Couperin: The Harpsichord Works Volume 1: The Tragic Muse

Couperin - Volume 1Rave Review for "The Tragic Muse"

Appel’s finely nuanced performance makes these as fresh as if they were recorded yesterday. He knows instinctively when to use the registrations of the harpsichord to best advantage, how to delicately perform Couperin’s precise ornaments, and how to phrase each line, even those intertwined with each other, so that the music comes alive. For me, this is the one recording of these works to have and it is my hope that eventually all of them will appear. Highly recommended.

- Bertil van Boer, FANFARE Magazine

It is neither secret nor surprise that my favorite harpsichord composer is François Couperin. As Chopin seems to own the soul of the piano, so Couperin understands and calls upon so many qualities of his instrument that make it unique and beautifully expressive. His genius as a composer rises about all his contemporaries in France and his emotional voice, his expressive vocabulary is at times and in turn noble, sensitive, melancholy, humorous, sensuous, picturesque, dancelike, theatrical, sarcastic, grotesque, tragic, grand, elegiac, pensive, decorous or passionate.

You can imagine my response when Orchid Classics, on hearing the first installment of Couperin’s harpsichord suites, said they wanted to release a complete Couperin! At this point in my career, when I have much to say about this music, a challenge of recording 27 Ordres (as Couperin called his suites) is a welcome entry into a world that I want to inhabit. It will be a decade long project and I am thrilled to present this first volume to you now.

You can read the program notes and listen to some extracts at your computer (, you can purchase it on iTunes or better yet, order The Tragic Muse and let me send you a copy immediately. Click here for an order form.

I invite you to take this voyage with me through the best of French music and some of the most beautiful pages written for the harpsichord.

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