Jean-Philippe Rameau’s modest output of works for keyboard (around 50 in total) are a crowning influence in French 18th-century instrumental music - summed up by one commentator as being "a paradigm of his mastery, for surveying it is to review many facets of his greatness". Famed for his additional contributions to French opera and for his advances in musical theory of the day, his keyboard works are beguiling in their mix of subtle beauty and virtuosity. The characterful works invoke both pictorial and poetic themes - a style that performer Jill Crossland describes as "an ability to characterise, to construct a miniature world in a few instants."
British pianist Jill Crossland is well know for her performances of 18th-century repertoire - her recording of JS Bach’s 48 Preludes and Fugues has been described in glowing terms by a number of reviewers:
"Within seconds you’re drawn into the gentle hammer-strokes that unloack Crossland’s warm, rounded and perpetually singing sonority ... The preludes inspire Crossland’s best work" - Gramophone
"Altogether this performance ranks with the finest previous versions, a remarkable achievement" - The Penguin Guide to CD’s
"...This is Crossland’s finest CD yet, and one hopes that she’ll set down Rameau’s remaining keyboard works in due course."
Jed Distler - Gramophone magazine - April 2012
"...Jill Crossland tackles these pieces, ranging from the frolicsome "Gigue" to the limpid "La Villageoise", with due delicacy and wit. One’s reminded of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, but with the formality tempered by a blitheness of spirit and a modern elegance that prefigures the Romantics." ****
Andy Gill - The Independent - 13 January 2012
"...This is a consistently delightful disc, the richness of the piano sound adding to the pleasure."
Graham Rickson - The Artsdesk.com - 31 March 2012