Sunday, 26 November 2017

Balbastre - Pieces de Clavecin, Livre I - Rousset

Rating: 5/5

An excellent release

This is yet another excellent release from Christophe Rousset.  Somewhat to my shame, I hadn't heard of Balbastre but I'm willing to try anything that Rousset records and I'm very glad I did.

Balbastre published these pieces in 1757 and they clearly show the influence of the Baroque era which was coming to its close.  They don't show anything like the contrapuntal genius of Bach, for example, or the melodic and harmonic gifts of Handel – but then very few composers' work does.  They are enjoyable, neatly turned pieces which certainly deserve to be recorded and heard.

It is Rousset's playing which really makes this a top-class disc.  He has been a magnificent harpsichordist for decades now and his experience, technique and genuine love and feeling for this music shine through, lifting it well above the ordinary.  His harpsichord (by Goujon in the early 18th Century) sounds simply wonderful, with a full, resonant depth and the whole thing is a pleasure.

In short, this is a fine release of decent music made really good by a brilliant player and a lovely instrument.  Very warmly recommended.

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