Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Rameau - Les Tendres Plaintes

Rating: 3/5

Fine playing, questionable interpretation

This is an interesting idea and Sylvie Proulx plays very well, but I'm not wholly convinced by this disc, I'm afraid.

Rameau's music is very firmly French Baroque, with powerful rhythms and some intricate counterpoint in places.  Proulx is plainly a very fine guitarist who gets the counterpoint part very well indeed, making these often complex textures sound unforced even in some virtuosic passages.  However, her emphases, phrasing, use of rubato and even the tone of her guitar at times give a much later, more Romantic and more Spanish feel to these pieces so that at times I feel that I might almost be listening to Sor or even Albeniz.  It is striking that when she adopts a more harpsichord-like tone and stricter rhythm in Le Rappel des Oiseaux, I found the whole thing worked much better.

These are matters of personal taste, of course.  Rameau's music is terrific, Proulx's playing is technically excellent and the recorded sound is very good, so if this style appeals to you it's a disc which should give a lot of pleasure.  Personally, though, I can only give it a qualified recommendation.

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