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Couperin: Les Nations / Juilliard Baroque

Couperin / Juilliard Baroque
Release Date: 04/14/2015 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8573347   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  François Couperin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Juilliard Baroque
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 40 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Although Couperin is best known today as a composer of harpsichord music, he remained deeply involved in chamber music throughout his career. Les Nations is a vast project in which the virtues of both the French and Italian styles are set next to each other. Each of the four ordres celebrates a Catholic power of Europe – France, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Savoy dynasty of Piedmont – and each is a combination of an Italianate trio sonata, with its free-form virtuosity, and a large-scale and elaborate French dance suite. Juilliard Baroque brings together some of the world’s most respected and accomplished early music instrumentalists for this invigorating program.



All eight
Read more players are totally absorbed in the style. Their often dense ornamentation never sounds calculated or contrived; their rhythmic flow in slower movements has a captivating insouciance, relaxed, gently fluid. This is French playing that would be hard to better.

– BBC Music Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

Les nations by François Couperin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Juilliard Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Paris, France 
Venue:  Corpus Christi Church, 525 West 121st St 
Length: 6 Minutes 28 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 The styles are re-united, and everyone's happy June 4, 2015 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "I’ve been thinking a lot lately about nationalism in music, from Villa-Lobos’s ‘Brasilidade’ to Wagner as an expression of ‘the German soul’. From this distance the 17th century controversies about the French versus the Italian styles in Paris seem oddly passionate. Many people were truly engaged by this fight between two ways of playing classical music, and the stakes for the musicians themselves were high. In a way though, the situation in Paris back then was more about branding than chauvinism. Even Francois Couperin’s idea of creating a diplomatic rapprochement between the two sides, which he termed ‘Les goûts réunis’, might be seen as a clever way of creating his own musical niche. After nearly three centuries, the four suites of Les Nations can be enjoyed as a European travelogue in sound, an expression of musical multiculturalism. And what enjoyment there is in this excellent new disc from Julliard Baroque on Naxos! Julliard’s own brand could not be more positive, based on the musical excellence of its elite students. The eight faculty members who make up the Julliard Baroque are elite musicians as well; high fliers in Baroque performance. Many will recognize the names Monica Huggett and Gonzalo X. Ruiz, for example. There is no whiff of the ivory tower in these sparkling performances, but great creativity, passion and musicianship." Report Abuse
 More renewal than re-creation May 19, 2015 By Oscar O. Veterano See All My Reviews "Juilliard Baroque “Francois Couperin: Les Nations” NAXOS Upon its arrival in France, the Italian trio sonata form was enthusiastically taken up by Francois Couperin, a composer better known today for his works for harpsichord than for his chamber music. At the time, especially in comparison with the conservative French classical dance tradition, the Italian sonata, written without adherence to either particular structure or text, was considered a radical, freeform musical innovation. In “Les Nations”, a collection of four nationally themed compositions called ‘ordres’, Couperin combines his earliest trio sonatas with some of his last large scale French dance suites, the resulting contrast providing a chance for listeners (then and now) to appreciate the virtues of both forms. On their new recording of Couperin’s work, Juilliard Baroque plays with the passion of virtuosi and the deep understanding of scholars; each member of the ensemble is an acknowledged expert at both his/her individual instrument and period performance practices. Their collective sound can be hard to describe; it’s not so much a re-creation as a renewal, breathing new life into Couperin’s music. (Special mention should be made of oboist Gonzalo X. Ruiz, who pulls quadruple duty as co-producer, engineer, editor and musician.) “Les Nations” by Juilliard Baroque may just be the definitive statement of Couperin’s music and should be welcomed by expert and general listeners alike. Highest possible recommendation 10 out of 10 Oscar O. Veterano" Report Abuse
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