Album selection: Benjamin Alard, Trio Fauve, Kenny Barron, Half Moon Run, Tinariwen

The Couperin Family

Louis Couperin: Suite in A minor; Chaconne by M. Couperin in F major. François Couperin: The Art of Touching the Harpsichord; The mysterious Barricades. Armand-Louis Couperin: Harpsichord Pieces. Benjamin Alard (harpsichord).

Cover of the album “The Couperin Family”, by Benjamin Alard.

A real success that this album, which, by bringing together three members of the famous and prolific Couperin dynasty (which has no less than fifteen musicians), covers more than a century of evolution in harpsichord writing in France. The Frenchman Benjamin Alard indeed offers works by Louis Couperin, his nephew François – known as “the Great” – and his grand-nephew Armand-Louis, all three organists at the Saint-Gervais church, a prestigious Parisian tribune. At the controls of a magnificent instrument built in 2001 by the American maker Keith Hill from an 18th century Flemish modele century (a 1646 Andreas Ruckers modified by Pascal Taskin in 1780), the musician offers a game that is both refined and supple, intrepid, powerful and imaginative, firing on all cylinders, whether it be the intimacy of confidences, a crazy spirit of improvisation, the stylized rhythm of dance or the more evocative palette of genre scenes. Marie Aude Roux

1 CD MarchVivo.


Works by Philippe Leroux, Camille Saint-Saëns, Arnold Schoenberg, Franz Liszt, Alex Nante, Kurt Weill and Wolfgang Rihm by the Trio Fauve and Angèle Chemin (soprano).

Cover of the album

As indicated by its title, and even more so by the way it is spelled, this disc inscribes the birth certificate of the Trio Fauve in a colorful dimension that defies purism. Replacing the piano with the accordion in an ensemble that has given rise to so many classical masterpieces (Schubert, Beethoven) can be justified in the contemporary field in search of renewal (like the suite Am Horizont, of Wolfgang Rihm), but much less when the change of keyboard applies to the sacrosanct Clavierstücke op. 19 by Arnold Schoenberg. And yet! What we hear has an indisputable legitimacy, here (the Viennese school, truantly) as elsewhere (the Dance of Death, Saint-Saëns, devilishly plastic). Hyphen of an exquisite flexibility between the biting violin of Apolline Kirklar and the ethereal cello of Annabelle Gouache, the accordion of Jean-Etienne Sotty is at the base of the wonder produced on all occasions by the Trio Fauve . Whether original scores (the wonderful thickness, by Philippe Leroux, the dreamlike El sol en diciembreby Alex Nante) or transcriptions (the Mephisto Waltzby Liszt, straight out of a carnival, or the lament Youkali, by Kurt Weill, which, sung by Angèle Chemin, sets fire to the boards of a dream cabaret). Pierre Gervasoni

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