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CHAN 0708
Rameau Harpsichord Works, Vol. 2

Rameau: Pièces de Clavecin, Vol. 2

The Classical Shop
release date: August 2004

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2003


Sophie Yates



Forde Abbey, Somerset


Gary Cole


Gary Cole

Record Label



Early Music

Total Time - 72:47
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Rameau Harpsichord Works, Vol. 2



Select Complete Single Disc for
  Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin  

Suite in A

1 I Allemande 7:07
2 II Courante 4:03
3 III Sarabande 1:58
4 IV Les Trois Mains 4:52
5 V Fanfarinette 2:53
6 VI La Triomphante 1:38
7 VII Gavotte [with 6 Doubles] 6:58

Suite in G

8 I Les Tricotets. Rondeau 2:05
9 II L'Indifferente 1:54
10 III Menuet - Deuxième Menuet 3:36
11 IV La Poule 5:06
12 V Les Triolets 4:08
13 VI Les Sauvages 1:51
14 VII L'Enharmonique 6:31
15 VIII L'Égiptienne 3:30

Cinq pièces pour clavecin seul, extraites de Pièces de clavecin en concerts (Paris, 1741)

  [Five pieces from Pièces de clavecin en concerts arranged for solo harpsichord]  
16 I La Livri. Rondeau gracieux 2:40
17 II L'Agaçante 2:48
18 III La Timide: Première rondeau gracieux 2:31
19 IV La Timide: Deuxième rondeau 2:10
20 V L'Indescrète. Rondeau 1:27

La Dauphine (1747)

Rameau’s music is particularly important to me. He really brings together everything about the French baroque that I find so exciting, combining formality of structure with decorative extravagance and harmonic innovation. The demands he places on the player make him an innovator in terms of keyboard technique and his writing brings out all the wonderful colours and effects possible on the harpsichord.

Sophie Yates

Volume 2 in Sophie Yates’s survey of Rameau’s music.

The harpsichord Sophie plays is a copy by Andrew Garlick of the Goujon instrument of 1748, housed in the Paris Conservatoire. Its decoration has some Flemish aspects to it, since the harpsichords of the illustrious Ruckers family of Antwerp were highly prized in France at the time. The inside of the lid is gilded with chinoiserie and it has an elegant, Louis XV-style stand. This is just the sort of harpsichord Rameau would have known and played upon himself.

An original and varied programme from one of the great masters of the French baroque.

The young Jean Philippe Rameau had to fight hard against parental opposition in order to pursue a musical career. He won the battle at the age of eighteen when he was expelled from the Jesuit college at which he was supposed to be studying law. His father then sent him off to Italy to see if he could make something of himself as a musician. Upon his return, the young Rameau earned his living as an organist. He moved to Paris and by 1706 had produced his first book of harpsichord pieces.

The world from which Rameau’s music sprang was one in which behaviour was severely controlled – especially at court – by spoken and unspoken rules and conventions. This made the pastoral world of idealised, magical nature a very attractive metaphysical escape-route. The pastoral is therefore a very important theme in Rameau’s works. He also represents human emotions and some of his pieces are more specific descriptions of individuals, echoing the autobiographical style of his forebear, François Couperin.

In Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin , Rameau presents some of his extremely forward-looking ideas on harmony and dissonance. The style of the dance movements – Allemande, Courante and Sarabande – is formal, but in long-breathed phrases, requiring a sustained, legato style of playing which was newly possible on the enlarged, sonorous harpsichord of the mid-eighteenth century. Cinq pièces pour clavecin seul, extraites de ‘Pièces de clavecin en concerts’ are solo versions of pieces originally intended for a trio of violin (or flute), viol and harpsichord playing equal parts (rather than the keyboard assuming the customary continuo role). Rameau himself said that the works lost nothing when played on the harpsichord alone, as can be observed in this recording.

'This second recording in Sophie Yates's Rameau series (the first was released four years ago 12/00) has it all - novelty, familiarity, sensuousness, audacity, musical authority and a beautiful sound… Stunning!

'Sophie Yates plays a powerful sounding harpsichord and finds opportunities to display its full musical resources in this consistenly marvellous music. She tackles the big virtuoso moments head on and even manages to fit in a few roulades of her own - I especially enjoyed those at the end of the Gavotte's final Double.'
Early Music Review

With fine sound, a generous CD length, a sweet but resonant copy of a 1749 Goujon harpsichord, and good notes by Yates herself, this album is definitely a winner.

'Yates's strengths are clearly suited to those of Rameau: depth of characterisation, polarised moods and a delight in the instrument's sonorities.'
BBC Music Magazine

'Yates is an elegant, expressively restrained player who imbues Rameau's music with enormous charm and refinement.'
International Record Review

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