Barrière, De Bury: Sonates et suites pour le clavecin

Barrière, De Bury: Sonates et suites pour le clavecin
Composer Bernard De Bury, Jean-Baptiste Barrière
Artist Luca Quintavalle harpsichord
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 95428
EAN code 5028421954288
Release March 2017

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About this release

The output of Jean Barrière (1707-1747) largely focuses around his own instrument, the cello, for which he wrote several books of suites and sonatas that have received sporadic attention on record. His work for harpsichord alone is much less well-known, though hardly less stylish. Like his contemporaries Jacques Duphly and Jean-Phillippe Rameau, Barrière entitled one of his pieces La Boucon for Anne-Jeanne Boucon, who later married Jean-Joseph de Mondonville: she must have been a woman of enviable poise and dignified beauty to judge from the music written in her honour.

The first five of his six sonatas on this album are not French dance suites but transcriptions of Italian-inspired sonatas which he had originally composed for the smallest and highest instrument of the old family of viols, the pardessus de viole. The Italian influence can be traced in the bold and often unprepared dissonances which lend the sonatas both charm and unpredictable drama; the elaborate ornamentation, too, derives at least as much from the florid violin writing of Corelli and Geminiani as from the French harpsichord tradition.

Bernard de Bury is a figure whose music was lost to history until very recently, when in 2009 the scholar-musician Ruta Bloomfield transcribed these pieces from obscure manuscripts and gave them their first performances in modern times. De Bury (1720-1785) was born into a musical family in Versailles, and there he stayed to serve the court. There are four suites, which in the style of Rameau and Couperin describe with wit and tender affection characters from ancient mythology and the composer’s own time, with melodies almost buried beneath cascades of exquisite decoration. In his dedication, de Bury states that he was fifteen years old when he wrote the suites, though such precocious youth could not be guessed from the music itself, which is far from immature. This coupling is unique on record; only one previous recording of de Bury’s work is presently available.

This 2CD set present two French masters of the keyboard, sons of the French Enlightenment: Jean-Baptist Barrière (1707-1747) and Bernard de Bury (1720-1785). Both composers lived through an age in which the French culture absorbed many “foreign” elements, notably the Italian style of the Concerto-style (solo versus tutti), vocal Cantabile and instrumental brilliance.
Luca Quintavalle played with many leading Early Music ensembles such as Concerto Köln and Les Talents Lyriques. He recorded for Sony, DGG, Hyperion and DHM.
Scholarly written liner notes by the artist are included in the booklet.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Sonata No. 1 in B Minor: I. Adagio
  2. Sonata No. 1 in B Minor: II. Allegro
  3. Sonata No. 1 in B Minor: III. Largo
  4. Sonata No. 1 in B Minor: IV. Allegro
  5. Sonata No. 2 in D Major: I. Grave. Prestissimo. Adagio. Prestissimo. Adagio. Prestissimo
  6. Sonata No. 2 in D Major: II. Allegro
  7. Sonata No. 2 in D Major: III. Sarabanda
  8. Sonata No. 2 in D Major: IV. Aria
  9. Sonata No. 3 in E Minor: I. Adagio
  10. Sonata No. 3 in E Minor: II. Allegro
  11. Sonata No. 3 in E Minor: III. Adagio
  12. Sonata No. 3 in E Minor: IV. Aria
  13. Sonata No. 4 in G Major: I. Adagio
  14. Sonata No. 4 in G Major: II. Allegro
  15. Sonata No. 4 in G Major: III. Adagio
  16. Sonata No. 4 in G Major: IV. Aria
  17. Sonata No. 5 in B-flat Major: I. Adagio
  18. Sonata No. 5 in B-flat Major: II. Allegro
  19. Sonata No. 5 in B-flat Major: III. Largo
  20. Sonata No. 5 in B-flat Major: IV. Allegro
  21. Sonata No. 6 in A Minor: I. Andante
  22. Sonata No. 6 in A Minor: II. Larghetto
  23. Sonata No. 6 in A Minor: III. Aria amoroso
  24. La casamajor
  25. La duchesne
  26. La tribolet

Disk 2

  1. La boucon
  2. La plancy
  3. La dupont
  4. Premiere suite in A Major: I. La minerve. Sans lenteur
  5. Premiere suite in A Major: II. Sarabande, les regrets
  6. Premiere suite in A Major: III. Les graces badine.: 1er partie. Legerement. 2e partie
  7. Premiere suite in A Major: IV. La tendre agitation. Modérément
  8. Premiere suite in A Major: V. Le plaidoyer de Cithère. Gracieusement sans lenteur. 1er rondeau. 2e rondeau
  9. Seconde suite in C Major: I. La belle brune. Moderement
  10. Seconde suite in C Major: II. Sarabande, la prude. Doucement
  11. Seconde suite in C Major: III. L’enfantine. Gratieusement
  12. Seconde suite in C Major: IV. La cithérée. Gracieusement sans lenteur. 1er Rondeau. 2e rondeau
  13. Troisième suite in G Major: I. Les Amusemens. 1er Rondeau. 2e Rondeau
  14. Troisième suite in G Major: II. Sarabande, la ou les sentimens. Gracieusement
  15. Troisième suite in G Major: III. Z–ephir – 1er Menuet
  16. Troisième suite in G Major: IV. Flore – 2e Menuet
  17. Troisième suite in G Major: V. La pithonisse
  18. Troisième suite in G Major: VI. Loure
  19. Troisième suite in G Major: VII. La séduisante. Gracieusement. 1er Rondeau. 2e Rondeau. Double du 1er Rondeau-Double du 2e Rondeau
  20. Quatrième suite in E Major: I. La brillante
  21. Quatrième suite in E Major: II. La dampiere
  22. Quatrième suite in E Major: III. La michelon. Vivement
  23. Quatrième suite in E Major: IV. La jeunesse, menuet
  24. Quatrième suite in E Major: V. Chaconne