Skip Sempe

A French Collection

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Fans of harpsichord music are likely to be enchanted by A French Collection, which includes 17 pièces de clavecin from the Baroque repertoire, performed by Skip Sempé. Each piece, from Duphly's lovely Les Grâces to Balbastre's turbulent La Suzanne, is charming in itself, and taken together they form an attractive cross-section of French harpsichord music from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Sempé has been a prominent early music interpreter, both a soloist and ensemble leader, with a long line of recordings dating back to 1990. As always, his playing is as impeccable as his taste. One can take his virtuosity for granted and concentrate on the felicities of his interpretations: the way he bends tempos in Marchand's Prélude, evokes breezes in Corrette's Les Etoiles, and builds climaxes Royer's La Marche des Scythes. For listeners steeped in French Baroque harpsichord music, as well as those who are new to the genre, this disc will likely prove captivating from start to finish, especially in Paradizo's exceedingly vivid digital sound.

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