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François Couperin wrote some of France’s greatest music in the classical style. The Suites for Viola da gamba and Harpsichord are late works, published in 1728, and are perfect examples of his richly expressive style which here draws upon Italian models as well as, perhaps, celebrating another genius of the French school, Marin Marais, who had died in the year the Suites were published. Intense and passionate, the suites offer lyricism and virtuosity, Italian bravura and French richness. The last of Couperin’s harpsichord ordres (or suites) consists of four varied pieces, including Les 8570944 Chinois, an early example of interest in China in Western music.
Francois Couperin: Pieces de violes avec la basse chifree: Suite No. 1 in E minor
II. Allemande legere
IV. Sarabande grave
VII. Passacaille ou Chaconne
Francois Couperin: Pieces de violes avec la basse chifree: Suite No. 2 in A major
III. Pompe funebre
IV. La Chemise blanche
Francois Couperin: Pieces de Clavecin, Book 4: 27th Ordre in B minor
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