Duphly: Pièces de clavecin

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LABELS: Dabringhaus und Grimm Scene
WORKS: Pièces de clavecin
PERFORMER: Mitzi Meyerson (harpsichord)
CATALOGUE NO: MDG 605 1068-2
Mitzi Meyerson recently issued a lively and stimulating recital of pieces by the German composer Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer. Now, on the same label she offers a discerningly chosen selection of pieces by Duphly. Meyerson is no stranger to the music of this representative of the final phase of the French solo harpsichord repertory since, several years ago, she made another disc containing pieces by him which has been reissued on CD (ASV). The new release contains a slightly more generous selection than the other, with only two duplications: the darkly coloured ‘La Forqueray’, and the beguiling ‘La de Villeneuve’. Duphly published four volumes of harpsichord music between 1744 and 1768 and Meyerson has dipped into all of them for her second disc, ringing the changes between genre or portrait pieces and more standardised French dances. Among the most striking of the dances is a finely sustained chaconne, varied in rhythm, in character and in colour. It makes an imposing start to Meyerson’s recital, showing off at least some of the tonal range of her sumptuously voiced harpsichord, a Taskin copy by Keith Hill. The miniature portrait pieces are full of expressive charm and are sometimes deeply evocative in what they seem to paint of their subject or sitter but, as ever with this elusive repertoire, a lively imagination helps to fill in the lacunae. Meyerson’s responsive impulses and technically supple technique are enlivening qualities which bring allure to Duphly’s graceful if unprofound art. But greater intimacy where recorded sound is concerned would have been more appropriate. Nicholas Anderson