Froberger * Couperin * Rameau

Floral design

Harpsichord Works
Tilman Skowroneck
TYXart TXA 15065

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]ilman Skowroneck has recorded this programme on a single-manual German-style harpsichord made by his father Martin in 1981. The latter was a pioneer in basing instruments on (usually generic) period instruments, rather than the factory harpsichords used in Germany up to that time. This instrument is rich and full-bodied in sound, with a good compromise between clarity and resonance, which means that it works very well for all three composers here. Recording quality is excellent, closely-miked but retaining plenty of resonance. The carefully-chosen programme compares a Toccata and Suite by Froberger from 1656 with a Prélude and Suite by Louis Couperin, the latter arranged from his surviving music by Alan Curtis. Similarities point to a common Zeitgeist with Italian influences on both. This common ground is further exemplified by the inclusion of both Froberger’s Lamentation on the death of Emperor Ferdinand III and Couperin’s Tombeau de Mr. de Blancrocher. The recording is completed by a Suite in A minor from the Premier Livre by Rameau which demonstrates the more traditional side of that composer’s music and his debt to his predecessors. Skowroneck’s playing is stylistic in all three composers, with a particularly strong sense of line driving the music forward. At the same time, the differences between the three are clearly presented. This recording is a pleasure to listen to and I enjoyed it very much.

Noel O’Regan

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