Notes and Editorial Reviews
"Rameau was no stranger to the art of transcription, as two of the pieces in these suites testify — notably 'Les sauvages' from the Suite in G, which he refashioned into a show-stopping number in Les Indes galantes. But to put his harpsichord music successfully onto the piano?
If you thought it defied such an exercise you would be right, in the main, and no one could claim that what you get here is more than an interesting second-best. For while the piano is good at suggesting worlds beyond itself, its capacity for cantabile and for shadings of colour is all too likely to appear superfluous to requirements in Rameau and to blur the characteristics of the writing, if applied, which have more to do with the handling of mass
and point than a flux of light and shade. And what piano could conjure up the eloquence and distinctiveness of a fine 18th-century French harpsichord?
If you were a young French pianist, however, and crazy about Rameau as Alexandre Tharaud is, that might not be the end of the story. Marcelle Meyer's old recordings would inspire you — 'one of the great ladies of the piano', as he describes her — and he acknowledges also the examples of William Christie, Christophe Rousset and the best harpsichordists of his own time in leading him to the belief that it is essential for a cultivated pianist today to immerse himself in Baroque music, and not only in Bach and Scarlatti.
Try him. He is a fiery as well as a sensitive and stylish player, and he plays from inside the music and always from the heart. He takes risks and I like him for being consistent in going for Rameau the poet and the free spirit as well as the intellectual aristocrat. For that, I follow him, even when the task of executing ornaments in a fast-moving line makes me think his cause is lost (it is not an option, I agree, to leave most of the ornaments out). He is pacy as well as imaginative and he makes you aware that there is as much intensity in Rameau as there is in Ravel."
-- Stephen Plaistow, Gramophone [5/2002]
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