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Chamber Music - Released February 23, 2015 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Chamber Music - Released June 7, 2011 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklets Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
Potential buyers who get hold of the booklet for this album, bristling with unfriendly footnotes and manuscript comparisons, may well be put off, but what's on the actual recording is not so specialist oriented. The "lessons of worthe" connected with British Renaissance composer Thomas Tomkins are neither all by Tomkins (in fact, most are by other composers) nor all lessons, although there are a few instructional pieces. Instead the program reproduces something rare in the Renaissance literature: a collection of pieces that a single composer considered worthy of appreciation and study. The album thus has a distinctive flavor in itself, with mostly serious pieces that get away from the usual dance pairs; the two pavan-galliard pairs by John Bull and William Byrd are complex little pieces indeed. Many of the works exploit chromatic possibilities. On top of these general characteristics, French keyboardist Bertrand Cuiller makes a couple of unusual interpretive decisions. First, he relies on a notation by Tomkins himself in the Parisian manuscript from which the lessons of worth come, indicating (probably) that pieces should be kept together by final, by key as the modern age would say. Tomkins seems to refer to print rather than performance, but the concentration Cuiller achieves this way is intriguing. Second, and most striking for the average listener, is that for each group of pieces Cuiller uses a different instrument: a Dutch-Anglo harpsichord, a chime-like Spanish harpsichord, and a claviorganum, a comparatively rare harpsichord-organ contraption that gets spectacular results in the closing Fantasia of Bull (track 11). This is not really meant to be an introductory disc of Renaissance English keyboard music, but it's an intriguing item for large collections and certainly for libraries. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 9 de Classica-Répertoire
The keyboard music of William Byrd is perhaps more easily appreciated when it is heard next to that of his students John Bull and Peter Phillips. Even back in the early seventeenth century, composer Thomas Tomkins wrote that while Bull's music was "excellent for the hand," Byrd's was "excellent for matter." The exquisite proportions and perfectly controlled contrapuntal complexity of Byrd's pieces contrast sharply with the keyboard pyrotechnics of Bull and the deep, Italianate expressivity of Phillips. The works on this album were written for the virginal, an early relative of the harpsichord. If you've ever wondered whether the Elizabethans were above making word plays on its name, the answer is no. The excellent notes reproduce a letter of unrecommendation written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less, to an English ambassador in Brussels after Bull had fled England to beat an adultery rap: "The man hath more music than honesty," the cleric wrote, "and is as famous for marring of virginity as he is for fingering of organs and virginals." The program by French keyboardist Bertrand Cuiller covers a lot of ground in 14 pieces. The virginal repertory contained pieces in dance rhythms (the pavan and galliard, often paired, along with other rhythms such as the courante and allemand or "alman," familiar to contradancers of today), contrapuntal fantasias that were actually more like fugues, pieces built upon ground basses, examples of a specifically English genre called the In Nomine, and a few programmatic works. Among the more unusual works here are two depicting hunting; the contrast between the flamboyant Bull and the more circumspect Byrd is nowhere clearer than in Bull's The King's Hunt, where you can just about hear the hounds running, and Byrd's calmer Pescodd Time/The Hunt's Up that gives this album its curious title (a pescodd is a pea-pod or pouch). Cuiller is a rather dry player, but he manages both to introduce the repertory effectively and to highlight some rather wild pieces; sample the Bull In Nomine, MB9 and enjoy its unusual 11/4 time and spectacular chromatic conclusion. This disc is part of a superb series from France's Alpha label that pairs music with reproductions and discussions of contemporaneous artworks; the delightful portrait of "The Cholmondeley Sisters," a favorite of many visitors to London's Tate Gallery, complements the music beautifully in its exploitation of the variation principle that links all of the diverse forms of virginal music together. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 17, 2010 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
One of the prime interpretive puzzles in the performance of Domenico Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas, which have as many performance styles as there are keyboardists, is the degree to which their characteristically Spanish elements ought to be emphasized. Those elements are certainly present in the music, but they can be presented as anything from subtle flavorings to fundamental creative inspiration. French harpsichordist Bertrand Cuiller, a student of Christophe Rousset and Pierre Hantaï, certainly falls near the latter end of the spectrum, and he has produced a Scarlatti recording that offers a great deal of visceral appeal. Playing an Italian-inspired harpsichord by the contemporary French builder Philippe Humeau, he punches out the rhythms with the left hand in the instrument's powerful lower register. First sample one of the quick sonatas, such as the Keyboard Sonata in D minor, K. 115 (track 9), where the sharp rhythms and glittering descending lines in the right hand may easily bring to mind the crisp yet dramatic moves of a Spanish dancer. Then try one of the slower sonatas, where Cuiller's moody readings remind one of the old Romantic piano approaches, only played on the right instruments this time. Then proceed to the centerpiece, the great Fandango of Antonio Soler (track 5), which mounts in rhythmic excitement as it reaches a level of pure flamenco influence that Scarlatti never did , but that you hear lurking everywhere under the surface here. With the added bonuses of superb sound and a wonderful essay by art historian Denis Grenier on Goya's The Parasol, whose green umbrella is as Spanish and as utterly original as Scarlatti's music, this is an immensely satisfying one-disc Scarlatti/Soler release. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 3, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
In volume 2 of his Couperin cycle, Bertrand Cuiller paints a portrait of the young François who, at age of 17 becomes organist at the Saint-Gervais Church in Paris – a prestigious post that soon leads to his being appointed organist of the royal chapel and harpsichord teacher to the king’s children. The period is firmly marked by his greater maturity: Bertrand Cuiller’s eloquent readings at the harpsichord, paired with the expertise of his guest Jean-Luc Ho heard in the two organ masses, reveal the infinite diversity of sonorities which are the fruit of this composer’s unique imagination. © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
A miniature Theatre of the World. This box set launches a new complete recording of François Couperin's works for harpsichord: an extensive selection of vocal pieces and chamber music and the organ masses will be gathered around this rich corpus, each in its own way shedding further light on the keyboard music. In this first volume, Bertrand Cuiller draws the portrait of a mysterious alchemist: the ordres chosen here play with the colour of sounds, alliterations, double meanings and parodies, freely inspired by the world of the theatre. An enigmatic world to which Bertrand Cuiller undoubtedly holds the key... © harmonia mundi
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Keyboard Concertos - Released January 22, 2009 | Mirare

Hi-Res Distinctions Disque de l’Année Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
The keyboard music of William Byrd is perhaps more easily appreciated when it is heard next to that of his students John Bull and Peter Phillips. Even back in the early seventeenth century, composer Thomas Tomkins wrote that while Bull's music was "excellent for the hand," Byrd's was "excellent for matter." The exquisite proportions and perfectly controlled contrapuntal complexity of Byrd's pieces contrast sharply with the keyboard pyrotechnics of Bull and the deep, Italianate expressivity of Phillips. The works on this album were written for the virginal, an early relative of the harpsichord. If you've ever wondered whether the Elizabethans were above making word plays on its name, the answer is no. The excellent notes reproduce a letter of unrecommendation written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less, to an English ambassador in Brussels after Bull had fled England to beat an adultery rap: "The man hath more music than honesty," the cleric wrote, "and is as famous for marring of virginity as he is for fingering of organs and virginals." The program by French keyboardist Bertrand Cuiller covers a lot of ground in 14 pieces. The virginal repertory contained pieces in dance rhythms (the pavan and galliard, often paired, along with other rhythms such as the courante and allemand or "alman," familiar to contradancers of today), contrapuntal fantasias that were actually more like fugues, pieces built upon ground basses, examples of a specifically English genre called the In Nomine, and a few programmatic works. Among the more unusual works here are two depicting hunting; the contrast between the flamboyant Bull and the more circumspect Byrd is nowhere clearer than in Bull's The King's Hunt, where you can just about hear the hounds running, and Byrd's calmer Pescodd Time/The Hunt's Up that gives this album its curious title (a pescodd is a pea-pod or pouch). Cuiller is a rather dry player, but he manages both to introduce the repertory effectively and to highlight some rather wild pieces; sample the Bull In Nomine, MB9 and enjoy its unusual 11/4 time and spectacular chromatic conclusion. This disc is part of a superb series from France's Alpha label that pairs music with reproductions and discussions of contemporaneous artworks; the delightful portrait of "The Cholmondeley Sisters," a favorite of many visitors to London's Tate Gallery, complements the music beautifully in its exploitation of the variation principle that links all of the diverse forms of virginal music together. © TiVo