François Couperin: Harpsichord works/Werke für Cembalo
Premier Prélude (from L’Art de Toucher le Clavecin) and selections from the Troisième Ordre in C-minor; Second Prélude and selections from the Second Ordre in D-minor; Sixième Prélude and Huitième Ordre in B-minor.
Description of project
François Couperin’s harpsichord music has fascinated me from an early age: some of the pieces recorded here have been part of my repertoire since my mid-teens. On a technical level, this music is often fiddly, and especially the many intricate embellishments can be difficult to integrate into the flow of the music. On a musically-expressive level, Couperin’s tendency to be prescriptive and occasionally somewhat square in his notation contrasts with the freedom and inventiveness the sounding music seems to be asking for. So even here, the player’s approach has much to do with integration: dance-like, flowing, quirky, joyful, serious, or picturesque elements (and even some pointed characterizations of then-living persons) have to be integrated into a given form; escapade and control need to be kept in balance. The preparation for this recording is based on a decades-long process of returning to the repertoire with new questions. The clearest example is the important 8th Ordre (=suite) in B-minor which I learned at the time of my studies around 1981. Returning to this suite, during preparations for a conference recital in the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota (May 2003), I made several private recordings on my instrument at home as well as on an original 18th-century harpsichord in the concert hall. My score shows multiple layers of color-coded annotations from that time that reflect my analysis of the recordings and outline the work that remained to be done at given times of the process. Prior to this CD recording, I went back to these notes, adjusting ideas that had further evolved, refreshing those that still made sense to me, and adding a whole set of fresh characterizations and ideas about pace, character and touch. (See also the attached booklet text).
Type of work
CD recording, harpsichord solo
TYXart CD, published worldwide
Link to web site
https://tyxart.de/txa20153_couperin_skowroneck.html https://skowroneck.wordpress.com/2021/11/10/new-couperin-cd-now-available/ https://skowroneck.wordpress.com/2020/04/08/francois-couperin-recordings-coming-soon/#more-1416
TYXart CD TXA20153. Recorded March 2020 in Ödenäs kyrka, Alingsås pastorat. Recording by Erik Sikkema. Harpsichord by Martin Skowroneck after French 18th-century originals (1981). Tuning A=415Hz, temperament modified French ‘Ordinaire’.