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.

Marchand and Rameau by Rousset

Marchand CD "Œuvres pour clavecin" is how the album is titled; the recording really is more of a feature of an original instrument, constructed in 1716. It sounds almost like a regal (organ) in tone; it's definitely ancient. The music that brings this colorful instrument to light (in a dry acoustic) are two Suites by Marchand (d. 1732), a few extra movements by the same composer, then a Suite by Rameau (d. 1764). The Rameau pieces were familiar, while the Louis Marchand ones were not. Marchand's language is more in the vein of other French clavenistes, at least of a previous generation (Louis Couperin, d'Angelbert, Fourqueray). They are not "character" pieces, or are not so-named. Marchand's music doesn't surpass, for me, that of Jean-Philippe Rameau. But it is interesting enough to qualify for repeated listenings. Rousset's playing is best judged with the omnipresent execution of trills and other ornaments. For the lack of a better description, it comes across as very French. The Chaconne from the first suite by Marchand, as an example, is an exquisite piece. Not exactly the on the same level of Rameau's Gavote avec Doubles, but it's rich enough to qualify for gilding on the clavecin, or a to fill your head via your iPod with a stroll around Versailles. The Rameau pieces are all very short, save for the first Allemande. They're light enough not to overwhelm those by Marchand, in comparison. I am not sure this recording is a must-have; if you're a harpsichord fan and have not experienced Marchand, then the decision is easy. Here's a chance to hear a historical instrument played by a real expert. Rousset invites us back often with enough expressive rubato to not sound mechanical or robotic.

Couperin: Les Goüts-Réünis

Gould: Complete Bach Edition