I Love your playing and the quality of these recordings themselves in nothing less than fabulous. Your instrument has a beautiful sound to it (I only heard one change of stops) and you evidently keep it perfectly tuned (for recording purposes anyway). Thank you for bringing this music into my life. You may remember that I am preparing Rameau's Gavotte et Doubles, and you're making me very nervous! This is lovely playing. Yes you had a very rare slip or two but who cares. You ornamentation is contextual and very well executed! I have one question, how/why the triplets in the Rigaudon?
Your grateful auditor,
Thank you Eddy for your so enthusiastic post. This gives me motivation for the rest of the integral...
As for my harpsichord, it is... a digital keyboard (Yamaha P 120), that I purchased about 10 years ago for playing jazz piano out of my home. However it turns out that the sound I prefer is the harpsichord one. And the funny thing is that when I record it (directly to a computer), and when I put the recording on a CD, it sounds better on the Hi-Fi sound system than when I play on the keyboard. Of course a real harpsichord is better when you listen it directly - provided it is well tuned - but when recorded, this postiche one can compete...
Finally I'm afraid I did not get your point about triplets in the Rigaudon. Perhaps you're talking about the fact that I don't play the eighth notes equally but rather alternating long one/short one/long one/short one etc ? This is common in French baroque music (and also, more recently, in boogie-woogie piano music !). It is a way to give more drive and rythmic efficiency to a piece that could otherwise sound a little mechanistic and boring. There are many discussions between baroque specialists to decide whether or not such an irreguar rythm should be adopted. As for myself, I do that rarely, but in the case of the rigaudon I find this rythm suitable. Pure subjectivity...
A last remark: this music sounds very well on the modern piano, too, unlike most Couperin which is essentially harpsichordistic (if this word exists in English...).
Hi Francoise, a great job again with harpsichord music! It's always a special pleasure to me to listen to your playing on your harpsichord
Your last remark raised a question: What kind of properties in a piece which is originally for harpsichord composed (cause it's from the old time) does make it sounding good on a modern piano as well, do you think? I cannot easily imagine that this suit will work also on it well (oh my lack of imaginary!!!).
Hi, Hye Jin, and thank you for your kind compliment. To answer your question, I'll prefer to take the oposite case, when a piece sounds on the harpsichord but not (or less) on the piano. This may happen:
- when the piece is a little lean (only two voices but not in contrepoint). With the harpsichord you can superpose different sounds, like with an orchestra. Not with a piano;
- when there are clusters in the loud range. As a matter of fact, if you play e.g. a chord of C-E-G in the low range of a modern piano, it makes a dark noise and you have hard time making the distinction between the different notes, while the harpsichord still sounds clear and transparent;
- when you have two many ornaments. In some Couperin's pieces, you may have one every two notes in a melodic line. On harpsichord it sounds like the natural vibrato of a singer, but on the piano, especially a grand one with an heavy mechanism, you have difficulties to play equally and clearly such a high number of very quick trills, so it is not nice to hear...
Finally, if you cannot imagine nice renderings of Rameau at the piano, just listen the great Marcelle Meyer (1897-1958):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTKc66bK-gc&feature=fvsr
This is fun! I like especially the birds. This "suite" will be a good addition to the site.
Thank you, Richard. Yes some birds are great musicians. For instance the blackbirds who come to my garden at spring...