Atsushi Sakai – Couperin: Pieces de viole (2018) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Atsushi Sakaï – Couperin: Pièces de viole (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:02:47 minutes | 1,16 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © Aparté

In 1730, the catalogue of Couperin’s works that headed his Fourth book of harpsichord pieces mentioned ‘pieces for viol with figured bass’, but apparently no such collection had ever appeared in his name. Musicians long regretted that they must do without these compositions, which seemed to be lost, or even never published. There the matter rested until the early twentieth century, when a perspicacious musicologist discovered a book of pieces for viol by a mysterious Mr. F. C. and connected it with Couperin. Then the pieces of the puzzle fell perfectly into place: the initials the date of 1728 on the title page, the book’s title, Pièces de violes avec la basse chiffrée, and even its retail price of ‘6 livres tournois’ as in the announcement in the catalogue. Upon perusing the score, any final doubts melted away. In addition to the use of embellishments typical of Couperin, the broad style, the flavoursome harmony and the obscure titles of the second suite fully reflect Couperin’s artistry and confirm the paternity of these pieces. It is curious, given the exquisite quality of the set, that the composer preferred to conserve a certain form of anonymity. Should we see in this no more than the coquetry of someone who cultivated a taste for enigma throughout his life, or a sign of respect in dealing with an instrument that was not his own? The pieces by Forqueray that punctuate this recording come from scattered manuscript sources. While Antoine Forqueray’s output for viol was essentially transmitted by his son Jean-Baptiste, who published a posthumous Livre in 1747, certain pieces – those on this recording in particular – have survived as copies. The three pieces do not stand completely apart from the rest of Forqueray’s œuvre, but they do display a style closer to that of the early eighteenth century and they are sometimes marked by an Italianate flavour that recalls the sonatas of Corelli. Atsushi Sakai plays on a copy of a French bass viol dated 1687, Christophe Rousset a copy of a Flemish Ruckers harpsichord of 1624, Marion Martineau a copy of a Parisian bass viol of 1693 and Isabelle Saint-Yves another copy of exactly the same instrument!

01. Première Suite en Mi Mineur: I. Prélude
02. Première Suite en Mi Mineur: II. Allemande
03. Première Suite en Mi Mineur: III. Courante
04. Première Suite en Mi Mineur: IV. Sarabande
05. Première Suite en Mi Mineur: V. Gavotte
06. Première Suite en Mi Mineur: VI. Gigue
07. Première Suite en Mi Mineur: VII. Chaconne ou Passacaille
08. Les Goûts réunis, dixième concert: III. Plainte pour les violes
09. Pièce à trois violes en Ré Mineur: I. Allemande
10. Pièce à trois violes en Ré Mineur: II. Courante
11. Pièce à trois violes en Ré Mineur: III. Sarabande
12. La Girouette
13. Deuxième Suite en La Mineur: I. Prélude
14. Deuxième Suite en La Mineur: II. Fuguette
15. Deuxième Suite en La Mineur: III. Pompe funèbre
16. Deuxième Suite en La Mineur: IV. La Chemise blanche

Couperin, François (1668-1733)
Forqueray, Antoine (1671-1745)

Atsushi Sakai, viola de gamba
Marion Martineau, viola de gamba
Christophe Rousset, harpsichord