Rameau: Keyboard Music, Volume 1
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Jean-Philippe Rameau: The Complete Keyboard Music, Volume One

Catalogue Number: TOCC0050
EAN: 5060113440501
Release Date: 3 September 2007
Duration: 77:28

Suite No. 1 in A minor
Suite No. 2 in E minor
Pièces de clavecin en concerts: No. 1 in C minor
Pièces de clavecin en concerts: No. 2 in G major
Pièces de clavecin en concerts: No. 3 in A major
Air des Paladins

Stephen Gutman, piano

Rameau was one of the great composers for the keyboard. But because pianists have not adopted his harpsichord music as they have that of the other great names of the Baroque – Bach, Handel and Scarlatti – his stature as a keyboard composer is not fully acknowledged. This series of three CDs presents all his keyboard music on the piano: the familiar suites, a number of discoveries and arrangements by his contemporaries.

Booklet texts   (PDF)

Track Listing, MP3 Downloads and Streaming Samples

Track No. Track Title / Details Duration Sample Add to Cart
1-9 Suite No. 1 in A minor (1706)

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer
Stephen Gutman, piano
1 Prelude 2:54 play
2 Allemande I 3:49 play
3 Allemande II 2:26 play
4 Courante 1:33 play
5 Sarabandes I & II 2:39 play
6 Vénitienne 1:25 play
7 Gavotte 1:24 play
8 Menuet 0:50 play
9 Gigue 2:17 play
10-18 Suite No. 2 in E minor (1724)

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer
Stephen Gutman, piano
10 Allemande 3:37 play
11 Courante 1:30 play
12 Gigue en rondeau I 1:19 play
13 Gigue en rondeau II 2:29 play
14 Le rappel des oiseaux 2:59 play
15 Rigaudons I & II 1:20 play
16 Musette en rondeau 2:18 play
17 La Villageoise 2:02 play
18 Tambourin 1:16 play
19-21 Pièces de clavecin en concerts: Concert No. 1 in C minor (1741)

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer
Stephen Gutman, transcriber, piano
19 La Coulicam 3:44 play
20 La Livri 2:19 play
21 Le Vézinet 3:18 play
22-25 Pièces de clavecin en concerts: Concert No. 2 in G major (1741)

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer
Stephen Gutman, transcriber, piano
22 La Laborde 5:24 play
23 La Boucon 4:38 play
24 L’Agaçante 2:55 play
25 Menuets I & II 4:40 play
26-29 Pièces de clavecin en concerts: Concert No. 3 in A major (1741)

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer
Stephen Gutman, transcriber, piano
26 La Lapoplinière 4:08 play
27 La Timide I 2:08 play
28 La Timide II 2:25 play
29 Tambourin I & II 1:46 play
30 Air des Paladins (1760)
[transc. Balbastre]

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer
Claude Bénigne Balbastre, transcriber
Stephen Gutman, piano

(first recording)
1:56 play


Jean-Philippe Rameau

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer

Claude Balbastre

Claude Bénigne Balbastre, transcriber

Stephen Gutman

Stephen Gutman, transcriber, piano



Brian Wilson MusicWeb International January 2008

It is over 50 years since the French pianist, Marcelle Meyer, made her celebrated recording of Rameau’s keyboard music (on EMI, available on import only). Since then, many more pieces have been discovered, making older printed or recorded anthologies not quite as complete as they once seemed. Stephen Gutman’s projected ‘complete’ edition will include solo piano adaptations by Gutman himself of all five of the suites comprising the Pieces de clavecin en concerts – the present disc features Concerts 1-3 – as well as the keyboard transcriptions of pieces from Rameau’s opera ballet, Les Indes galantes, another piece, Les petits marteaux, attributed to Rameau by the American scholar David Fuller, and three further pieces of Rameau’s music arranged by contemporaries of his. This disc includes a transcription by Balbastre of part of the overture to the opera, Les paladins.

Gutman’s playing is sensitive, lightly articulated and cautious in its expressive range. At times he errs on the side of understatement. It is, though, engaging for its ornamental delicacy and communicative lyricism. Among the highlights are the ‘Vénitienne’ from the A minor Suite and ‘Le rappel des oiseaux’ from that in E minor. In summary, a worthwhile venture and not just for its completeness. It complements Meyer’s more overtly pianistic approach, though in no sense topples it. I look forward to the remaining volumes.

Nicholas Anderson BBC Music Magazine

This CD inaugurates a new, three-disc series of keyboard music by Rameau, played on a modern concert grand. Its aims, according to Graham Sadler’s notes, are twofold: “to broaden the appeal of the music by bringing it to a wider audience and to reveal its beauties from a new perspective”; and to present a “genuinely complete” series of Rameau’s keyboard works. The series will therefore incorporate the complete Pièces de clavecin en concerts (using Rameau’s own guidelines to transform them into solo keyboard pieces) and contemporaneous arrangements of Air des Paladins.

Pianist Stephen Gutman describes Rameau’s music as “wonderfully evocative, perfectly poised between temperament and self-possession, gravity and wit”. His own performances are similarly poised: he renders Rameau’s rich ornamentation (which he has simplified in some of the dances “to improve the sense of flow in the underlying dance rhythm”) with controlled freedom, and he makes unexaggerated yet effective use of the piano’s resources to underline the works’ expressive character and the ebb-and-flow of harmonic tension.

Gutman’s articulation is not always incisive enough, some of the passagework sounding a bit laboured, and some of the wittier movements would have benefited from a lighter touch. Yet for the most part, these thoughtful (yet never calculated) performances are highly enjoyable, and make a good case for the piano as viable alternative medium for his music.

Uri Golomb Goldberg Magazine


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