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Pour passer la melancolie Import

4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 12, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Keyboard virtuoso Andreas Staier presents Pour passer la melancolie (to pass the melancholy), a unique program of French Baroque harpsichord music. The works presented here are not simply compositions in deeply sorrowful or expressive registers, but also discourses in sound on vanity, art and music itself. Whether the composer luxuriates in melancholic disorder or attempts to remedy it, there is but a fine line here between the vanity of the world and the artist's glory. In his readings of Froberger, Fischer and Clerambault, Staier distils the fruits of this sophisticated aesthetic blend.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Plaincte faite a Londres pour passer la Melancolie la quelle se joue lentement et a discretion (Suite XXX in A minor)(Froberger)
  2. Courante
  3. Sarabande
  4. Gigue
  5. Fugue grave pour l'Orgue. Fort lentement D minor(from Pieces de Clavecin) (D'Anglebert)
  6. Toccata (Musicalischer Parnassus, de la Suite uranie D minor)(Fischer)
  7. Passacaglia
  8. Prelude (Suite in F major)(Couperin)
  9. Allemande grave
  10. Courante
  11. Sarabande
  12. Chaconne
  13. Tombeau de M. de Blancrocher
  14. Prelude in D Minor (from Pieces de Clavecin)(D'Anglebert)
  15. Tombeau de M. de Chambonnieres. Fort lentement
  16. Chaconne Rondeau en D major
  17. Ricercar pro Tempore Quandragesimae super Intium Cantilenae: Da Jesus an dem Creutze stund (from Ariadne Musica)(Fischer)
  18. Prelude. Fort tendrement (from 1er Livre de Pieces de Clavecin)(Clerambault)
  19. Allemande. Lentement
  20. Courante
  21. Sarabande Grave
  22. Gigue. Vite
  23. Passacaglia in G minor (from Apparatus Musico-Organisticus)(Muffat)
  24. Lamento sopra la dolorosa perdita della Real Msta.di Fernando IV, Re de Romani in C major)(Froberger)

Product Details

  • Performer: Andreas Staier
  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: None
  • Audio CD (March 12, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,069 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By JB on March 27, 2013
Format: Audio CD
We in the British Isles know a thing or two about melancholy. Arguably it's partly brought on by our damp and foggy climate, and since the sixteenth century it's often been referred to as the "English Malady". Here in Andreas Staier's recording we have a Continental Baroque interpretation of melancholy, tied in with the Renaissance idea of vanitas. The cover of the album gives a good idea of what to expect: Giorgione's young man is in a reflective mood; perhaps he's meditating on the human condition, possibly brooding on the very meaning of life itself, and, eventually that which will come to all of us: Death.

Andreas Staier provides a thought-provoking short essay to introduce the concept behind this programme, with some startling observations. For instance, he is of the opinion that the chaconne or passacaglia might be taken as tolling the bell of ineluctable fatality. You might have thought of the chaconne in more simplistic terms, but this interpretation certainly opens your ears.

The pieces hold together, even though drawn from such distant cousins as Froberger and Clérambault; it's not all tombeaux, we also have the occasional stately courante and gigue thrown in too. The choice of temperament is possibly a make-or-break (depending on your ability to cope with octaves which aren't quite), but it certainly heightens the effect of anguish. The pitch is an unusual one, being at A=405, lower than conventional Baroque pitch but lending the instrument a deep sonority and enhancing the darker colours even further.

Don't be put off by the thought that listening to this recording might be in any way enervating: It isn't. It's at once alluring and deceptive in its choice of temperament but above all, it provokes some reflective thoughts in the listener. Personally I can't stop listening to it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Midgley on September 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD
There are already highly complimentary reviews of this superb recording here, so I'll only add a few words. The great assets of this recital from Andreas Staier are its 'melancholy' concept, the choice of works to demonstrate that theme, and Staier's performance. Those first two elements are, of course, closely related, and illustrate the profundity of baroque keyboard music at its best - even without the participation of JSB.

Every one of the composers represented here was an absolute master of his craft. To take only a handful of examples, JCF Fischer's Passacaglia from the 'Uranie' suite (track 7) is a dazzling, profound and unforgettable piece, all the more so here in Staier's magnificent interpretation. Louis Couperin's Chaconne in F begins with that arresting opening phrase which lends the piece its unique character, and never lets up for a moment after that. The Froberger laments which start and finish the disc are deeply affecting pieces, and after the latter (24) I only regretted the absence of the rest of the Suite mourning the tragic early death of the 21-year old Leopold IV, heir to the Austrian throne, with its glorious closing Sarabande (available on several Froberger-specific CDs).

But never mind, there's more than enough sweet and tragic melancholy here, and it's played in Staier's disciplined, classical style, not wayward or quirky, but deeply expressive. The anonymous French instrument is superb, and so is the recording. Unmissable for harpsichord fans!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 19, 2013
Format: Audio CD
There is an excellent review here already by JB to which I have little to add except to endorse it wholeheartedly. Andreas Staier is a terrific harpsichordist, he has chosen some lovely and rather out-of-the-way repertoire and Harmonia Mundi have recorded it beautifully - the depth and resonance of Staier's instrument here is a joy.

My advice is to read JB's fine review and then to snap this disc up - it's a cracker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Albanese on January 3, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A cure for melancholy, at least mine. Andreas Staier performances are as close to sublime as I ever expect to hear.
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