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Presenting a fresh approach to French organ music, David Ponsford analyses the repertory from the reign of Louis XIV by genre. The colourful French organ was so consistent in design that the very titles of pieces that were constituent parts of organ masses, Magnificats and suites prescribed the registrations: plein jeu, fugue, duo, récit, trio, fond d'orgue and grand jeu. Particular examples from published livres d'orgue and important manuscript collections are analysed chronologically, so that influences from Italian as well as French sacred and secular music can be traced. This analysis reveals the dynamic development of compositional styles in which each composer developed, modified or reacted against the exemplars of his predecessors. Composers discussed include Louis Couperin, François Couperin, Raison, Clérambault and Marchand. The reader will gain an enhanced understanding of performance practices such as notes inégales, fingering and ornamentation, and the influence of French composers on J. S. Bach.Read more
- Proposes a new view and demonstrates a radically different study of French Baroque organ music, which will be of special interest to organists, scholars and admirers of the musical culture of Louis XIV
- Examines the repertory by genre, so that readers will understand how each plein jeu, fugue, duo, récit, trio and grand jeu developed in the hands of successive composers, with particular implications for performance practice
- Discusses the influence of this repertory on J. S. Bach, leading to a more enhanced understanding of French influence upon Bach
Reviews & endorsements
"French organ music of the 17th and 18th centuries is far less well known and even less frequently played than German organ music, especially that of J.S. Bach, and even France’s other contribution to the keyboard, its pièces de clavecin. David Ponsford s excellent book on the subject is therefore a must read for anyone interested in this attractive and important repertory." --Early Music America
27th Feb 2015 by CHarries
It is rare that one finds such eloquence and perception about any topic. Dr Ponsfords analysis of a very wide range of French baroque organ repertoire is founded on meticulous research, coupled with his brilliance in performance. The book should be seen by any serious student, any keen amateur organist and any professional organist who might wish to explore this music with insight instead of merely relying on guesswork as to what may have been intended by the composers. In my view it should be purchased together with the wonderful range of Nimbus recordings of historic French organs, which show a practical interpretation from one of the worlds leading authorities. Listen, for example to the atmospheric colour and imagination shown in the recording of Nivers and Lebegue from Auch Cathedral where David Ponsford really brings these pieces to life. I have not been so enthused about a topic for some time. It has changed my perception of musical opportunities to explore.
Review was not posted due to profanity×
- Date Published: September 2016
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781316620748
- length: 342 pages
- dimensions: 244 x 170 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.54kg
- contains: 15 b/w illus. 1 table 336 music examples
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
3. The conventions of notes inégales
6. The influence of Italian music
7. Plein jeu
10. Récit de dessus
11. Récit en taille
12. Récit de basse
14. Fond d'orgue
15. Grand jeu.
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