Couperin wanted to hear his music performed with taste, and filled his scores What on earth does Le Tic-Toc-Choc ou les Maillotins mean?. Couperin, F: Pièces de clavecin II: Ordre 6ème in B flat: Les baricades mistérieuses. Couperin, F: Le Tic-Toc-Choc ou Les Maillotins (18e ordre). Alexandre Couperin – Alexandre Tharaud Joue Couperin: Tic, Toc, Choc – Music. Le Tic-Toc-Choc ou Les Maillotins (18e ordre). by Alexandre.

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It is also full of wit, charm and humour, and these very French characteristics make it immediately appealing. Ornamentation is the very essence of his music.

Troisième livre de pièces de clavecin (Couperin, François)

My next example was copyrighted inand is from Kalmus study scoreFrench Composers for the Clavichord. Couperin left no clues and asked to be forgiven for not explaining. For many modern musicians, we can safely return to the French, and use the Heugel Le Pupitre series, the four Couperin volumes edited in the early s by Kenneth Gilbert.

The manager of my record company, the late Ted Perry, suggested I look at his music. My parents, my first teachers, no doubt told me something about him: The clavichord was not terribly popular in France. Many are musical portraits of friends, court acquaintances or the King himself. A succession of Couperins held the post of organist coupedin the church of Saint-Gervais in Paris for years One of the best may well be one of the first: His reasoning was logical: The two never met, although there is some record of a correspondence which evidently ended up as jam pot covers, thus lost forever.

This scan was made from the facsimile edition published by Anne Fuzeau Productionsand as it is a direct photographic tid, it obviously reproduces the elegant engraving of the original edition which was supervized by Couperin himself.

I was coming to the end of a complete JS Bach cycle on disc played on the pianoso why not look at the French harpsichordists of the period? This is an unpardonable negligence, the more so since it tpc not at all an arbitrary matter to put in what ornaments one wishes.

At the start, I thought I would be lucky to find enough material for one disc, but I gradually fell in love with the music. This score shares the neat appearance of the antique Augener edition, but has the advantage of later scholarship and greater accuracy. One problem facing the modern interpreter is deciphering his ornamentation and markings and making them work.


Woe betide the interpreter who thinks he knows better than the composer, who says: Couperin often found that it did not, and became irritated by poor performances of his music. So what score can you reliably play from? One of his most picturesque compositions is Le Rossignol en Amour The Nightingale in Lovealthough, as another French composer, Olivier Messiaen, an ardent bird-lover, noted: We used to make the various harpsichord volumes of this Le Pupitre series available.

Others, such as Les Moissonneurs The Reapers hark back to his rustic origins. The music is crisp and clear, almost sparse in appearance on the page without the expressive goop and fingerings of the other versions.

Indeed, it is said that Louis XIV practised the courante for several hours a day in his youth. Sentiment rules over thematic discourse. Revival vs historic harpsichord First go at the historic harpsichord First go at the modern harpsichord Harpsichord editions Music Books.

I have found internet chatrooms discussing the various possibilities of tiv last: In Couperin, I also find the lyricism and poetry that, as a player, I love to express Les Langueurs-Tendres is a chocc example of Couperin’s long, expressive lines.

To fully understand his music, we have to relate it to the manners and habits of the reign of the Sun King, and most importantly to the dance.

Angela Hewitt on the music of François Couperin | Music | The Guardian

Many musicians, though, would be grateful to have familiar clefs for both hands. Instead, we must cross the Channel. Playing his music means immersing oneself in a large cast of characters and trying to find the secret to each one.

The composer kindly refers us to the preface of his third volume of harpsichord pieces for instructions on how to play the piece. Couperin is a composer whose work pianists and music-lovers should know and understand, not just for its importance in the history of keyboard music, but for sheer pleasure and delight.

It was a daunting task. Tic toc; an indeclinable tof artificial term, which expresses a beating, a reiterated movement, a pulse that beats, a horse that walks, the pendulum of a clock, a hammer that knocks. Fluency and grace in movement, gesture and deportment were part of a general education, especially for the nobility.


So I got the scores to all keyboard pieces by Couperin and began reading them.

France led the way in dance music, thanks to the operatic ballets composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully and performed at Versailles. Edited by Brahms and Chrysander, this scan was made from the Augener edition, first published aboutand frequently reprinted.

Most baroque keyboard composers were content to write with minimal ornamentation, phrasing, tempo markings and other clues to interpretation, hoping that the “good taste” of the performer would take over. In that domain, it made its largest contribution to the history of 17th-century music, and had a huge influence on other composers, including Bach.

I have even heard it explained as “ladies’ underwear” or, to be more precise, “chastity belt”. After all, people play Handel and Scarlatti on the piano, but rarely Couperin and Rameau. Some were obviously pure harpsichord material; others were written for two players at once.

While it is unashamedly pianistic, here is a version by a man that has obviously looked something close to the original source, and preserved as much of the architecture of the music as he could. Another thing that immediately strikes us when we open a volume of Couperin’s harpsichord pieces is the fanciful use of titles, many of which seem completely baffling. Pieces of this kind, moreover, are suitable for two flutes or oboes, as well as for two Violins, two Viols and other instruments of equal pitch, it being understood that those who play them will adapt them to their own range.

It was 30 years later that I encountered Couperin seriously again. As a dancer myself throughout my childhood, I am drawn to any music that is dance-like.

It takes a long time to absorb it naturally into the interpretation of a piece, let alone to memorise it. Those who have a Harpsichord with only one Manual, or a spinet, will play the upper part as written, and the Bass an octave lower; when the Bass cannot be taken an octave lower, then the upper part will have to be moved up an octave. I now perform it often, and plan to record three discs, including eight complete Ordres.