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Rameau: Pieces de Clavecin en Concerts

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 11, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

In composing his Pièces de clavecin en concerts, Rameau (1683-1764) created a grand work of chamber music, and at the same time, the first-ever piano trios. The independence of the instrumental parts achieved here far surpasses what Haydn, Mozart and even Beethoven did in their piano trios. It is not until Schubert that we meet with trio writing of comparably elaborate texture. Trio Arcangelo Corelli formed in 1984. At first they worked intensely on early Italian violin music, especially on Corelli’s sonatas, and therefore chose the great Roman master as their "patron saint." Based in Düsseldorf, they have given innumerable concerts and made radio and CD recordings.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I. La Coulicam (Rondement)
  2. II. La Livri (Rondeau Gracieux)
  3. III. Le Vezinet (Gaiement, Sans Vitesse)
  4. I. La Laborde (Rondement)
  5. II. La Boucon (Air, Gracieux)
  6. III. L'Agacante (Rondement)
  7. IV. Premier Menuet. Deuxieme Menuet
  8. I. La Popliniere (Rondement)
  9. II. La Timide. Premier Rondeau Gracieux. Deuxieme Rondeau Gracieux
  10. III. Premier Tambourin. Deuxieme Tambourin En Rondeau
  11. I. La Pantomime (Loure Vive)
  12. II. L'Indiscrette (Vivement)
  13. III. La Rameau
  14. I. Fugue La Forqueray
  15. II. La Cupis (Rondement)
  16. III. La Marais (Rondement)


Product Details

  • Performer: Trio Arcangelo Corelli
  • Audio CD (October 11, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arte Nova Classics
  • ASIN: B000B8QFD2
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,200 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By David Thierry on February 23, 2009
Verified Purchase
Back in the Ice Ages I had another recording of these works that was more easily likeable because it was less period authentic. It took a short time to acclimate myself to these extremely fine players. The harpsichord is much more present in this recording. If memory serves me correctly the tempos are very similar to the older forgotten disc. These performances are perfectly enchanting. These compositions stand alone in Rameau's ouvre, nothing else like them, I believe, until Beethoven. Alas, they speak very well and seductively for themselves. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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This CD is a great bargain. The works are some of the finest by Rameau, tuneful and beautifully harmonized. The performances are first rate. The ensemble is beautiful, and the sound of the harpsichord used here is wonderfully tangy. As for the strings, they produce a full tone, not the acid scratching on so many period instrument recordings, and they have a wonderful woodsy quality. They are captured in a close but reverberent acoustic that feels just right. If you don't know the French Baroque at all, this CD is a wonderful place to start.
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The great French Baroque composer Jean-Phillipe Rameau (1683 -- 1764) is best-known for his operas and for his music for the solo harpsichord. Rameau composed only one work of chamber music, the "Pieces De Clavecin En Concerts", but it is a masterwork. The work was originally scored for harpsichord, violin, and viola da gamba, although it was subsequently arranged for many other combinations. It is performed here in its original instrumentation by the Trio Arcangelo Corelli, a period instrument ensemble from Dusseldorf, Germany. The disk is available on Arte Nova at a budget price.

Rameau worked on the Pieces de Clavecin from 1737 -- 1741, while he had already begun composing the operas that would make him famous. The work was inspired by the sonatas for violin and harpsichord by a now-forgotten composer, Jean-Joseph Casanea de Mondonville. The Pieces consists of six separate Concerts, with the second having four movements and the remaining five concerts three movements. The work represents a break with earlier French chamber works in that Rameau gave equal roles to the three instruments. In particular, Rameau gave a large part to the harpsichord which in earlier ensembles tended to be limited to an accompaniment role.

As with virtually all music of the French Baroque, Rameau's Pieces are heavily derived from dance forms. The movements consist of roneaux, minuets, tamborins, and airs. There is only one movement of fugue in the Pieces, the opening movement of the sixth concert.

Each concert is a highly integrated work with the individual movement complementing and contrasting with each other. The music is filled with elegance and grace and with changes of tempos, moods and rhythms from movement to movement.
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