Rameau: Keyboard Music, Volume 2
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Jean-Philippe Rameau: The Complete Keyboard Music, Volume Two

Catalogue Number: TOCC0051
EAN: 5060113440518
Release Date: 1 October 2012
Duration: 75:34

Les Indes Galantes
Suite No. 3 in D minor/major
Pièces de clavecin en concerts: No. 4 in B flat major
Gavotte from Dardanus
Menuet en rondeau

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 one of the world’s major keyboard composers is not as fully acknowledged. This series of three CDs underlines that claim by presenting all his keyboard music on the piano: the familiar suites, a number of discoveries and arrangements by himself and his contemporaries.

Booklet texts   (PDF)

Track Listing, MP3 Downloads and Streaming Samples

Track No. Track Title / Details Duration Sample Add to Cart
1-24 Les Indes Galantes (c. 1736)

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer
Stephen Gutman, piano

(first recording on the piano)
1 Ouverture 2:26 play
2 Air polonois 1:04 play
3 Musette en rondeau 1:33 play
4 Menuets I & II 2:48 play
5 Air gratieux pour les Amours 2:15 play
6 Air pour les Amants qui suivent Bellone et pour les amantes qui tâchent de les retenir 1:49 play
7 Premier air pour les Bostangis 1:17 play
8 Deuxième air pour les Bostangis 1:19 play
9 Air des Fleurs 1:13 play
10 Air tendre pour la Rose 1:41 play
11 Gavotte pour les Fleurs 1:06 play
12 Air pour Borée et la Rose 1:51 play
13 Air pour Zéphire 0:29 play
14 Air vif pour Zéphire et la Rose 2:24 play
15 Gavotte vive pour les Fleurs 0:54 play
16 Marche des Persans 1:04 play
17 Air pour les Esclaves Africains 1:22 play
18 Rigaudons I & II 1:32 play
19 Tambourins I & II 2:08 play
20 Vivement 1:36 play
21 Air grave pour les Incas du Pérou 2:02 play
22 Loure en rondeau 1:19 play
23 Rondeau gratieux 1:28 play
24 Gavottes I & II 2:51 play
25-36 Suite No. 3 in D minor/major (1724)

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer
Stephen Gutman, piano
25 Les tendres plaintes 2:07 play
26 Les niais de Sologne 1:37 play
27 Premier double des Niais 1:24 play
28 Deuxième double des Niais 1:46 play
29 Les soupirs 3:03 play
30 La joyeuse 0:59 play
31 La follette 1:42 play
32 L’entretien des Muses 5:14 play
33 Les tourbillons 1:43 play
34 La boiteuse 0:39 play
35 Le lardon 0:27 play
36 Les cyclopes 3:11 play
37-39 Pièces de clavecin en concerts: Concert No. 4 in B flat major (1741)

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer
Stephen Gutman, transcriber, piano

(first recording)
37 La pantomime 4:13 play
38 L’indiscrète 1:24 play
39 La Rameau 3:32 play
40 Gavotte from Dardanus (late 18th c.)
[transc. ?Balbastre]

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

(first recording)
2:28 play
41 Menuet en rondeau (1724)

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer
Stephen Gutman, piano
0:34 play


Jean-Philippe Rameau

Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer

Stephen Gutman

Stephen Gutman, transcriber, piano

Claude Balbastre

Claude Bénigne Balbastre, transcriber


...Toccata Classics’ engineering captures Gutman’s warm timbre in an ambience akin to an intimate room suitable for both instrument and repertoire. A lovely disc in every way, and I look forward to this cycle’s imminent completion.

Jed Distler Classics Today February 2014

Highly praised

How does it come about that someone like me, with a general aversion to hearing music designed for the harpsichord, clavichord or fortepiano played on the modern piano should give high praise to this second volume in Stephen Gutman’s complete series for Toccata? Or, for that matter, that I praised its predecessor highly, too?

The answer lies in the delicacy of touch which Stephen Gutman applies – by which I don’t mean that he makes Rameau’s music sound namby-pamby or unduly delicate. He shares with a very small number of pianists the ability to make modern piano performances of the music of this period sound as enjoyable to me as those on the harpsichord; in effect, I forget which instrument is being employed. […]

The keyboard transcriptions from the orchestral suite extracted from Les Indes galantes can’t sound as exotic and exciting on any keyboard – if anything I might have preferred Gutman on this occasion to have used the facilities of the modern instrument a little more – but it’s still very attractive in its own right when it’s played as nimbly and as delicately as it is here. Listen to track 17: Air pour les Esclaves Africains and those dancing slaves come to life; of course there’s no sense of the brutality of slavery – but that was beyond Rameau’s remit or intent in his opera-ballet.

There are two very interesting sets of notes in the booklet. In the first seven pages (2–8) Graham Sadler offers scholarly information about the music; on pages 9–11 Stephen Gutman offers a well thought out raison d’être for his performing practice. You don’t need to read either to enjoy the music but I recommend that you do. Gutman’s reasons for employing a technique beyond the range of the harpsichord rings most true for the music of Suite No. 3, each piece of which has a descriptive title, ranging from the emotional (Les tendres plaintes, track 25; Les soupirs, track 29) to classical references (L’entretien des Muses, tr.32; Les Cyclopes, tr.36).

Gutman especially singles out in his notes the reference to Cyclops, imagining that the movement depicts the episode in the Odyssey when Odysseus and his men blind the one-eyed Polyphemus in order to escape from his clutches and ending when the giant and his fellow Cyclops hurl rocks at the departing Greeks. As he says, the title is unlikely to have been an afterthought and it’s certainly true that he achieves a range of expression here which would have been beyond the power of the harpsichord.

Gutman gives La boiteuse (tr.34) as evidence for William Christie’s contention that Rameau was the greatest dance composer before Stravinsky; he ‘leans’ on the phrasing in such a way as to underline the force of the music and he does so convincingly for me at least.

The pièces de clavecin were originally composed for harpsichord plus other instruments – hence the en concerts designation – and they are undoubtedly more colourful in that form, as on the Lyrichord recording which I recommended in my June 2012/2 Download Roundup […], but here again judicious use of the greater expressiveness of the piano, including some sparing use of the sustaining pedal, offsets the limitations of having the music transcribed for solo keyboard.

If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with volume 1, you should do so – and obtain its successor at the same time. You’ll find a number of extracts from very favourable reviews of that CD on the back of the new one. I shall be very surprised if there isn’t the same support for its successor. I placed my bid for volume 1 in the mistaken belief that the performances were made on the harpsichord and was very pleasantly surprised to find myself pleased that I’d made the mistake. This time I placed my bid with open eyes and was not disappointed.

I got out my copy of volume 1 recently – it was easy to find, which proves that it gets played quite frequently and hasn’t disappeared into the limbo of lost CDs at the back of the cupboard and was just as pleased with it as when I first reviewed it. That goes equally for its successor. Roll on the third and final volume – let’s not have to wait another four years, please.

Brian Wilson MusicWeb International 13th January 2013


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