BHS: A Portrait of Europe
Camille Ravot (harpsichord)
Francois Couperin (1668-1733) was one of the great masters of harpsichord style in 18th century France. His music was of a consistently high quality and he was highly prolific. However, despite being a respected harpsichordist and composer at the court of Louis XIV, he was 45 years old when his first book of harpsichord pieces was published. This book contains 5 ‘ordres’, Couperin’s alternative name for ‘suites’. The second ‘ordre’ is lengthy, at 22 separate movements, and comprises “Dance Pieces” and “Character Pieces”.
The fragile and introvert character of Couperin’s music is in contrast to that of Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Scarlatti wrote more than 555 harpsichord sonatas, all of a unique character and originality, and which focus on the brighter register of the harpsichord. Scarlatti arrived in Lisbon in 1719 as music teacher to the Portuguese princess Maria Magdalena Barbara before moving to Seville, and later Madrid. These three F-minor sonatas are representative of the Spanish style he will have been exposed to during these years.
The last composer in this programme, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), was a hugely influential figure in the development the early Classical style. One of the better-known sons of Johann Sebastian Bach, CPE Bach’s treatise, An Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments (1753) is an important document that inspired later generations of players and is still read today.
François Couperin (1668-1733)
3 Sonates K204 a – K481 -204 b
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)
Sonate in D minor Wq69-H53
When: 14th Jun 2016 at 18:30
£10, £6 students
Booking line: +44(0)20 7399 1953
Friends booking: Monday 28 March, 10am
Public booking: Monday 11 April, 10am