Magazine article Gramophone

F Couperin: 'Apotheoses'

Magazine article Gramophone

F Couperin: 'Apotheoses'

Article excerpt

F Couperin 'Apotheoses' La Superbe. Apotheose de Lully. Le Pamasse, ou L'apotheose de Corelli. La Sultane Gli Incogniti / Amandine Beyer vn Harmonia Mundi [F] HMC90 2193 (58' * DDD)

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Couperin waited until his last decade to publish his Italian-inspired chamber music. The two largest works--apotheoses to Corelli and Lully--appeared in 1724 and 1725, and were probably composed for the concerts royaux at Versailles in Louis XTV's final years. The descriptive titles of the movements tell the stories of their imagined elevation to Parnassus and also provide invaluable clues to their performance practice. Although Couperin did not specify the instrumentation, a preference for violins (and flutes) in certain movements is clear, as for example in the 1725 work when the two composer violinists accompany one another in turn.

Couperin also left several works in manuscript, among them two 'sonades', one en trio and other en quatuor, said to date from the 1690s, when Marais, La Guerre, Rebel and Monteclair were also experimenting with Corellian sonate da chiesa and da camera, and were very likely performed at the court of James II at Saint-Germain-en-Laye and in Parisian salons. …

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