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François Couperin: Concerts Royaux

François Couperin: Concerts Royaux

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Following on the success of their widely acclaimed Music & Arts release J.S. Bach: Sonatas for Flute and Harpsichord, Stephen Schultz (Baroque flute) and Jory Vinikour (harpsichord) are joined by Alexa Haynes-Pilon (viola da gamba), and Mindy Rosenfeld (Baroque flute) in superlative performances of François Couperin’s four Concerts Royaux; works which stand among the pinnacles of the Golden Age that was French music during the reign of Louis XIV. This state-of-the-art recording was produced and engineered at Skywalker Sound by two-time Grammy Award winner Jack Vad (2012, 2021).

REVIEWS:

This set is essential for its simple grace. The annotator, Gonzalo Ruiz (an excellent oboist who doesn’t play here), explains King Louis XIV’s restrictions on sharing this royal court music until he was old. He allowed it to be published just before he died, but Couperin had composed it many years earlier. There are four suites. Couperin didn’t specify the instrumentation for this chamber music beyond some general suggestions. Ensembles make their own arrangements to suit their personnel and strengths...Anything with theorbo or archlute usually pleases me with a satisfying low-bass crunch. But there is nothing wrong with this more sparing arrangement or performance by the Schultz team.

Some of the pieces are played entirely by Vinikour as harpsichord solos, or with his harpsichord starting them and other players soon joining in. Haynes-Pilon sometimes plays the bass line with her viol, sometimes up in the violin range. The two wooden flutes have beautifully pure tone, and Schultz and Rosenfeld phrase gracefully with them. The pieces sound splendid here as elegant and lightweight entertainment, of the kind that would soothe a stressed king and please his guests. It’s not too fast (like Musica ad Rhenum’s) or too stern (like Rousset’s), but just right.

-- American Record Guide

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Product Description:


  • Release Date: August 06, 2021


  • UPC: 017685130229


  • Catalog Number: MA CD-1302


  • Label: Music & Arts


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: Baroque


  • Composer: François Couperin


  • Performer: Alexa Haynes-Pilon, Jory Vinikour, Mindy Rosenfeld, Stephen Schultz