Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:


GRAMOPHONE (07/2022)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information


Code barres / Barcode : 3760014198373


Outil de traduction
Translator tool

Reviewer :
Philip Kennicott

Céline Frisch explores the work of Couperin’s contemporaries and successors in this amusing programme, ‘L’aimable’, constructed around the conceit of a day’s activity at the court of Louis XV. Four selections from Couperin’s harpsichord works frame excerpts from François Dagincourt, Louis-Claude Daquin, Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer and others. Some of these are extensive, insubstantial and delightful, including Les plaisirs de la chasse, a divertissement of character pieces from Daquin’s Fourth Suite, while others are beloved if lesser-known bonbons from the canon, including Royer’s delightful and voluptuous Les tendres sentiments and L’aimable, which gives the album its title.

Frisch’s choice of harpsichord, based on an instrument by Jean-Claude Goujon that was expanded in the second half of the 18th century, amplifies her basic approach. It is a colourful but delicate instrument, full of nuance and sweetness but not particularly robust. And so too her playing, which is deft, attentive and light, in all the right ways. She has great speed and dexterity (the passagework in the Daquin is wonderfully even) and a fine sense of the music’s rhythmic sway and swagger, including agreeable touches of inégalité. Ornamentation is snapped crisply, maybe a bit too much so in works such as Dagincourt’s Allemande La Couronne, where a little more variety and plasticity would be welcome. She plays to her instrument’s strength, with strategy rather than sonic power defining the grandeur of Dagincourt’s Sarabande La Magnifique, though one also wishes the instrument could define bass lines with a bit more vigour, as in the same composer’s Courante, where they sometimes move chromatically to great effect.

Does the listener detect the passage of a day, from reveille to a morning hunt, then a romantic walk in nature and, finally, the emergence of the stars suggested by Michel Corrette’s delightful study in dulcet and twinkling tones, Les étoiles? Maybe not, but that’s not the point. Frisch has found a pleasing way to give listeners a sense of the 18th century beyond the perfect miniatures of Couperin, without overtaxing the patience or overemphasising the work of any one lesser but still worthy composer. And at her best, she is an admirably expressive player. Savour the expansive delicacy and good taste of her interpretation of the two works by Royer, which hold up well against any recording in the catalogue.

Sélectionnez votre pays et votre devise en accédant au site de
Presto Classical
(Bouton en haut à gauche)
Livraison mondiale

Pour acheter l'album
ou le télécharger

To purchase the CD
or to download it

Choose your country and currency
when reaching
Presto Classical
(Upper left corner of the page)
Worldwide delivery


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews