CD-1284 WANDERING SHADES (Les Ombres Errantes): The Final Harpsichord Works of François Couperin. Katherine Roberts Perl, harpsichord.
François Couperin (1668-1733) was the most famous and prolific Claveciniste of the French Baroque, and earned the title of “Le Grand” early in his career. His music has influenced many composers beyond the Baroque era including Johannes Brahms, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Richard Strauss and Thomas Ades. Brahms himself made considerable efforts to revive the reputation of François Couperin, performing his keyboard music in concerts.
For this release, San Francisco-based harpsichordist Katherine Roberts Perl has drawn upon Couperin’s later works which were composed during a period of declining health. While much of Couperin’s music pays tribute to Lully’s grand style, his later works are often composed in a darker, dreamier, more reflective tone. Unknowingly, he is creating a pathway which will lead to the future of French keyboard music— to Faure, Debussy and Ravel.
Katherine Roberts Perl has a deep affinity for music of the French Baroque. Her first recording, Pieces de Clavecin, Music of Louis Couperin (Koch International Classics), was nominated for an award by Les Victoires de la Musique Classique in Paris, France, for Best Baroque Recording of French Music in 1993.Her second recording, Music of Jacques Duphly (Dorian), was released in 1998, followed by four of Bach’s French Suites in the same year. In 2007-8, she recorded The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2.
“The key to Roberts’ success is her fluent but precise rhythmic sense. She has a way of springing the rhythm, drawing out the line, waiting until the last possible moment before attacking a note without damaging the onward flow in the slightest. Strength and delicacy, nuance and bite seemed available in abundance…a fluent but precise rhythmic sense.”
—Charles Shere, Oakland Tribune