The 'Pièces de Clavecin', played in order of progressive difficulty -
investigated by RON BIERMAN
'... valuable for piano students.'
The eighteenth century French composer François Couperin loved
the harpsichord and wrote hundreds of beautiful and affecting pieces for
it. His keyboard style features highly ornamented melodies, usually set
in straightforward binary or rondeau structures. Couperin was continuing
a tradition that emphasized music's emotional impact and his range of moods
Performers have a tremendous variety of options in selecting pieces for
a recital. Most of the works are short and no particular order of performance
was intended even for works grouped for publication. Ray McIntyre, a teacher
of piano and harpsichord, has taken advantage of this in an unusual way.
He has selected forty five pieces which he performs primarily on the piano
'in order of progressive difficulty'. His purpose is 'to introduce the intermediate
student ... to ... fundamental techniques of keyboard performance ...' This
objective is accomplished. Articulation is clear in both hands. Ornaments
are played with care. Moods and tempos are varied appropriately.
Copyright © 27 November 2002
Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA