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Monday, April 23, 2018

Francois Couperin, Les Muses Naissantes, Brice Sailly, La Chambre Claire, Emmanuelle de Negri

The music of the brilliant French Baroque Master Francois Couperin (1668-1733) seems as timely and as welcome as ever. Now that we are at the 350-year-anniversary of his birth, there have been some worthwhile albums coming out to celebrate the occasion.

A fine one of them is Les Muses Naissantes (outhere RIC 387). It is a well-seasoned and vibrant exploration of Couperin gems, many of which I do not remember having heard before. There are some charming harpsichord solo pieces played nicely by Brice Sailly, some worthy chamber pieces with Sailly and Le Chamber Claire, and some songs featuring soprano Emmanuelle de Negri and the ensemble.

There is to be found some genuinely spirited music and plenty of the sweetness you can hear readily in the luminaries of the French Baroque.

The intertwining shifts in instrumentation and mood make for a nicely varied program. The period-faithful performances have liveliness and surety that mark the entire program as notable. Ms. de Negri, Mr. Sailly and La Chambre Claire are emminantly gifted and excellently suited to this repertoire.

If you love Couperin, here is a fine addition to your collection. If for some reason you have yet to get acquainted with this lyrically alive and deeply expressive exemplar of French musical arts, this would serve well as an introduction. I for one am glad to have it.

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