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Le Clavecin Francais - Chambonnieres / Karen Flint

Flint,Karen
Release Date: 03/19/2010 
Label:  Plectra   Catalog #: 5637613748   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CHAMBONNIÈRES Pièces de clavessin Karen Flint (hpd) PLECTRA 21001 (76:51)


Pièces in D: Allemande; Allemande La Loureuse; Courante de Madame; Sarabande; Courante et double; Courante; Pavanne; Sarabande. Pièces in A: Allemande La Rare; Courante et double; 2 Courantes; Sarabande; Galliarde. Pièces in C: Read more class="ARIAL12">Allemande Le Moutier et double du Moutier par M. Couperin; Allemande, 2 Courantes; Sarabande; Autre pièce La Sotise; Sarabande grave; Gigue; Chaconne. Pièces in G: Pavanne L’Entretien des dieux; Allemande dite L’Affligée; 2 Courantes; Sarabande; Gigue La Vilageoise; Canaris


Jacques Champion de Chambonnières (1601/02–72) regularly receives at least a passing mention in music history textbooks as the founder of the French harpsichord school. But if you actually want to hear his music, rather than just read about how important it is, you’d be sorely pressed to find any on CD. Even reaching back into the LP era there is precious little; I know of one side of one record devoted to his music, recorded by Edward Smith on the Titanic label circa 1971. Odd that a composer so important in the history of keyboard music should be so severely neglected, but thankfully here is an entire CD of his music, brilliantly played and recorded by an American harpsichordist previously unknown to me.


Chambonnières came from a prominent musical family—his grandfather was a distinguished composer and keyboardist who was praised by the theorist Mersenne. In 1638 Chambonnières joined his father at court, sharing the latter’s duties as harpsichordist to Louis XIII. By 1650 the younger man had acquired a considerable European reputation and counted Frohberger and Louis Couperin among his pupils. His fortunes started to decline sharply after that; in 1657 Louis XIV removed Chambonnières as royal harpsichordist, replacing him with Etienne Richard, although Chambonnières retained a minor post at court and continued to receive a royal subsidy. Subsequent intrigues and political machinations, some possibly caused by Lully, forced Chambonnières to resign in 1662, leaving him a broken man. Two years before his death, however, he was able to gather together several of his harpsichord pieces for publication; some of these are heard on the present CD.


In any of the aforementioned textbooks, the usual take on Chambonnières is that he was heavily influenced by the style brisée of French lutenists such as Denis Gautier. Until recently, I hadn’t really understood what the term “broken style” meant. One would assume that it refers to some kind of strumming or possibly arpeggiation on the lute. But in actuality it has to do with the way French lutenists handled voices (or registers)—soprano, tenor, bass—on the lute. Because the lute lacks sustaining power, the various voices are “suggested” in an open framework—the voices do not actually carry through as they might in an ensemble or on the organ. The style brisée in effect dealt the final blow to the homogenous consort style of the Renaissance, making possible the open texture and dialogue between melody and bass so typical of the French Baroque.


Karen Flint is the director of Brandywine Baroque and an accomplished harpsichordist and organist who studied with Edward Parmentier and Fenner Douglas. She has assembled four suites of Chambonnières’s music, drawing on his two published collections as well as the famous Bauyn Manuscript. Although French composers of this era seldom thought in terms of a suite the way later composers did, the ordering nevertheless follows that “established by Chambonnières.” Flint plays a Ruckers harpsichord of 1635, enlarged in the 18th century with the addition of a second manual. No information is given about the instrument’s whereabouts, but judging by the fact that it was restored and tuned by John Phillips, I would guess that it resides somewhere on the West Coast. The instrument has a uniquely “17th-century sound”—not as lush or singing as a Taskin or a Hemsch, rather more hollow and plaintive and entirely appropriate for Chambonnières’s music. The recording is quite lovely and atmospheric. This generously filled CD fills a major gap in the catalog—both experienced harpsichord devotees and newbies should derive considerable pleasure from it. Highly recommended.


FANFARE: Christopher Brodersen
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Works on This Recording

1. Allemande for keyboard in D major (Book II, 11-12; Bauyn 15v) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
2. Allemande for harpdichord in D major ("la Loureuse") (Book I, 21-22; Bauyn 16r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
3. Courante for harpsichord in D major ("de Madame") (Book I, 25-26; Bauyn 18r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
4. Sarabande for harpsichord in D major (Bauyn 21v) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
5. Courante et Double du meme Auteur, for harpsichord in D major (Bauyn 18v, 19r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
6. Courante for harpsichord in D major (Bauyn 17r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs. 
7. Pavanne for harpsichord in D major (Bauyn 22v, 23r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 7 Minutes 17 Secs. 
8. Sarabande for harpsichord in D major (Bauyn 23v) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
9. Allemande for harpsichord in A major ("la Rare") (Book I, 1-2; Bauyn 58v) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 
10. Courante et Double de la Courante, for harpsichord in A major (Book I, 3-6; Bauyn 59v, 60r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
11. Courante for harpsichord in A major (Book I, 7-8; Bauyn 62r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
12. Courante for harpsichord in A major (Book I, 9-10) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 16 Secs. 
13. Sarabande for harpsichord in A major (Book I, 11-12; Bauyn 62v) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
14. Gaillairde for harpsichord in A major (Book I, 13-14; Bauyn 65v) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
15. Allemande "Le Moutier" (after Louis Couperin) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
16. Allemande for harpsichord in C major (Bauyn 3r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
17. Courante for harpsichord in C major (Bauyn 8r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
18. Courante for harpsichord in C major (Bauyn 4r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
19. Sarabande for harpsichord in C major (Bauyn 10r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
20. Autre for harpsichord in C major (La Sotise in Babell MS) (Bauyn 4v) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs. 
21. Sarabande grave for harpsichord in C major (Bauyn 11r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
22. Gigue for harpsichord in C major (Bauyn 11v) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 29 Secs. 
23. Chaconne de Mr. de la Chapelle, for harpsichord in C major (Bauyn 15r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
24. Pavane l'entretien des Dieux, for harpsichord in G major (Book I, 47-49) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 5 Minutes 54 Secs. 
25. Allemande dit l'affligée, for harpsichord in G major (Bauyn 53v) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
26. Courante for harpsichord in G major (Book I, 51-52) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 34 Secs. 
27. Courante for harpsichord in G major (Book I, 55-56) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
28. Sarabande for harpsichord in G major (Book I, 53-54) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
29. Gigue la Vilageoise, for harpsichord in G major (Book I, 59-60; Bauyn 51v) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
30. Canaris for harpsichord in G major (Book I, 61-62; Bauyn 52r) by Jacques Chambonnieres
Performer:  Karen Flint (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 20 Secs. 

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