Le Rappel Des Oiseaux

Luc Beausejour (harpsichord) (Analekta)

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AN28797_Oiseaux

Le Rappel Des Oiseaux
Harpsichord Works by Rameau, Dacquin, F Couperin, Dornel, Duphly, D’Agincour, Fevrier and Dandrieu
Luc Beausejour (harpsichord)
Analekta AN28798   52:57 mins

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Canadian harpsichordist and organist Luc Beauséjour has for many years been a prominent artist on the Analekta label. For his latest release he has devised a programme of 18th-century harpsichord pieces inspired by or in some way associated with birdsong. The title track, Rameau’s Le Rappel des Oiseaux, opens the proceedings. Its colourful tone-painting, enriched with arpeggios, is evocative of an agitated flock of birds and, with the composer’s ingeniously imitative La Poule forms the framework of Beauséjour’s menu. Among the other best-known pieces are six by François Couperin, of which Le Rossignol-en-amour has long been a favourite of performers and audiences. Beauséjour brings sensibility and naïve charm to the music, as he does in the composer’s melancholy warbling Les Fauvétes Plaintives. The remaining morçeau favori is Louis-Claude Daquin’s Le Coucou, which lacks the sophistication of Couperin but pleases nonetheless.

Many other pieces in this recital will be relatively if not entirely unfamiliar to all but harpsichordists. Among the best of them is Pierre Février’s Les Tendres Tourterelles – the character of these rather pensive turtle doves is affectingly captured. Another delight is La Fauvette by François d’Agincour: Beauséjour gives an infectious account of this bi-partite piece.

In summary, an ornithological feast, from which the greatest enjoyment will be had by listening to small groups of pieces at a time. The accompanying essay is strong on nature notes, but singularly uninformative about the composers and their music.

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Nicholas Anderson