Concerts Royaux for One or Two Treble Instruments, Bass Viol, Bassoon and Harpsichord
- Highly recommended
Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society
This is a fabulous, and very welcome, new edition of Couperin's 4 Concerts royaux of 1722. The pieces were written for one or two treble instruments (often played on the flute), bass viol, bassoon and harpsichord, and each of the Concerts is made up of several short dance-style movements. These pieces are a fantastic example of the French baroque style, with detailed ornamentations and clearly characterised movements.
The preface to the edition, prepared by Denis Herlin, provides some extremely helpful contextual information about the pieces, and a detailed discussion of tempo and ornamentation. Herlin brings together information from different contemporary sources to enable performers to consider an appropriate approach within the broader context of Couperin's works. Hotteterre is cited as a source for how to apply notes inégales, with a succinct summary providing a clear understanding. A glossary is also provided for the different terms that appear throughout the score.
Couperin's original appendix demonstrates all of the ornaments and signs used, which is in itself an excellent source for historically-informed performance practice.
The score itself is well presented, with separate parts for treble and bass instruments, as well as a full score with figured bass. The printing is clear, and the pages turns are well-considered in the layout. Having performed some of these pieces from a facsimile edition, I very much appreciated the presentation, combined with the faithfulness to the original text as one would expect from an Urtext edition.
The added value of the knowledge shared in the preface makes this an excellent edition, and one which I can highly recommend.
From the Publisher
This edition contains Couperin’s four “Concerts royaux”, which were published in 1722 as part of Book III of his “Pièces de clavecin”. For the first time it makes these pieces, scored for chamber ensemble, separately available in an Urtext edition. It is based on the musical text of the solo harpsichord version found in the pioneering new edition of “Pièces de clavecin III” (BA 10846). The editor has painstakingly evaluated the many impressions of the original print, most of which he himself discovered in libraries throughout the world.
The preface (Fr/Eng) contains informative details on historical performance practice and on the conception of the “Concerts royaux”, which Couperin expressly intended to be performed either by solo harpsichord or with accompanying ensemble. The modern engraving preserves essential features of the original print, which largely avoids page-turns within the pieces. It thereby brings today’s players close to the special sound of this music in a fascinating way. Couperin’s table of embellishments and symbols as well as a glossary (Fr/Eng) and a detailed Critical Commentary (Eng) round off this long-overdue Urtext edition.
- Performance score (harpsichord) and 2 parts (descant, bass)
- First separate Urtext edition of the “Concerts royaux” for chamber ensemble, based on the pioneering new edition of Book III of the “Pièces de clavecin” (BA 10846)
- Preserves essential features of the original notation as well as Couperin’s original embellishment signs
- Notes on historical performance practice, glossary, Couperin’s table of embellishments and symbols (Fr/Eng) and detailed Critical Commentary (Eng)
- Part 1: Flute or Treble Recorder
- Part 2 (Optional): Flute
- Part 3: Basso continuo
Publisher's reference: 0111844000
Our Stock Code: 1645194
Score and parts (35 pages [score])