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Sonatas Wq 51/2-5 (Lars Ulrik Mortensen) Couperin Prelude in B minor & 17th Ordre from Pieces de Clavecin (Anne Gallet) Rameau Suite en mi
Christiane Jaccottet. Harpsichord by Stirnemann, 1777.
Claves 50-9908 [73 mins]
Amazon UK

This CD is a celebration of the restoration of an important harpsichord now in the Geneva Museum of Art & History. It is a magnificently decorated five-octave insstrument, bequeathed by Mme. Teyssere-Vuilleurnier in order that her life-long endeavours for early music would be sustained.

Three well-known harpsichordists collaborated on this recording in August 1998; Christiane Jaccottet died shortly afterwards and the release is dedicated to her memory. Mortensen studied in London with Trevor Pinnock, & can be heard on the DG Archiv Bach concertos set reviewed recently; his recording of the Goldberg Variations was awarded the French Diapaison d'or. Anne Gallet is professor for harpsichord in Geneva.

The CPE Bach sonatas are not amongst his better known - they are enjoyable, with moods from the expressive empfindsamer Stil to the vivacious. The French music sounds superb on this lovely instrument and both harpsichordists are fully into its flexible style, which goes far beyond what one sees in the score. Although it is unusual to have a CD shared in this way, this one does not prompt comparisons between the players. Recommended as a multiple memento, to the former owner and benefactor and to Christiane Jaccottet, who has a substantial discography.

It is a well balanced programme, well recorded with Radio Suisse Romande-Espace 2 and lavishly documented.

Peter Grahame Woolf


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