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Couperin – Apotheoses & autres Sonades – Amandine Beyer, Gli incogniti (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Couperin – Apotheoses & autres Sonades – Amandine Beyer, Gli incogniti (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88.2 kHz | Time – 57:16 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: eclassical  | Front Cover , Digital Booklet

Сomposer: François Couperin (1668-1733)
Genre: Classical
Label: © Harmonia Mundi
Recorded: Enregistrement 4-7 janvier 2014 au Théâtre des Quatre Saisons de Gradignan (Gironde / France)

The ensemble Gli incogniti, led by Amandine Beyer, makes their harmonia mundi début with this album of chamber music by François Couperin. When he published his two Apothéoses in memory of two great masters of music in 1724-25, François Couperin was asserting his desire to promote a meeting of the French and Italian styles – from a very Gallic point of view, naturally.

The idea was to convince the French Muses that henceforth one could say sonade and cantade in their language – a strategy already pursued in the much earlier La Sultane and La Superbe. But, far from blindly imitating his idols, Couperin takes inspiration from their styles and adapts them to his own brio.

The result is a delight for all to share with the musicians of Gli Incogniti and Amandine Beyer, whose first harmonia mundi recording this is.

Review by: David Vernier “ClassicsToday”
Sometime in the 1980s an ensemble called Fretwork released a recording that captured the sound and style of viol consort music as had never been done with such technical brilliance and affecting musicality. And the recorded sound was extraordinarily rich and warmly resonant, the melodies ingratiating, the harmonies soul-satisfying–you could just play the disc over and over and always get the same feeling of congenial calm. This is not a program of viol music, but it has the same spirit as that earlier Fretwork disc–and virtually the same effect (and affect).
Forget trying to understand the music on hand by reading the disc’s liner notes, which have less to do with the music and more to indulge regarding rhetoric and mythology. I have to admit that my intellectual resources are stretched when I read such passages as: “…it is precisely this tension, this confrontation of disparate elements, this delicate rhetorical and political balance, that makes the music of the French composers of the time so fascinating a world: it goes through two mediators, it sets up two triangles, often interpreted as antagonistic–Grace and Passion. It is worth noting here the Rumeur souterraine of the Apothéose de Lully, an avowed paraphrase of the concerti grossi of Corelli, associated with ardent sentiment: this intrudes between a divine Descente, noble and march-like, and a Plainte, an expression of intimate feeling, the instruments instructed to play very gently, in loure time. Each identity possesses its rhetorical weight and thus erects a theatrical framework.”  Thankfully, we can just listen to the music and escape any confrontations with mediators and triangles.
And the music is wonderful. Couperin’s tributes to Corelli and Lully, laden with personalized stylistic and classical mythological references–Parnassus, Apollo, Muses, Hippocrene–smooth across the ear like the proverbial butter on warm pancakes. The combination of violins, keyboard, theorbo, and gamba easily give the impression that no more ideal group of instruments ever could have been conceived, this is such luxurious yet so intimate and so amazingly easy to listen to. And there are at least a few surprises, including the occasional, wonderful violin duets, and the gorgeous, mystifyingly beautiful first movement of La Sultane, which sounds like it comes from another time and place, a yet-unexplored world far removed from the conventional musical terroir of late-17th-century France.
Violinist Amandine Beyer & Co. are superb musicians whose first-rate performances and dedication to this project give us cause to take both a newly respectful look at these works and to cast a freshly interested eye on this composer’s non-keyboard, chamber compositions. My only complaint is that the subtitles, movement titles, and descriptions thereof are given only in French. Why? Yes, I can decipher them, armed with several years of French language study and my trusty French dictionary–but this shouldn’t be necessary in today’s world. What’s the problem with just giving us the translations? Anyway, don’t let this stop you from an ethereal listening experience. Highly recommended.


La superbe, Sonade en trio. Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon Ms. Mus. 129.949
01 | I. 1’55
02 | II. 0’47
03 | III. Très lentement 1’26
04 | IV. Légèrement 1’25
05 | V. Air tendre 1’20
06 | VI. Gayement 0’57
Concert instrumental sur le titre d’Apothéose
composé à la mémoire immortelle de l’incomparable Monsieur de LULLY. Paris, 1725

07 | Gravement. Lulli aux Champs Elisés: Concertant avec les Ombres liriques. 2’31
08 | Gracieusement. Air pour les mêmes 2’00
09 | Trés viste. Vol de Mercure aux Champs Elisés, pour avertir qu’Apollon y va descendre. 0’28
10 | Noblement. Descente d’Apollon qui vient offrir son violon à Lulli, et sa place au Parnas 2’31
11 | Viste. Rumeur souteraine causée par les auteurs contemporains de Lulli 0’30
12 | Dolemment. Plaintes des mêmes: pour les Flûtes ou des violons très adoucis. 2’17
13 | Très légèrement. Enlévement de Lulli au Parnasse 1’02
14 | Largo. Accüeil entre Doux et Agard, fait à Lulli par Corelli et par les muses italiénes. 2’28
15 | Gracieusement. Remerciment de Lulli à Apollon 2’09
Apollon persuade Lulli et Corelli, que la réünion des Goûts François et Italien doit faire
la perfection de la Musique. Lulli et les muses Françoises. Corelli et les muses italiénes. Essai en forme d’ouverture

16 | Elégamment, sans lenteur 1’15
17 | Légèrement 1’25
18 | Air léger / Second air 2’47
Lulli joüant le sujet et Corelli l’acompagnant. Corelli joüant le sujet à son tour, que Lulli acompagne.
La Paix du Parnasse faite aux conditions sur la remontrance des muses françoises que lorsqu’on
y parleroit leur langue, on diroit dorénavant Sonade, Cantade; ainsi qu’on prononce,
ballade, Sérénade; etc. Lulli et les muses Françoises. Corelli et les muses italiénes. Sonade en Trio

19 | Gravement 2’11
20 | Vivement. Saillie 1’37
21 | Rondement 1’28
22 | Vivement 1’42
Le Parnasse, ou L’apothéose de Corelli, Grande Sonade en Trio. Paris, 1724
23 | Gravement. Corelli au piéd du Parnasse prie les muses de le recevoir parmi elles. 1’45
24 | Gaÿment. Corelli charmé de la bonne réception qu’on lui fait au Parnasse, en marque sa joye. 2’04
Il continüe ave ceux qui l’accompagnent.

25 | Notes égales et coulées, et modérément. Corelli buvant à la source D’hypocrêne sa troupe continue 2’08
26 | Vivement. Entouziasme de Corelli causé par les eaux D’hypocrêne 1’00
27 | Notes égales et coulées. Corelli aprés son Entouziasme s’endort; 2’13
et sa troupe joüe le sommeil suivãt très doux.
28 | Vivement. Les muses reveillent Corelli, et le placent auprés D’Apollon 0’40
29 | Gaÿment. Remerciment de Corelli 2’13
La Sultane* Sonade en quatuor. Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon Ms. Mus. 129.949
30 | I. 3’18
31 | II. 1’48
32 | III. Air. Tendrement 1’00
33 | IV. 1’04
34 | V. Légèrement 0’48
35 | VI. 1’04

Gli incogniti
Amandine Beyer, violon
Alba Roca, violon
Anna Fontana, clavecin
Francesco Romano, théorbe
Baldomero Barciela, viole de gambe
Filipa Meneses, viole de gambe*


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