WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Tears: Harpsichord Laments From The Seventeenth Century

Demeyere,Ewald
Release Date: 11/12/2013 
Label:  Challenge   Catalog #: 72617   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  William ByrdJohann Jacob FrobergerLouis CouperinMelchior Schildt,   ... 
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $20.98
SuperAudio CD:  $16.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

Ewald Demeyere’s recording of 18th Century Flemish Harpsichord Music was much admired by colleague Johan van Veen (see review) so I was keen to hear what this themed release of Harpsichord Laments of an earlier period would deliver.

It might seem a bit too much of a good or gloomy thing to have an entire programme based on mournful music, but these “meditations or contemplations” were very much a strong thread at the time. After all, this was a period in which youthful decease or social turbulence of one kind or another led to composers and poets reflecting on death and loss in moving terms.

Demeyere mixes things up a little by presenting works on two instruments. The virginal used here is a ‘square’, smaller
Read more brother to the harpsichord, this and the latter being fine reproductions of existing examples. The virginal is based on models by Andreas Ruckers. The harpsichord was made after an anonymous example to be found in the London Courtauld Institute. Beautifully tuned and prepared, the only criticism which can be made of these instruments is that they almost sound too clean and perfect. If you prefer your ancient music a bit noisy and clattery then these instruments, and the clinically spotless environment in which they have been recorded, may make you itch for something a little less laboratory-bound.

There are more sprightly movements with dances such as the Gigue, Courant and Sarabande of the Froberger Fantasia and similar movements from the Louis Couperin Suite, so it’s not all slow moodiness. The Froberger is chosen for its opening Lament on the sad loss of His Royal Majesty FERDINAND IV, King of the Romans, commemorating this tragic death at the age of only 21. The Couperin Suite has been compiled by Demeyere, building on the finale of the well-known Tombeau de Mr de Blancrocher, a Paris lutenist whose tragic end happened in 1652. The preceding Chaconne is a big favourite, and the opening prelude non mesuré and subsequent movements suit the mood and add contrast perfectly.

These multi-movement works and the Froberger Fantasia are played on the harpsichord, the more intimate sound of the virginal reserved for Byrd’s Lachrimae Pavan which, like the more obscure Melchior Schildt’s Paduana Lagrima is a version of John Dowland’s popular Flow my Tears. Thomas Tomkins’ A Sad Pavan for these Distracted Tymes is in some ways the centrepiece for this programme, expressing deep sadness at the beheading of Charles I. It was completed just weeks after this truly remarkable event in English history.

This release, with its startlingly vivid ‘demonstration’ recorded sound and admirably executed concept, is something towards which lovers of well-played harpsichord and early keyboard music can gravitate with confidence.

– Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Pavan & Galliard ("Lachrymae"), for keyboard (pavan by Dowland, Galliard by Harding; arr. by Byrd), by William Byrd
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Virginal)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 6 Minutes 29 Secs. 
2. Libro secondo di toccate: Fantasia no 6 in A minor by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1649; Germany 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
3. Suite no 12 in C major by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 9 Minutes 59 Secs. 
4. Prélude for harpsichord in F major (Pièces de clavecin, No. 13) by Louis Couperin
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
5. Pièces de clavecin: no 67, Allemande grave in F major by Louis Couperin
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
6. Courante for harpsichord in F major (Pièces de clavecin, No. 69) by Louis Couperin
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 1 Minutes 15 Secs. 
7. Sarabande for harpsichord in F major (Pièces de clavecin, No. 72) by Louis Couperin
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
8. Pièces de clavecin: no 73, Branle le Basque by Louis Couperin
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 0 Minutes 46 Secs. 
9. Pièces de clavecin: no 80, Chaconne in F major by Louis Couperin
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
10. Pièces de clavecin: no 81, Tombeau pour Mr. de Blancrocher in F major by Louis Couperin
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1660; France 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 4 Minutes 31 Secs. 
11. Paduana Lachrymae, for keyboard (after J. Dowland) by Melchior Schildt
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Virginal)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 6 Minutes 42 Secs. 
12. Pavan "for these distracted times" by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Ewald Demeyere (Virginal)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium 
Length: 9 Minutes 13 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Veteran with a young and fresh sound November 5, 2013 By Bob Lagaaij (Middelburg, Netherlands) See All My Reviews "He's a young veteran on the keyboard;made several discs solo and with ensembles as the Belgian family of musicians Kuyken and is famous in Europe. On this cd you can hear laments of composers like William Byrd, Johann Jacob Froberger, Thomas Thomkins, Louis Couperin and Melchior Schildt on virginal and harpsichord. The instruments were build after the superb Andreas Ruckers and an anonymous Austrian (?) by the Jef van Boven (Ekeren, Belgium)and Alan Gotto from Norway. Demeyere has a resolute way of performing and his sound is extremely clear. A cd of surprising beauty!" Report Abuse
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook