François Couperin: Quatrième Livres de Pièces de Clavecin

Guillermo Brachetta harpsichord
resonus RES10240
156:56 (2 CDs inj a card triptych)

Couperin’s final collection of ordres is the first release in this series which will eventually include all his harpsichord music. Brachetta’s playing can be quite flamboyant but here he adopts a suitably sober approach to match that of the composer who always comes across as rather wistful in this last publication. Tempos are calm and nicely judged, inégalité gentle and fluide, and ornaments almost unobtrusively absorbed into the musical lines. And the instrument is lovely too – a copy (2010) by Keith Hill of a notable Taskin (1769). Some might feel that this is a little late for music published in 1730, but the clear treble and rich lower registers do serve the music well. It can be frustrating when the titles of French character pieces are neither translated nor explained but here careful reading of the booklet’s tiny print will add significantly to the listener’s understanding and enjoyment of the music. The booklet (in English only) includes a general introduction by the player, notes on the music (which could have been longer – there’s space) and biographical information. Couperin’s music comes across as finely-spun gold.

David Hansell

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