Lebègue: Les Pièces de Clavessin, Books I & II

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Nicolas Lebègue (1631-1702) spent most of his life at the Court of the Sun King Louis XIV in Versailles, where he was court organist, but also played an active part in all of the manifold musical activities at the court, such as playing the harpsichord for the King, participating in the court orchestra and accompanying famous visiting musicians.

Composer: Nicolas Lebègue
Artists: Agustín Álvarez (harpsichord)

Nicolas Lebègue (1631-1702) is largely represented in the record catalogue by albums of organ music. Yet his pieces for harpsichord are no less distinctive and appealing in their way, and this new recording presents a rare chance to survey that side of his output in toto.

Known in his day among the most renowned organists of Paris, Lebègue left to us three books of organ music, and this pair of volumes for harpsichord. Their style may owe something to the examples of Chambonnières and Louis Couperin, but there are notable differences. Lebègue tends to underplay the pictorial or illustrative potential of his genre, and emphasise instead its natural language of formal elegance. Such formality is reflected in the organization of his suites, which open with an allemande–courante coupling, preceded only in his first book by unmeasured preludes. After the courante there follows a mixture of dances, always poised and gracefully turned. Particular high-points include the Chaconne in C (first book) and the Chaconne grave in G (second book), which attain a stature worthy of Louis Couperin.

In a personal, engaging but also scholarly booklet essay, Agustín Álvarez outlines his approach: ‘not only as a musician, but from the point of view of a dancer, trying to understand the steps, as well as the physical and intellectual attitudes which mould the sublime art of movement of French Baroque dance and which Nicolas Lebègue gradually reveals to us as a ceremonial master of his art.’ Born in Venezuela and trained in in Madrid and Milan, Álvarez also studied Baroque dance and continues to work with an important Spanish dance company. In 2015 he recorded the Concertos for Two Harpsichords by Soler: a Brilliant Classics album (BC95327) that attracted praise from distinguished quarters: ‘These French-styled harpsichords have beautiful tone… Alvarez and Fernandez make the music sound noble and even sometimes sombre’ (American Record Guide, March 2017).

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Comments

sabrinasjourney says:

Its so fluid. I never really heard harpsichord played like this!

EL CIBERCRISTIANO says:

interessante entspannende Musik… el cibercristiano

Buse Polat says:

Actually i learned it at the moment. wonderful✨

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Harpsichord Vinyl Gallery says:

Mjammie! Thank you Brilliant Classics for presenting both books in one set of recordings.

Alex Georgiou says:

Is this an equal temperament? I think no… but I am not sure. What do you think?

JESSETAVERNARD says:

CLAVEssIN avec SS?

kajal says:

Lovely ❤️

notaire2 says:

Nicht so systematisch oder logisch wie Wohltemperierte Klavier von Bach komponiert, klingen alle Meisterstücke echt schön und auch lyrisch mit klarem doch zugleich anmutigem Klang des genialen Cembalos. Wunderbar!

Hanna Wagenknecht says:

Nie gehört,ist ja zauberhaft,danke sehr.

MacKenziePoet.com says:

Again, we must all thank Brilliant Classics for providing comprehensive biographical and other data under each and every video. The world has a great deal to learn from Brilliant Classics.

Tom Furgas says:

Very elegant and refined music. I've studied classical music (especially Baroque) for many decades and I am very surprised I have not heard of Lebegue until now. Very glad that he is finally being heard and enjoyed after so many years of neglect. Bravo to Brilliant for bringing us this excellent clavecin music.

Samito Bribiesca says:

C'est MERVEILLEUSE MERCI !!!

PH Canários says:

Bravo!!!!!!

Brilliant Classics says:

Tracklist:

Nicolas Lebègue:

Pièces in D Major, Book I:

00:00:00 I. Prélude in D Minor

00:01:44 II. Allemande

00:05:54 III. Courante grave

00:07:36 IV. Courante gaye & double

00:10:32 V. Sarabande

00:14:00 VI. Gavotte

00:15:06 VII. Menuet

00:16:04 VIII. Canaris

00:17:57 IX. Courante in D-Sharp Minor

00:19:15 X. Sarabande grave

00:22:54 XI. Gigue

00:24:54 XII. Chaconne grave

00:27:51 XIII. Ballet

00:29:03 XIV. Gavotte

Pièces in G Major, Book I:

00:30:03 I. Prélude in G Minor

00:31:27 II. Allemande

00:35:24 III. Allemande gaye

00:38:29 IV. Courante grave

00:40:05 V. 2me Courante

00:41:22 VI. Sarabande grave

00:44:14 VII. Gavotte

00:45:02 VIII. Menuet

00:46:09 IX. Courante in G Major

00:47:31 X. Gigue d´angleterre fort viste

00:48:49 XI. Bourée & double

00:49:59 XII. Menuet

00:51:09 XIII. 2me Menuet

Pièces in A Major, Book I:

00:52:22 I. Prélude in A Minor

00:53:37 II. Allemande

00:56:23 III. Courante

00:58:12 IV. 2me Courante

00:59:38 V. Sarabande grave

01:02:44 VI. Gigue

01:05:12 VII. Menuet

01:06:16 VIII. 2me Menuet

Pièces in C Major, Book I:

01:07:19 I. Prélude in C Major

01:08:41 II. Allemande

01:12:21 III. Courante

01:13:51 IV. 2me Courante & double

01:16:04 V. Chaconne

01:19:54 VI. Bourée & double

01:21:43 VII. Gigue

01:24:01 VIII. Gavotte & double

01:25:44 IX. Menuet

Pièces in F Major, Book I:

01:26:56 I. Prélude in F Major

01:28:33 II. Allemande

01:31:40 III. Courante

01:32:55 IV. Courante

01:34:18 V. Sarabande grave

01:37:15 VI. Gigue

01:39:02 VII. Gavotte

Suite in D Minor, Book II:

01:40:06 I. Allemande

01:42:48 II. Courante

01:44:33 III. Sarabande grave

01:47:40 IV. Gigue

01:49:00 V. Menuet

Suite in G Minor, Book II:

01:49:43 I. Allemande

01:53:44 II. 2 me Allemande

01:56:34 III. Courante

01:58:05 IV. Sarabande

02:01:16 V. Rondeau

02:02:12 VI. Gigue

02:04:33 VII. Passacaille

02:07:52 VIII. Menuet

02:08:47 IX. Gavotte

02:09:49 X. Gavotte

02:10:52 XI. Menuet

Suite in A Minor, Book II:

02:11:41 I. Allemande

02:15:33 II. Courante

02:17:09 III. Sarabande

02:20:05 IV. Gavotte

02:20:54 V. Menuet

Suite in A Major Book II:

02:21:45 I. Allemande

02:25:15 II. Courante

02:26:55 III. Sarabande fort grave

02:29:36 IV. Gigue

02:31:41 V. Bourée & double

02:33:15 VI. Cannaris

Suite in F Major, Book II:

02:35:08 I. Allemande

02:38:18 II. Courante

02:39:59 III. Sarabande

02:43:15 IV. Gigue

02:44:30 V. Menuet

02:45:09 VI. Menuet

02:46:06 VII. Chaconne

Suite in G Major, Book II:

02:48:55 I. Allemande

02:52:30 II. Courante

02:54:02 III. Sarabande grave

02:57:29 IV. Chaconne grave

03:01:17 V. Menuet

03:01:53 VI. Gigue

03:04:09 VII. Bourée

03:05:05 VIII. Air de hautbois

03:06:52 IX. Gavotte & double

03:08:39 X. Petitte chaconne

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