Pièces de Clavecin en Concert
Accademia Strumentale Italiana
Patrizia Marisaldi - harpsichord
Rossella Croce - violin
Luigi Lupo - flute
Alberto Rasi - viola da gamba
La Coulicam, Rondement
La Livri, Rondeau gracieux
Le Vézinet, Gaiement, sans vitesse
La Laborde, Rondement
La Boucon, Air, gracieux
Premier et 2.me Menuet
La La Popliniére, Rondement
La Timide, I et II Rondeau gracieux
I Tambourin et II Tambourin en rondeau
La Pantomime, Loure un peu vive
La Forqueray, Fugue
La Cupis, Rondement
Fourteen years after his third and final book of Piéces de clavecin (1727), Jean-Philippe Rameau takes to the harpsichord once again. For the great French master, now aged 58 and devoted entirely to the musical theatre for some time, this would be his last ever keyboard work (and instrumental work altogether). Though impossible to say for sure, the collection would seem to be meant as a farewell and something to be celebrated accordingly. As such, the harpsichord makes its exit in style, appearing not as a solo instrument, as in previous collections, but “in concert” with other instruments, as announced in the title: Piéces de clavecin en concerts, avec un violon ou une flute, et une viole ou un deuxième violon (Paris, 1741), comprising of sixteen pieces divided into five Concerts of three to six movements.
One of kind in Rameau's prolific production, something which further increases the appeal of this unique work, on top of its its intrinsic elegance, is the variety of alternative timbric solutions it offers from the indications in the score, allowing for the parts of the various instruments in concert to be reassigned amongst themselves. In fact, it is Rameau himself to suggest this in the Avis aux concertans, leaving the possibility of varying the concert to individual performers through exchanges or substitutions between the instruments.
What was a widespread ad libitum performance practice at the time the Piéces de clavecin en concerts were written, today becomes an extremely inviting challenge for modern performers in terms of tonal reinvention of the pieces. Thus, with each new reading the music may be reinvented, making in turn every new listening experience a rediscovery and a revelation.