Sylvie Proulx

Les Tendres Plaintes: Works by Jean-Philippe Rameau

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Sylvie Proulx's 2018 release on Centaur offers selections from the keyboard music of French Baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau in transcriptions for classical guitar. In his time, Rameau was famous as an opera composer, though his reputation as a music theorist and composer of keyboard works grew in the modern era with the early music revival. These dances and character pieces were drawn from Rameau's published suites for clavecin, and programmed here with a pair of minuets taken from the comédie lyrique Platée. All the selections are arrangements by other hands, including Proulx, Andrés Segovia, Jean-François Delcamp, John Duarte, Venancio Garcia Velasco, and Stéphane Nogrette, resulting in a variety of approaches to translating Rameau to this medium. While a guitar can't match the harpsichord's greater capacity for large chords and complex counterpoint, or its wider octave range, Rameau's textures are often spare enough to permit modest adaptations of the voice leading and the substitution of playable ornaments. Listeners well acquainted with the suites must make a mental adjustment when hearing Proulx, but her deft execution and expressive inflections are convincing, and even the rapidly alternating embellishments in Le Rappel des Oiseaux and the Gavotte avec les doubles, easily played on a two manual keyboard, are handled gracefully on guitar, though at a manageable tempo. Purists will prefer to hear these pieces as written for harpsichord, but Proulx's album is a respectful and tasteful tribute that will surely spread Rameau's music to a wide audience of guitar fans.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:31
Pièces de clavecin avec une méthode sur la mécanique des doigts
2 3:08
Platée, comédie lyrique
3 4:34
4 2:03
5 4:20
6 3:39
7 4:01
8 3:12
1er livre de pièces de clavecin
9 4:02
10 1:00
11 2:49
12 2:45
13 0:43
Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin
14 11:44
15 1:18
blue highlight denotes track pick