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Couperin: Ordres Pour Clavecin 2, 4, 9 & 11 / Violaine Cochard, Pierre Hantaï


Release Date: 11/18/2008 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 154   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  François Couperin
Performer:  Violaine CochardPierre Hantaï
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



COUPERIN _Pièces de clavecin Book 1: Ordre 2; Ordre 4; Ordre 9; 1 Ordre 11. L’art de touché le clavecin: Preludes: in d; in f Violaine Cochard (hpd); Pierre Hantaï (hpd) 1 (period instruments) NAÏVE 154 (2 CDs: 126:13)


It was Wanda Landowska who Read more perceptively called Couperin the “Chopin of the harpsichord.” Both are composers of extraordinary sensitivity and cultivation, whose uniquely idiomatic approach to their respective instruments was valued no less by their contemporaries than by posterity. Both left didactic works that remain indispensible: Couperin’s L’art de touché is as significant for harpsichordists as the Etudes of Chopin are for pianists. Yet Couperin’s widespread appeal has never rivaled that of Chopin. As the organist at Saint-Gervais, near the fashionable Marais district in Paris, and as music master to the royal household of Louis XIV, Couperin could afford to write for one of the most rarified audiences ever enjoyed by a musician. Possibly this aura of extreme refinement surrounding Couperin’s music, so raffiné and recherché , makes him seem less approachable, less vital to contemporary ears than, say, his younger colleague Rameau. Yet, since Landowska’s pioneering championship, the insistence and dedication of several generations of harpsichordists have revealed aspects of Couperin’s genius, so that today no one doubts his central place among Baroque masters or his preeminence among the French. Now there is a young artist who may confidently take her place among those distinguished exponents of François “le grand.” Listening to her compelling interpretations, one feels as though she has loosened the Gordian knot, thrust back the veil, and shown the totality and complexity of Couperin in the full light of day. Here is all the wit, subtlety, and elegance we’ve come to expect. But here also is an ineffable sadness, a biting, sarcastic edge, and, occasionally, even a cunning savagery. Having long admired the courtier, at last we meet the man. The artist responsible for the introduction plays Couperin’s elaborate music without the slightest affectation; she understands and is able to impart the depth and variety of his art as though it were second nature. Her name is Violaine Cochard; we will be hearing more of her.


For this, her second solo recording of Couperin, Cochard chose the deuxième and quatrième Ordres from the first book of harpsichord pieces, published in 1713, and the neuvième and onzième Ordres from the second book (1716–17). Two preludes from L’art de touché bracket the deuxième Ordre. One of Cochard’s former teachers, Pierre Hantaï, puts in a cameo appearance in the first piece of the neuvième Ordre , “Allemande à deux clavecins.” It’s pointless burdening a review with the futile effort of trying to describe in words the color, grace, and spirit that imbue these perfectly realized interpretations. Cochard enters into Couperin’s imaginative realm so completely, armed with such depth of understanding and intuition that, despite the small dimensions of many of these pieces, each stands revealed as a microcosm, unique and sufficient unto itself. At the end of both discs, one is left hungry for more. I would strongly suggest listening to this recording on the very best sound system available. The engineers have worked miracles conveying the wonderfully dimensional sound of the marvelous harpsichord Cochard uses. It is a restoration (or perhaps more aptly, given the fragments of the original that survived, a rebuilding) by Laurent Soumagnac of a rare instrument from Lyon that bears the signature of Joseph Collesse and the date September 9, 1748.


Other recordings of Couperin currently available are those of Pierre Hantaï (Mirare 27) and Blandine Verlet (Naïve 3003), though many other excellent ones, by Kenneth Gilbert and Christophe Rousset for instance, are no longer in print. Fortunately, we have Violaine Cochard’s ample selection, as beautiful as it is insightful and intriguing. Very highly recommended.


FANFARE: Patrick Rucker
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Works on This Recording

1.
L'art de toucher le clavecin: Prélude no 2 in D minor by François Couperin
Performer:  Violaine Cochard (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1716; Paris, France 
2.
Pièces de clavecin, Book 1: Ordre 2 in D minor/D Major by François Couperin
Performer:  Violaine Cochard (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1713; Paris, France 
3.
L'art de toucher le clavecin: Prélude no 4 in F minor by François Couperin
Performer:  Violaine Cochard (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1716; Paris, France 
4.
Pièces de clavecin, Book 1: Ordre 4 in F major by François Couperin
Performer:  Violaine Cochard (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1713; Paris, France 
5.
Pièces de clavecin, Book 2: Ordre 9 in A major/A minor by François Couperin
Performer:  Pierre Hantaï (Harpsichord), Violaine Cochard (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1717; Paris, France 
6.
Pièces de clavecin, Book 2: Ordre 11 in C minor/C major by François Couperin
Performer:  Violaine Cochard (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1717; Paris, France 

Sound Samples

L'art de toucher le clavecin: L'Art de toucher le clavecin: Prelude No. 2 in D minor
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Allemande La laborieuse
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Premiere courante
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Seconde courante
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Sarabande la prude
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: L'Antonine
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Gavotte
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Menuet
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Canaries - Double des Canaries
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Passe-pied
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Rigaudon
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: La Charoloise
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: La Diane
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Fanfare pour la suitte de la Diane
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: La Terpsicore
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: La florentine
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: La Garnier
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: La Babet
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Les ides heureuses
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: La Mimi
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: La diliente
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: La flateuse
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: La voluptueuse. Rondeau
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 2nd Ordre in D major-minor: Les papillons
L'art de toucher le clavecin: L'Art de toucher le clavecin: Prelude No. 4 in F major
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 4th Ordre in F major-minor: La marche des gris-vetus
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 4th Ordre in F major-minor: Les baccanales - premiere partie
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 4th Ordre in F major-minor: Les baccanales - seconde partie
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 4th Ordre in F major-minor: Les baccanales - troiseme partie
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 4th Ordre in F major-minor: La pateline
Pieces de clavecin, Book 1: 4th Ordre in F major-minor: Le reveil-matin
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 9th Ordre in A major-minor: Allemande a 2 clavecins
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 9th Ordre in A major-minor: La rafraichissante
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 9th Ordre in A major-minor: Les charmes
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 9th Ordre in A major-minor: La Princesse de Sens
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 9th Ordre in A major-minor: L'olimpique
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 9th Ordre in A major-minor: L'insinuante
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 9th Ordre in A major-minor: La seduisante
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 9th Ordre in A major-minor: Le bavolet-flotant
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 9th Ordre in A major-minor: Le petit-deuil, ou Les trois veuves
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 9th Ordre in A major-minor: Menuet
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 11th Ordre in C minor-major: La Castelane
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 11th Ordre in C minor-major: L'etincelanete ou la Bontems
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 11th Ordre in C minor-major: Les Graces Natureles
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 11th Ordre in C minor-major: La Zenobie
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 11th Ordre in C minor-major: Les fastes de la grande et ancienne Mxnxstrxndxsx, Act I: Les notables et Jures - Mxnxstrxndxurs
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 11th Ordre in C minor-major: Les fastes de la grande et ancienne Mxnxstrxndxsx, Act II: Les Vieleux et les Gueux
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 11th Ordre in C minor-major: Les fastes de la grande et ancienne Mxnxstrxndxsx, Act III: Les Jongleurs, Sauteurs et Saltimbanques, avec les Ours et les Singes
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 11th Ordre in C minor-major: Les fastes de la grande et ancienne Mxnxstrxndxsx, Act IV: Les Invalides, ou gens Estropies de la grande - Mxnxstrxndxsx
Pieces de clavecin, Book 2: 11th Ordre in C minor-major: Les fastes de la grande et ancienne Mxnxstrxndxsx, Act V: Desorde et deroute de toute la troupe, causes par les Yvrognes, les Singes et les Ours

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