Stéphanie-Marie Degand, Georges Barthel & Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset
Couperin’s four concerts royaux were published in 1722 as in a supplement to his third anthology of harpsichord pieces. They sound like a twilight tribute to Sun King’s reign. The score doesn’t mention any instrument but we know the musician envisaged them as ensemble pieces for a mixed consort of instruments. And that was how they were performed at the Sunday concerts at Versailles organized by Mme de Maintenon for Louis XIV between 1714 and 1715.
Chamber music concerts were in fashion at the time so the four suites were to be played by a bass instrument and several dessus, and not only by the solo harpsichord. Christophe Rousset and his soloists recorded with sense and sensibility this concentrate of French elegance and virtuosity.
With violinist Stéphanie-Marie Degand, flautist Georges Barthel, oboist Patrick Beaugiraud and violist Atsushi Sakaï, the 18th Century music lover and baroque conductor features a majestic version of these well-named royal concerts.
Concerts 1-4 (Les Concerts Royaux)