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Royer: Pièces De Clavecin 1746 / Christophe Rousset


Release Date: 07/31/1996 
Label:  L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog #: 436127   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

It is now some 12 years since William Christie made an excellent disc of Pancrace Royer's only published collection of harpsichord pieces (1746); and it was reissued recently on CD. Royer was a more prominent figure in French musical life than the comparative unfamiliarity of his name nowadays would suggest. He was an imaginative director of the Concert Spirituel, leader for several years of the Opéra orchestra, and a successful composer for the stage, as well. His ballet-héroIque, Zalde (1739) was especially popular and was still being performed in the 1760s. La Chasse do Zaide is the composer's own harpsichord arrangement of a "symphonie" in the opera and, in this new recital, Christophe Rousset appends it to the Read more pieces of the 1746 publication. That, too, incidently contains a number of transcriptions by the composer of pieces from earlier stage works.

Anyone familiar with Rousset's Gramophone Award-winning performances of Rameau's harpsichord pieces (L'Oiseau-Lyre, 12/91) will be expecting great things from this Royer disc. They will not be disappointed, for it is, in every respect, an outstanding recital. This is not to say, however, that Royer's music is on a level with that of his illustrious older contemporary but it is anything but dull or predictable; and it sometimes recalls Rameau's idiom, especially in the more delicately wrought pieces such as the wistful "La Zalde" which hints at the other's "Les Tendres Plaintes". Here, and in several other instances, too, Roussel, favours brisker tempos than Christie. It is, perhaps the Royer of "La ZaIde", "La Sensible" -a rondeau in C minor of sustained melancholy—and "Les tendres sentiments" which makes the strongest appeal to my sensibilities. But the other side of the coin, so to speak, is no less diverting. Royer could be quite an adventurous harmonistanother quality which he shared with Rameauand he proves this in a wild piece, "Le Vertigo", full of extravagant gestures and excitement generated by vigorously repeated chordal passages, tirades, rhythmic interruptions and so forth. Indeed, its distinctly improvisatory character foreshadows C.P.E. Bach. Roussel responds to these extremes of temperament with passion on the one hand and sensibility on the other.

The beautifully recorded, fine sounding harpsichord is a 1751 instrument by the Parisian maker, Hemsch. It may once have belonged to Rameau's patron La Pouplinière and is the selfsame harpsichord on which Roussel recorded Rameau's Pièces de clavecin of 1724 and 1728. Since both Roussel, and Christie turn in comparably effective performances of Royer's harpsichord pieces choosing between them may be difficult. I like Christie's more spacious, more melancholy "La Sensible", for instance, but prefer Rousset's more demonstrative "Le Vertigo". Christie is bolder in his ornaments ("La Zaide"), while Roussel observes a stricter code of practice. Roussel favours a tuning which approaches equal temperament while Christie's meaner tone, if I can so put it, has a delicious tang evoking a picture of a somewhat untended instrument echoing through the windows of an old French manoir of an evening in late summer. The choice is yours—but neither is likely to disappoint. A warm welcome to the newcomer.

-- Gramophone [9/1993]
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Works on This Recording

1. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 1, La majesteuse by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
2. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 2, La Zaïde by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 5 Minutes 3 Secs. 
3. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 3, Les matelots by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
4. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 4a, Tambourin I by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 1 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: Tambourins 1 and 2 are timed together. 
5. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 4b, Tambourin II by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Notes: Tambourins 1 and 2 are timed together. 
6. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 5, L'incertaine by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
7. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 6, L'aimable by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 5 Minutes 2 Secs. 
8. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 7, La bagatelle by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
9. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 8, Suite de la bagatelle by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
10. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 9, La remouleuse by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
11. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 10, Les tendres sentiments by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 6 Minutes 37 Secs. 
12. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 11, Le vertigo by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 5 Minutes 8 Secs. 
13. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 12, Allemande in C minor by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 5 Minutes 1 Secs. 
14. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 13, La sensible by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
15. Pièces de clavecin, livre I: no 14, La marche des Scythes by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 6 Minutes 15 Secs. 
16. La chasse de Zaïde by Joseph Nicolas P. Royer
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  Church of Saint-Hippolyte, Castres 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 1. La Majestuese: Courante
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 2. La Zäide: Rondeau (Tendrement)
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 3. Les Matelots: (Modérément)
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 4. Premier et Deuxième Tambourins
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 5. L'Incertaine: (Marque)
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 6. L'Aimable: (Gracieux)
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 7. La Bagatelle
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 8. Suite de la Bagatelle
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 9. La Remouleuse: Rondeau (Modérément)
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 10. Les tendre Sentiments:Rondeau
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 11. Le Vertigo: Rondeau (Modérément)
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 12. Allemande
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 13. La Sensible: Rondeau
Pièces de Clavecin, Premier Livre 1746: 14. La marche des Scythes: Fièrement
La Chasse de Zäide (1739)

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