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Couperin: Les Nations, Vol. 2 ()

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The chamber music of Frantois Couperin comes to mind less readily than do his keyboard works, and the trio (and duo) sonatas heard here are less familiar than the set of Concerts royaux known as "Les govts rTunis" (The Tastes Reunited), composed a few years earlier and intended, as the subtitle suggested, to fuse the new tunefulness coming out of Italy with the formal, elegant dance suites of the French court. The two ordres or suites from the collection Les Nations stylistically follow on those of the earlier sets, with numerous short movements (15 in one, 14 in the other) that bring an elegant, choreographic quality to the Italian tempo-titled movements and a profusion of violinistic melody to the French ones. The period-instrument Purcell Quartet (two violins, of strikingly different personalities, plus a continuo consisting of harpsichord and bass viol) conveys this music beautifully. The players are aware of the substantial differences between Couperin's keyboard output and his chamber music, and... Hide synopsis

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