Great playing ; pity about the sound..
r.b. | Great Britain | 10/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Luc Beausejour is a terrific harpsichordist as his recordings of Bach's well tempered clavier book 1 and his Fischer suites prove.His perfomances of the Forqueray suites are also in the same league but on this recording he is rather let down by an over resonant sound .The harpsichord is too clouded by reverb and distract's from an otherwise very fine performance.Christophe Rousset on decca benefits from better sound but his playing is far too fast for comfort and is not one of his better efforts.Jacques Ogg on globe is not technically up to scratch and does hit the odd stray note in some of the more virtuoso passages.Mitzi Meyerson on mdg is probably the one to go for.Her playing is good with most of the tempi(although not all)well judged and she is very well recorded."
Not bad at all
Fernand Raynaud | California, USA | 06/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We are very fortunate to be living in a time when we can listen to and evaluate several interpretations of music that until recently was quite "obscure", if at all available on recordings. People sometimes get carried away in criticizing, as is the case here in the "ouch" review. All instruments of the Baroque have a timbral variety that is harder to capture, for a whole range of reasons, than more familiar members of the symphony orchestra. Listeners then develop preferences under the impression that a specific timbre is entirely correct, when in fact there are many valid possibilities. This particular CD offers an interpretation that is a little literal for my taste, but the instrument and engineering, that are so maligned, seem to be a case of a reasonable decision, perhaps gone just a little too far. This is a French style harpsichord that is seemingly mic'ed a bit narrowly with cardioid mics, and with room ambience that they could have turned down entirely. This is all appropriate for the bass emphasis that matches the intention of Forqueray's son in transcribing his father's bass viol pieces, but does not necessarily do justice to the full range of the harpsichord or the music. The French style harpsichord design offers a longer sustain than others, and a very powerful bass. Mr Beausejours often plays rather "legato". The result of all this at times converges, when the notes overlap and create a bit of a sonic blob that is better discriminated on headphones. But this is nowhere as "drowned in reverb" or "toy" as some reviewers are saying, in fact my first impression was "what a magnificent harpsichord".
Forqueray's music was often discussed and referenced by colleagues (nearly everyone has written a "La Forqueray"), yet these transcriptions for harpsichord are what's left. The bass viol is a specific instrument, and there must be ways to play these pieces in a way that is more suggestive of the beauty of the original and less monotonous. By the time e.g. the "La Montigni" is over I breathe a sigh of relief, even though the weaving arpeggiations are darned clever. In light of the insanely refined and emotionally rewarding harpsichord performances that are coming out all the time, four stars."
K | 01/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is actually a decent recording and performance. Considering the price, it's also a good value. The other reviewer (who gave this CD one star) seems to be slightly unobjective and too readily condemning in his evaluation of this disc. If you like this sort of music (French baroque), you'll probably enjoy this CD. Other good performances are Jacques Ogg (on Globe), Rousset (on Decca), both no longer in print. Lastly, if you like this music, you'd probably also find very enjoyable the original version of these suites performed on bass viol with harpsichord (and/or therobo) accompaniment (Paolo Pandolfo, on Glossa (also out of print) is the only complete recording of the viol suites I'm aware of; Markku Luolajan-Mikkola et al have also made a nice recording, of suites 1 and 5, on Alba; and of course Jordi Savall has recorded some of this - on a disc from Naïve/Astrée)."