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 Post subject: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:19 pm 
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Location: Lyon, France
Dear All,
Please find a recording of a Couperin's suite I have made last week-end. The general tone is a joyful and luminous D major, with some more thoughtful pieces in D minor. The first one is actually a suite into the suite; it evokes military music, especially the first and the third part, while the intermediate (Joy of the Victors) is one of my preferred rondos among all Couperin's music. La Mézangère is also a magnificent piece, with this typical interior, grave and intimate tone so peculiar of this composer. The rest of the movements are all very alert and dancing small pieces. I'll just emphasize the last one (les Bagatelles) which looks to me as a very nice and bright clock mechanism full of ornaments (about half of the notes !). Quite tricky to play, also. I recommend it for pianists who are keen to practice pincé and tremblements (in XVIIIth century French).

Dixième Ordre des pièces de clavecin
(Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces)

1 - La Triomphante (The Triumphant One)
a) Bruit de guerre - Combat (Clamor of War - Battle)
b) Allégresse des vainqueurs (Joy of the Victors)
c) Fanfare

2 - La Mézangère (Mézangeau's Piece)

3 - La Gabrièle (Gabriele)

4 - La Nointèle

5 - La Fringante (The Frisky One)

6 - L'Amazone (The Amazon)

7 - Rondeau: les Bagatelles (The Trifles)

The score can be downloaded with the following link. Go to page 178
http://imslp.org/images/7/74/CuperinCom ... Works1.pdf

Couperin - 10th Ordre of harpsichord pieces - 1: La Triomphante (8:38)
Couperin - 10th Ordre of harpsichord pieces - 2: La Mezangere (3:01)
Couperin - 10th Ordre of harpsichord pieces - 3: La Gabriele (1:56)
Couperin - 10th Ordre of harpsichord pieces - 4: La Nointele (3:01)
Couperin - 10th Ordre of harpsichord pieces - 5: La Fringante (2:26)
Couperin - 10th Ordre of harpsichord pieces - 6: L'Amazone (1:42)
Couperin - 10th Ordre of harpsichord pieces - 7: Les Bagatelles (1:51)

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"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:23 am 
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Wow, another book ! Will this eventually be a complete recording ? That would be quite unique.
I'll put these up later today, and perhaps listen to some (if probably not all).

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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:45 am 
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techneut wrote:
Wow, another book ! Will this eventually be a complete recording ? That would be quite unique.
I'll put these up later today, and perhaps listen to some (if probably not all).

Hello Chris,
This is only an 'Ordre'. Couperin wrote 27 of them, classified among 4 books. I'am afraid I won't live long enough to complete the whole repertoire... If you lack time,
I recommend the listening of #1, 2 and 7 pieces, even if all are good to excellent (of course I'm talking about the composition !).

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"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:25 pm 
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Hi Francois,
I listened to no. 1, 2, and 7 like you suggested. Wonderful playing! Your ornaments are so nice and clean!!

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:49 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Hi Francois,
I listened to no. 1, 2, and 7 like you suggested. Wonderful playing! Your ornaments are so nice and clean!!

Thank you, Monica ! Have a good sunday,

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François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:15 pm 
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These are on the site. From what I heard (not all of it), great playing. I wish I could play ornaments like that.

A few words about tagging and naming:
1) File names not consistent with what we had on the site. But I could not be bothered to rename them.
2) There where no sequence numbers in the tags. I've added them. Next time please remember to do that.
3) There were French diacrits in the tags. This is not allowed, I've removed them.

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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:25 am 
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Thank you Chris. Sorry to be so bad in tags. I tried to use the same format as I did for my previous submissions, but apparently they were not better...

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François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:53 pm 
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Francois,
Finally had time to listen to all of them. Let me be the third person to declare myself bowled over by your ornaments; they're truly a joy to hear! I did not listen with the score, but could tell that the recordings were also very accurate in addition to being energetic and musical.

May I ask you a question? What is the nature of the settings in #2 and the second half of #5? The plucking "component" of the sound in #2 is so subdued that it sounds like a lute; whereas #5 is rather like the piano's "una corda". Is this an electronic instrument?? Or a mic effect? Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:40 pm 
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StuKautsch wrote:
Francois,
Finally had time to listen to all of them. Let me be the third person to declare myself bowled over by your ornaments; they're truly a joy to hear! I did not listen with the score, but could tell that the recordings were also very accurate in addition to being energetic and musical.


Thank you Stu ! I'm pleased to find pianists who like harpsichord, a so under-ranked instrument...

StuKautsch wrote:
May I ask you a question? What is the nature of the settings in #2 and the second half of #5? The plucking "component" of the sound in #2 is so subdued that it sounds like a lute; whereas #5 is rather like the piano's "una corda". Is this an electronic instrument?? Or a mic effect? Thanks.


Hence I don't have a real harpsichord, unfortunately. Rather I play on a digital keyboard (Yamaha P 120) that I purchased to be able to play piano on a portable instrument. My surprise was to find that other sounds were better reproduced, like harpsichord, vibraphone and others. Especially when I plug directly the keyboard on a recorder, I get quite a nice sound, very clean and realistic, especially in the low range.
Real harpsichord generally have a 'lute' register. My keyboard has a guitar sound that I use instead, eg in the two pieces you refer to. It's good, in a suite, to give some rest to the ears with this soft sound; as a matter of fact, the harpsichord one is bright and sunny, but it may be a little too harsh when used for too long pieces or too many of them. At least for my taste...
Regards,

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"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:09 pm 
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Francois de Larrard wrote:
Real harpsichord generally have a 'lute' register.

I didn't know that! Very interesting, Francois. Could you perhaps direct me to a link online where I can hear the lute register on a real harpsichord?

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:39 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Francois de Larrard wrote:
Real harpsichord generally have a 'lute' register.

I didn't know that! Very interesting, Francois. Could you perhaps direct me to a link online where I can hear the lute register on a real harpsichord?


I've found this little clip on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKgaP8EjbiY

I don't know what language it is. Maybe korean ? Anyway, you'll hear a lute sound at 2'00 or so. This is a 'conventional' harpsichord mechanism, but felt is applied against the strings to limit resonance and to cut the treble part of the sound. While looking at the Internet, I found also another type of lute sound:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4ZRn6Hk8N0

It is apparently another principle: here the steel strings are replaced by gut ones (so that people speaks about 'lute harpsichord'). The sound is maybe a little closer to my 'guitar' sound. Hence there was a great variety of keyboard instruments during the Baroque time, and in many cases composers did not specify for which one they were composing. Finally, which is most important is to fine a sound you like and which fits to the music you want to play... For instance, I always found that most baroque keyboard music can give very nice results when played on an organ...

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François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:53 am 
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Thank you, Francois. The lute harpsichord in the second video still sounds very much like a harpsichord, but it's warmer and more rich. I like it! I can listen to regular harpsichord music only in small doses. I think I could listen to this lute harpsichord for a longer period of time. But I think it is interesting that people were experimenting with making different sounds on a harpsichord back in the old days. I recently learned about a kind of 'piano' that was invented by Da Vinci. And Francois, I think you really need to have one! :) It has a keyboard like a piano, so you play it like a piano. However, it sounds like a viola in the upper ranges and a cello in the lower ranges. Somebody in Poland actually built Da Vinci's piano and played it in a recital. Here is a link to the video if you are interested:

http://www.popsci.com/article/technolog ... SOC&dom=fb

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:37 am 
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Another good point for the great Leonardo ! The sound of this instrument is very nice to me, warm and expressive. I had difficulty to detect wether the player can control the dynamics or not. Not sure... Years ago I made a trial in a music instruments store of a special kind of synthesizer. You could control the level of the sound with the attack (as with a normal piano), but also you could hold the sound as long as the key was pressed (as with an organ). Even, changing the pressure while holding the key made the sound level fluctuating, so you could play a chord and make a crescendo, like a string quartet ! Off course, to have a full musical control of these functions would have required a lot of training. Apparently, this type of keyboard did not meet its public (I have never seen such an instrument played by professionals in any type of music), though it would be in theory the ideal keyboard !

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François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Wow! Yes, that does sound like the ideal keyboard. Maybe then I wouldn't get criticized for my lack of dynamics so much. :)

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Couperin - Tenth Ordre of Harpsichord Pieces
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:50 pm 
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Hello Francois,

Your playing of this suite is superlative The expression unfolds through
the ornaments, push and pull feeling of phrases in both the left and right hands.
Nothing goes unexpressed.

The second ordre sounds like a guitar in the
beginning as you have commented about. The expression is really
amazing, Your interpretation is right there. It feels like an historical
novel.

The third ordre is beautiful and sings out a story of events and emotions.
It is almost operatic in it's own way. Oh my gosh, I cannot get over those little
repeated notes. It is such a pleasure to hear a midi keyboard used in such a
high level way.  Bravo!

The fourth ordre has a busy busy contemplative air about it, as though one is
beset solving the step by step problems of a necessary task. It then takes a
turn to something more fun. The playing is great.

The fifth ordre also sings out the sentiment of the melodic patterns. Beautiful.

It is a revelation to hear the scope of Couperin's musical imagination. I love the harp like
quality in the softer parts.

Ordre 6 was a less straight forward in interpretation but non the less was well presented.

Les Bagatelles with all the little rhythmic patterns was cohesive, unified and marvelously
measured.

Thank you for this wonderful performance.

Kaila

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