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  Lyrinx -
  Armand-Louis Couperin: Les claviers expressifs de Pascal Taskin
  Armand-Louis Couperin: Les claviers expressifs de Pascal Taskin
Simphonie de Clavecins; Quartett Nr. 2 für 2 Klaviere; Triosonate Nr. 2 op. 3;Les Quatre Nations; Variations sur l'air "Vous l'ordonnez"

Pierre Goy
Nicole Hostettler
Track listing:
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Reviews: 2

Review by miguelito54 June 27, 2010 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is the first recording of Armand-Louis Couperin's works for two keyboards since William Christie's and David Fuller's for Harmonia Mundi France in 1981. The composer wrote one duett and three quartets for two keyboards - of the latter, only the second has survived in complete form, the lost second part is impossible to reconstruct. To round out the CD, a chamber trio and a cycle of variations were adopted as was common practice at the time.
The keyboards played here come from the workshop od Pascal Taskin: one an early fortepiano of taskin's design, one a Ruckers harpsichord with ravalement by Taskin - the cases virtually look alike. Couperin was well acquainted wit these instruments, having married Blanchet's daughter, whose widow re-married after her husband's passing, none other than Taskin who took over the workshop.
The music is ideal for display of the various registration possibilities of these instruments, with dampers, buffalo kills etc. - they were simply made for each other. Style is basically pre-classical - the slow movements in particular are tenderly designed and perfectly executed.
The duo of Pierre Goy and Nicole Hosteller have been playing together for many years and made, among others, a reference recording of Müthel's keyboard duets on two clavichords - the sensibility acquired on these instruments is of much advantage here.
Sound is spacious with very wide dynamics - the sounds those keyboards can produce may move from a whisper to massive chords within a second, and the recording does this justice. I have the impression the multi-channel playback is of great advantage here - the stereo mix muddles the sound a bit - listening to just the two front channels of the multi-channel mix makes for far clearer sound than the stereo mix.
For any lover of historic keyboards, a must - for any lover of pre-classical keyboard music, too. I cannot think of a better performance of these works. Given the rarity of those instruments, I doubt there will be one made soon. These are from the collection of the Cité de la musique in Paris and are in perfect playing condition.

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Review by JJ June 27, 2010 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
First and foremost, this SACD recorded in pure DSD is an enchantment throughout both for the ear and the senses in that the combination of tones here proposed is unique. Recorded at the Cité de la Musique in Paris, the program highlights the compositions of Armand-Louis Couperin (1727-1789), parent of the great – and celebrated - François Couperin, with the Symphony of Keyboards in D major, the second Quartet for Two Keyboards in E flat major, the second Trio Sonata work III in A major, The Four Nations, and The Variations on the Air “Vous l’ordonnez.” But what makes the recording even more interesting are the instruments themselves: the pianoforte of Pascal Taskin dating from 1788 and the harpsichord of Andreas Ruckers and Pascal Taskin from 1646-1780. “All of the pieces on this recording,” says Hervé Audéon, “are emblematic of the innovations and synthesis Armand-Louis Couperin brought between styles, genres, and old and new practices over a period that is all too often caricatured out of ignorance of its refinement and aural diversity – something that the keyboards recorded here, from the Museum of Music, of Pascal Taskin, restitute with extraordinary lightness and expressive finesse.” Pierre Goy and Nicole Hostettler are part of the team on this miraculous release on which talent and music meld into one. This recording is quite simply unique.

Jean-Jacques Millo
Translation Lawrence Schulman

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