Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.
Royer: Complete music for harpsichord
Yago Mahugo (harpsichord after Johannes Ruckers, Antwerp 1638)
One of the lesser‐known composers of the mid 18th‐century, Turin‐born Joseph‐ Nicolas‐Pancrace Royer relocated to Paris, where he earned a reputation as a formidable harpsichordist. He was in the service of Louis XV for many years, and wrote many operas and ballets for the court at Versailles, later becoming administrator of the Concert Spirituel. Royer’s harpsichord works bear the hallmarks of his work in the musical theatre.
In a preface to the Premier Livre de Pièces pour Clavecin, the composer states that the ‘pieces are open to great variety, passing from the tender to the lively, from the simple to the tumultuous, often successively within the same piece’. They also show the impact of his work in the musical theatre, with several being arrangements of instrumental numbers from his operas.
The lilting La Zaïde – with L’Aimable, La Sensible and Les Tendres Sentiments – is an example of a ‘tender’ piece, with the latter particularly notable thanks its rhythmic freedom. Several pieces can be described as ‘tumultuous’, in particular the relentlessly energetic and demanding La Marche des Scythes, and the changeable L’Incertaine lives up to its title, not conforming to a specific definition. Yago Mahugo, prizewinner at the International Harpsichord Competition and at the Bruggen Competition (Belgium), leads an active concert life and has performed in many of the most prestigious concert halls and festivals throughout Europe and the USA.
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Skip Sempé - A French Collection
This volume, the third in a series dedicated to French Music, is a selection from the huge roduction of those composers, living in the shadow of Rameau: all great teachers, virtuoso performers and composers. Skip Sempé has taken the most wonderful pieces, re-creating a real concert of Parisian Musique de Salon. Rameau was the model for this generation of harpsichord players, but hearing this disc reminds us that Rameau's contemporaries were also outstanding harpsichordists. The next great flowering of keyboard music in France was to be the music and playing of Chopin, who can rightly be considered the last keyboard composer-performer of the great French salon tradition. Playing on the superb harpsichord by Bruce Kennedy based on 18th century French originals, Skip Sempé is the ideal guide for this voyage into the extraordinary diversity of French harpsichord music from the Age of the Enlightenment.
“Skempé's evocation of this sound world is unsurpassed. His inventiveness is immense and vibrant, encompassing extreme tempos, aching lyricism, and delicate hesitations. On this disc his performing genius culminates in the show-stopping Marches des scythes... The intensity of Skempé's delivery leaves this listener breathless.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2009 ****
“French flamboyance and virtuosity on a disc you'll want to hear again and again. This is music that is strongly made, characterful, inventive and gloriously sonorous, especially on the Bruce Kennedy French-style instrument that Sempé touches so expertly here... This is a harpsichord release to treasure and play over and again.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2009
“Skip Sempé presents an eminently stylish recital of what he calls Parisian salon repertoire — single movements composed by some of the best of that large army of French claveciniste-composers of the 18th century. The hallmark is exuberant variety, manifest in virtuosic character pieces by Louis Marchand, Jacques Duphly, Armand-Louis Couperin, Claude-Bénigne Balbastre, Michel Corrette and Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer. Much is made, in the liner notes, of what Sempé calls the sans souci effect — the improvisatory freedom he allows himself in terms of rhythm, ornament, noncoincidence of hands, pauses and so on. The result is music-making that mixes elegance with a wonderful immediacy.” Sunday Times, 22nd March 2009 ****
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.