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François Couperin: Les Concerts Royaux
Francois Couperin, Jordi Savall, Le Concert des Nations
François Couperin: Les Concerts Royaux
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #1

Couperin composed these delectable works in 1714 and 1715 for the Louis XIV's Sunday chamber music concerts. When they were published in 1722, he specified the instruments employed in those concerts without indicating how ...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Francois Couperin, Jordi Savall, Le Concert des Nations, Guido Morini, Xavier Diaz-Latorre
Title: François Couperin: Les Concerts Royaux
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Alia Vox Spain
Release Date: 4/12/2005
Album Type: Import
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Historical Periods, Baroque (c.1600-1750), Classical (c.1770-1830)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 400000000930, 7619986098401

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Couperin composed these delectable works in 1714 and 1715 for the Louis XIV's Sunday chamber music concerts. When they were published in 1722, he specified the instruments employed in those concerts without indicating how they're used in each of the 25 movements in these four suites. Jordi Savall has taken his cue from Couperin's open-ended particulars to allot lead voices and parts to fit each movement's character, with marvelous results. The music ranges stylistically from lugubrious Preludes to court dances and folk-inspired tunes. Savall and his outstanding players make this graceful music irresistible, finding in it not only courtly elegance but also unexpected expressiveness, as in the melancholy opening Preludes and elsewhere. Everyone will have their own favorite tracks (movements) to return to as "encores" after the disc ends, but be warned: it's hard not to continue on to the next track, and then the next, till you've played the disc through again. This is one of those "don't-miss-this-one" discs. Enjoy! --Dan Davis
 

CD Reviews

In the service of the king
D. Earls | Kansas City, MO USA | 07/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Imagine your charge: you are court composer to the most powerful man who has ever lived. The old king is dying, slowly, his faculties are gradually receding. He has his lucid moments, remembering this or that great triumph. He has his dreamy moments, his visions of beauty and pleasure. His majesty wishes to be entertained, surrounded by those he most highly esteems. The year is 1714, the place the Palais de Versailles: the King is Louis XIV.

You are Francois Couperin. Your music must not jar the king from his reveries, it must carry him, like a leaf, down a graceful French stream on a bright spring day. The birds must twitter, the breezes blow, and the sun! The sun must bounce off the waves as dazzling and blinding jewels of light. Your music must capture the king's melancholy, for he knows his life is ending, and he wants only the bittersweet relish of his life's sweet moments.

You have dazzled him for fifteen years with your own harpsichord music. You know others have greatly pleased him with their music as well: the great Lully, the sublime Marais, that cantakerous Ste Colombe.

So you create a series of entertainments. They must be short, for it is better to have the king ask for another than to have him fall asleep in the middle of a set. And they must be perfect, for you are in the service of the king.

These are four of those entertainments. They serve up all the styles of the old king's long life, they admit only of beauty and majesty.

This is not the music of our times, and it is not likely to be appreciated or enjoyed within the context of our times. If you permit, Sr Savall and his small band of players will take you back three hundred years, and give you those moments the old king had.

They are moments worth having.

"
Pure enjoyment
Guillermo E. Zeppa | Córdoba, Argentina | 09/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"
Listening to this excellent CD is just pure enjoyment.
This is french baroque at its best ( one would not expect less from Savall and his fantastic ensemble !).
You also get a great variety of top performances : oboe, flute,violin and viola da gamba as soloists.
If you like baroque music, just get this one .
"
Colorful Couperin
Baroque Loverboy | 12/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Les Concerts Royaux is magnificent. It is easy to imagine the old king Louis XIV sitting in his salon on a Sunday afternoon listening to these concerts and dreaming of youth and bucolic nature. These are varied and interesting works, filled with colorful and evocative melodies. I love french music and this disc does not dissapoint. another work by Couperin you may wish to try are 'Les Lecons de Tenebrae'. The royal concerts are a must have for fans of french music. All the fine hallmarks of the noble baroque style of the music of the Sun King and his court are present here."