Mahan Esfahani

Rameau: Pièces de Clavecin

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To mark the 250th anniversary of the death of Jean-Philippe Rameau, Mahan Esfahani has recorded the complete works for harpsichord, which are presented on two CDs in this 2014 package from Hyperion. Rameau was one of the great French composers for the instrument, rivalled in his time only by François Couperin, though Rameau was better known as a music theorist, and later in his career, for his innovative operas. His music fell into obscurity in the 19th century, but a revival in the 20th century gave his music a secure place in the keyboard literature. This collection includes the Premier livre de pièces de clavecin (1706), the Pièces de clavecin (1724), the Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin (1729-30), and Rameau's final solo works for harpsichord, La Dauphine (ca. 1747) and Les petite marteaux (before 1754). Esfahani is a superb interpreter of this music, and his exciting playing makes these pieces as arresting and charming as they were intended. The most famous of these compositions is the Gavotte variée (disc 2, track 7) from the Suite in A minor, which is a favorite for its bravura display of keyboard technique. Hyperion's recording is close-up and clear, and the harpsichord has a full and robust sound.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Suite in A minor (Premier Livre de Pièces de Clavecin (1706))
1 2:04
2 4:08
3 1:55
4 1:51
5 2:22
6 2:57
7 1:28
8 1:27
9 1:05
Pièces de Clavecin
10 3:47
11 1:36
12 3:35
13 2:57
14 2:06
15 2:13
16 1:16
17 2:30
18 2:58
19 5:15
20 3:57
21 1:16
22 1:27
23 5:48
24 2:11
25 3:04
26 0:47
27 1:01
28 0:35
blue highlight denotes track pick