Les Delices de la Solitude – Solo harpsichord music from 18th Century France (DXL 917)



The Clavecinistes or (French harpsichord school) represent one of the most significant traditions of Western Classical music. Working in the C17th and C18th, they achieved a refinement of keyboard writing which was consistently admired and was influential even into the era of the early pianoforte and beyond.

During this period French harpsichord makers sought to extend the rich timbre of their instruments and devised better ways to control contrasts of registration and dynamic. This in turn allowed players to enlarge the technical and expressive scope of their music. The pieces recorded here are representative of about sixty years of this process, when the French harpsichord tradition, inspired by the genius of Couperin and Rameau, was at its height.

Terence Charlston is a leading specialist performer of early keyboard music. He is professor of harpsichord and basso continuo at the Royal Academy of Music, London where as Head of Early Music he became an international authority on historical performance practice.

“Under the evocative title ‘Les Délices de la Solitude’ Terence Charlston has assembled a delightful and varied programme of harpsichord pieces by Francois Couperin and friends…The recording is lovely and rich and 70 minutes is a generous overall playing time. An enjoyable introduction to the repertory of the clavecinistes.”  Simon Heighes, International Record Review, June 2001

“Terence Charlston’s recital is an attractive one, pleasingly constructed and played with idiomatic fluency..There is plenty to enjoy in an imaginative programme of morceaux favoris.”  Nicholas Anderson, BBC Music Magazine, 2001


Track List

François Couperin (1668-1733)
1. Septième Prélude
2. Les Baricades Mistérieuses
3. Les Bergeries
4. Le Moucheron

Antoine Forqueray (1671-1745)
5. La Forqueray
6. La Leclair

François Couperin
7. Les Délices
8. Le Petit-Rien

Jean-Phillipe Rameau (1683-1764)
9. La Livri
10. L’Enharmonique
11. L’Egyptienne

Jean-François Dandrieu (1682-1738)
12. L’Harmonieuse

François Couperin
13. Premier Prélude
14. La Ténébreuse
15. Seconde Courante
16. La Lugubre
17. La Favorite
18. La Lutine

Jacques Duphly (1715-1789)
19. La Forqueray

The pieces recorded here by leading specialist of early keyboard music Terence Charlston are representative of athe period during which French harpsichord makers sought to extend the timbre of their instruments, when the French harpsichord tradition, inspired by the genius of Couperin and Rameau, was at its height.

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