Rameau Keyboard Suites

Rameau Keyboard Suites

JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU (1683-1764)

Hyperion CDA67597

Following in the footsteps of Angela Hewitt’s best-selling Couperin CDs for Hyperion, here is a disc of keyboard pieces by his compatriot, Jean-Philippe Rameau, who was a master dramatist. The E minor Suite contains his well-known “Tambourin”.

“Her performances have a wonderfully fluid stylishness…and they are founded upon a willingness to use the full tonal resources of a modern concert grand in a way that seems to make utterly irrelevant any question of what is historically or musicologically “correct” in playing this music.” (The Guardian, January 2007)

“…a revelation” (International Record Review)

Suite in E minor (21’35)
1. Pièces de clavecin (1724, revised 1731) Allemande (3’34)
2. Courante (1’48)
3. Gigue en rondeau I (1’28)
4. Gigue en rondeau II (2’44)
5. Le rappel des oiseaux (2’37)
6. Rigaudons I and II (2’20)
7. Musette en rondeau (2’45)
8. Tambourin (1’29)
9. La villageoise (2’43)

Suite in G minor (28’26)
Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin (c1729–30)
10. Les tricotets (1’49)
11. L’indifferente (1’54)
12. Menuets I and II (3’31)
13. La poule (4’53)
14. Les triolets (4’46)
15. Les sauvages (1’53)
16. L’enharmonique (6’49)
17. L’egiptienne (2’46)

Suite in A minor (28’17)
Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin (c1729–30)
18. Allemande (5’04)
19. Courante (3’57)
20. Sarabande (2’19)
21. Les trois mains (5’10)
22. Fanfarinette (2’52)
23. La triomphante (1’30)
24. Gavotte (1’41)
25. Double 1 (0’58)
26. Double 2 (0’58)
27. Double 3 (0’58)
28. Double 4 (0’52)
29. Double 5 (0’51)
30. Double 6 (1’00)

Angela Hewitt now turns her attention to yet another of the five great harpsichord composers of the Baroque (Bach, Haendel, Scarlatti, Couperin, and Rameau) with exciting results. Rameau’s harpsichord pieces are less idiomatic than Couperin’s, and their brilliance and lyricism are amply rewarded by such stylish performances on the modern piano. These suites contain beautiful examples of the traditional dances (allemandes, courantes, sarabandes), but also original pieces inspired by nature (“La Poule”, “Le Rappel des Oiseaux”) and people (“Les Sauvages”, inspired by the dancing of two Louisiana Indians who were in Paris at the time, and “L’Egyptienne”). In them, Rameau’s intellectualism combines with his passion and tenderness to produce (in his own words) ‘true music … the language of the heart’.

“Hewitt clearly relishes the colour and rhythmic energy of these dance sequences; her performances have a wonderfully fluid stylishness, with scrupulous ornamentation that never seems self-consciously correct, and they are founded upon a willingness to use the full tonal resources of a modern concert grand in a way that seems to make utterly irrelevant any question of what is historically or musicologically “correct” in playing this music.
(The Guardian, London)

“Hewitt….is on top form…The year is off to a flyer.” (The Times, London)

“…magnificent…a combination of directness and delicacy that is irresistible” (The Sunday Times, London)

This recording is available in multichannel hybrid SACD and conventional CD formats.

Recorded in Das Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel, Dobbiaco, Italy, on 1-4 June 2006