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Classical - Released August 1, 2000 | Chandos

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Concertos - Released August 1, 2004 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
When was the last time you saw the Marquis de Sade mentioned in the liner notes to an album of Baroque harpsichord music? Sophie Yates does just that in her notes to her Rameau Pièces de clavecin: Vol. 2 album, and better still, she makes you buy the comparison. She quotes Rameau himself, buttering up his audiences for one of the wilder moves in the famed "L'enharmonique," from the Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin of 1728: "The harmony that creates this effect has by no means been thrown in haphazardly; it is based on logic and has the sanction of nature herself; it is the ingredient most savored by the connoisseur...," Rameau wrote. "Shades of Rameau's near-contemporary, the Marquis de Sade," notes Yates! (It's commendable that she handles the note-writing herself, by the way.) Included on this sequel to Yates' other fine albums of Rameau's keyboard music are the two Nouvelles suites, the festive La dauphine of 1747, and solo keyboard versions (something explicitly okayed by Rameau himself) of the Pièces de clavecin en concerts of 1741. Yates has rescued Rameau's keyboard music from a tradition of interpretation that emphasizes its academic side. Her playing is exquisitely balanced between the density of Rameau's music (he is Bach's equal in this respect), its pictorial aspect (carrying on the tradition of Couperin), and its occasional but essential propensity toward exoticism and shock. The counterparts to "L'enharmonique" in the Nouvelles suites are two little pieces entitled "Les Sauvages" and "L'Egyptienne," fascinating representations of the Other in the circumscribed language of Baroque keyboard music. Yates is a powerful player, and if you can get yourself attuned to the closed-hothouse vibe of the French High Baroque, the album's a real thrill ride. And Chandos' sound engineers have done an especially fine job with the solo harpsichord here. Relax and enjoy. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 7, 2013 | Chandos

Booklet
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Classical - Released May 3, 2019 | Chandos

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All the music in this programme comes from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and most of it was collected by its founder, Richard, Seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745 – 1816). A polymath, lover of music, amateur composer and harpsichordist, musically active from about 1760 until his death, Fitzwilliam created a legacy of exceptional importance to English musical culture. The recording features the Boni harpsichord from the Fitzwilliam Collection, originally made by Giovanni Battista Boni who worked in Cortona in Tuscany. In some ways it is conventional for its time, having a slab sawn cypress soundboard and light cypress case, but its original set-up was a highly unusual one, with three sets of strings at the same (8 foot) pitch. During the last restoration, by Trevor Beckerleg in 1975, the third register, which had been out of use, was re-instated and this gives the player more resources than does the usual Italian harpsichord: both the front and back rows of jacks pluck the same set of strings but in different places, which gives them a distinctly different timbre, and the various combinations of the three registers provide the player with five distinct sounds to choose from. © Chandos
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Classical - Released September 1, 2013 | Chandos

Booklet
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Classical - Released July 1, 1993 | Chandos

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Classical - Released August 1, 1999 | Chandos

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 1, 2013 | Chandos

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 1, 2013 | Chandos

Booklet
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Classical - Released May 1, 2003 | Chandos

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 1, 2013 | Chandos

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Classical - Released August 1, 1996 | Chandos

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Classical - Released August 1, 1997 | Chandos

Booklet
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Concertos - Released May 1, 2005 | Chandos

Booklet
Armand-Louis Couperin is one of the lesser-known members of the family famous for its keyboard performance and composition. Just as with his cousin François, Armand-Louis was an organist, but his most well-known compositions are for harpsichord. Armand-Louis' work is generally not considered as sophisticated as François', but it is attractive, which is an indicator of its belonging to that period in music history on the cusp of the Baroque and Classical eras. This disc by Sophie Yates contains almost all of his 1751 collection Pièces de clavecin. Selections such as La Victoire and La de Boisgelou are primarily made up of phrases and sections that show off the performer's skill, while the Gavottes show off the sound of the instrument. La Victoire alternates melodic sections with those using parallel lines of music. La de Boisgelou has more of an improvised sound, with the right hand given lots of ornamentation over a left hand that is either counter-melody, simple accompaniment, or drone. The Allemande also has an unmeasured, improvisational feel to it, not quite what is expected of a traditional dance-named movement. Other pieces, such as Les Cacqueteuses, La Turpin, and La Semillante are full of personality. In these cases, it would have been nice to have translations of the idiomatic French titles. After learning that "Les Cacqueteuses" is "The Gossips," the music makes more sense. In fact, Yates' notes for the disc are not as informative as they could be for a composer who is not well-known. She talks about the mildly ostentatious nature of the music, which can be heard in her performance, but doesn't really explain what she means by Couperin's harpsichord music "looking both forward and back." Regardless, when she plays, she clearly brings out the interesting feature of each piece, whether it is fancy finger-work or character. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 29, 2009 | Chandos

Booklet
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Classical - Released July 8, 2016 | Chandos

Booklet
Collections of Baroque keyboard music are often focused on famous French and German composers, so there's comparatively little available on CD of English harpsichord music of the 18th century, aside from recordings of works by Henry Purcell and George Frederick Handel. Considering the rarity of its material, Sophie Yates' 2016 album on Chaconne, The Pleasures of the Imagination, holds a certain appeal because its selections haven't been dulled by excessive anthologizing. While some of the composers' names may ring a bell, such as John Blow, Jeremiah Clarke, Thomas Arne, and Johann Christian Bach (the "London Bach"), their contributions here will be unknown to most listeners, while William Croft, Maurice Greene, and Richard Jones are known only to specialists in the period. But obscurity doesn't mean boring, and as overlooked as these pieces are, they are remarkably lively and entertaining in Yates' varied and virtuosic performances. Sampling will yield many pleasant surprises, such as the rhythmic play in Blow's delightful Morlake Ground, the quirky "Round O" in Clarke's Suite No. 2, and the affecting dances in Croft's Suite in D minor, just for starters. Yates plays modern copies of a 1681 Vaudry and a 1748 Goujon, which have crisp sonorities in these fairly close-up recordings, made in 2012 at St. George's Church, Brandon Hill, Bristol. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 1, 2011 | Chandos

Booklet
Composer Claude-Bénigne Balbastre came at the end of the French Baroque keyboard tradition that produced François Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau. Composed in 1759, these pieces look back toward the tradition of French harpsichord music, with its individual piece titles designating various members of the French nobility and their individual personalities. Thirty years after Couperin announced the reunification of French and Italian tastes, they show only light influence of Italian style; the clearly diatonic, periodic Allegro tune of "La Laporte," track 16, is the exception. Nor does Balbastre attempt to take after the intellectual density and harmonic complexity of Rameau's keyboard music. Instead his little musical portraits have a mostly pleasant, pastoral mien, with harmonic touches that are unusual and evocative rather than difficult. Sample the recurring, almost tickling emphasis on the flat fifth degree in "La Genty," track 13, or the large, static harmonic fields of "La Lamarck," track 9. This piece is marked "Ouverture," and part of what makes these works interesting is how they serve double duty as character pieces and as potential parts of an abstract structure. The playing of British harpsichordist Sophie Yates is nothing short of exemplary here. She doesn't try to make more of this light music than is actually in it, but she takes time where necessary to let the music breathe and to bring out small details, and there isn't a moment on the album that doesn't feel alive. She has the indefinable instinct for a command performance. Yates' own notes appear in English, German, and French. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released August 1, 2002 | Chandos

Booklet
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Classical - Released August 1, 2001 | Chandos

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Classical - Released March 1, 1994 | Chandos