I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

La Pantomime

Sempé and Fortin record La Pantomime, works by Rameau on harpsichord for Paradizo (2008). I own many recordings by the American harpsichordist Skip Sempé, but among my very favorite was his first duet with Canadian harpsichordist Oliver Fortin. Their Bach/Vivaldi album was like nothing I'd ever heard. Two of the most delicious-sounding harpsichords, all wrapped around one another in texture and sound. It was the most glittery, powerful, rich thing you might have heard from the Baroque. I followed up with their Pavana album, where they add, for extra richness, a third harpsichordist, Pierre Hantaï. This album I thought was less successful, only because the music was not up to the same level as the Bach arrangements. But now we have another late Baroque release, in the music of Jean-Phillippe Rameau. To be precise, Sempé mixes some of Rameau's solo works in groups (a suite in G, and suite in A) and another pairing in D-minor with several groups of Rameau's Pièces de clavecin en concerts, which are where he invites his collaborator Fortin to add the lines for bass and violin. While I really enjoy my recording by Rousset and company on this latter work, the collaboration here on this disc from Sempé is very rich and enjoyable. As I sit here now listening at my computer, with each speaker located about 3.5 feet away from my head in stereo, it's an almost overwhelming experience (much like that with headphones). Yes, you should really like harpsichord, but no matter your taste, the sound and texture of Rameau's richly harmonized pieces will most definitely grab your attention. As a bonus, they provide several short pieces on DVD. I most enjoyed the "credits" where more of the players' personality emerged in outtakes. Very highly recommended.

The Visuals

Handel's Opus 6