Forqueray: Pièces de clavecin

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Forqueray
LABELS: Dabringhaus und Grimm Gold
WORKS: Pièces de clavecin
PERFORMER: Mitzi Meyerson (harpsichord)
CATALOGUE NO: MDG 605 1101-2
Only eight months ago I enthusiastically welcomed Christophe Rousset’s survey of Jean-Baptiste Forqueray’s harpsichord transcriptions of his father Antoine’s pieces for bass viol (Decca). Now comes another from American harpsichordist Mitzi Meyerson, co-founder of the excellent Trio Sonnerie. When Antoine Forqueray died in 1745, it was left to Jean-Baptiste to assemble his father’s compositions. Two years later, he brought out a two-part edition containing the bass viol pieces, and the same pieces in harpsichord transcription, together with three pieces of his own. These last-mentioned are contained in the third of five suites. Meyerson is comfortably Rousset’s match in matters of rhythmic suppleness and stylistic authority, evidently revelling in the esprit and fine craftsmanship which are hallmarks of some richly rewarding music. On this showing, at least, she is a more demonstrative player than Rousset, introducing more forceful gestures and, in short, a more strongly defined character to the music. Hers is more fiery playing if, perhaps, less refined than that of her French rival, and its appeal, to my sensibilities, that much greater. Nowhere, perhaps, is it more apparent than in the Chaconne ‘La Morangis ou la Plissay’ of Forqueray fils, where the resonant sonorities are further enhanced by Keith Hill’s copy of a 1779 Taskin harpsichord in the Russell Collection, Edinburgh. This is one of three currently available recordings of Forqueray’s pieces and, on balance, the most satisfying of them. Nicholas Anderson