Andrew McGregor on BBC Radio 3
“It was Francois Couperin’s 350th birthday last Saturday. Here is a beautifully realised tribute. All of Couperin’s solo keyboard music in one go recorded by harpsichordist Carole Cerasi. She spent over a year recording his complete works, a massive undertaking, the full set has just arrived. Ten CDs, 12 hours of music some 226 pieces of music in Couperin’s four great volumes, which could all be far too much, if it were not for Cerasi’s touch, her musical instincts, a fine selection of six different instruments to play on , and, of course, the quality of Couperin’s imagination. Here is La Voluptueuse followed by Le Papillon, the Butterfly….. 30:25 “Butterflies fluttering under the fingers of Carole Cerasi on a modern copy of a French harpsicord from the 1730s. And the sounds of these six instruments, two of them historically important keyboards is part of the joy of this set of Francois Couperin’s complete works for solo harpsichord. They are also well photographed in the accompanying booklet. Cerasi is the perfect harpsichordist to demonstrate what Couperin meant in the first set of pieces which he called “l’art de toucher le clavecin” – “the Art of Touching or addressing the harpsichord”–and this is a huge achievement – 10 CDs is a box available separately as downloads new from the Metronome label for Couperin’s 350th birthday last weekend.