Paris in the early 18th century was shaking off the strict regime of the Sun King Louis XIV. All of the moral codes and laws associated with the latter years of his reign were cast aside, much to the joy of Parisians – especially the artistic fraternity. Artists from all over Europe flocked to the city to take advantage of the new easy going regime of the regent Duke of Orleans – the heir, Louis XV being too young to rule.
The ‘French School’ of music flourished, and the leading light among composers was Francois Couperin, the newly appointed harpsichordist to the Royal Chamber. One of the works composed at this time was his ‘Second Book for the Harpsichord’. It included a rondowith the enigmatic title ‘Les Baricades Misterieuses’, based closely on a lute piece by Ennemond Gaultier ‘La Cascade’.
The inclusion of both works on this CD neatly illustrates the close bond between lutenists and harpsichordists in the baroque period. Both instruments are plucked, and the great harpsichord composers were always aware of the great legacy of the lute, both in terms of its repertoire and the inspiration they could acquire from its practitioners.
Enter the Silesian Silvius Weiss, friend of JS Bach, and the greatest lutenist of all time. His works on this CD pay a direct homage to Couperin. The title ‘Les Barricades Mistérieuses’ refers to the ‘mystery’ of wooing a girl. The fluttering of her eyelashes – eyelashes being the barricades, which protect the windows of the soul, or, depending on if the wooer was lucky or not in the art of love, the treacherous mirrors that are the eyes!
New recording made in 2007
Extensive booklet notes
Serdoura is an acknowledged expert on the baroque lute and has written a major treatise on the instrument.
‘Miguel Serdoura is a passionate and intelligent musician who deserves to be heard in the world’ Lutenist Hopkinson Smith
“Wunderlich's Dichterliebe is impassioned and intensely present, coupled with outstanding Beethoven and Schubert performances.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.