Two-time Grammy Award-nominated harpsichordist Jory Vinikour plays historically groundbreaking works by François Couperin (1668–1733) on an album comprising three inventive Couperin suites — the composer called them “Ordres” — combining traditional French Baroque dance movements with witty and atmospheric character pieces — miniature tone poems for solo harpsichord. Couperin’s suites “are elegantly composed, concealing a complex, allusive and varied emotional world behind their highly wrought surface” (Norton Grove Concise Encyclopedia of Music). Chicago-born, French-trained harpsichordist Vinikour is especially enamored of Couperin’s Ordres Nos. 6, 7, and 8, calling them “remarkable” for their harmonically driven melodic inventionRead more and atmospheric unity within each suite. Highlights include the celebrated Les Baricades Mistérieuses from Ordre No. 6, which England’s The Guardian calls “shimmering, kaleidoscopic and seductive, a sonic trompe l’oeil.” The compelling Les Amusemens from Ordre No. 7 is irresistibly sweet and melancholic. Order No. 8 offers masterful examples of established forms, culminating with a dramatic Passacaille.
L’Unique presents all the wit and melancholy of Vinikour’s distinctive interpretations of the sixth, seventh, and eighth suites.
– BBC Radio 3 Record Review Extra
Playfully and decorously brought to life by American harpsichordist Jory Vinikour. The recording places the instrument in a really lifelike perspective.