French connections

Jonathan Rhodes Lee harpsichord
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Navona Records NV6389

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This might be described as a ‘budget release’: the disc is in a cardboard sleeve with just a single sheet of supporting information in tiny print. Nonetheless, the necessarily concise essay puts the music in its context and explains the rationale behind the programme (Couperin>another Couperin including La Forqueray>Forqueray including La Rameau, but whom we do not hear). I like this kind of thinking and it does produce an interesting recital on an instrument of well-deployed rich colours. The playing is crisp and clean with clear phrasing, though I have to say I did find it inclined to the deliberate side. But as a condensed survey of the claveçinistes c1650-c1750 it does a good job.

David Hansell

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