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The mirror of human life : reflections on François Couperin's Pièces de clavecin

Author: Jane Osborn Clark; Derek F Connon
Publisher: London : Keyword Press, ©2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : Rev. ed. and illustratedView all editions and formats
Summary:
The titles of François Couperin's harpsichord pieces have puzzled generations of players and listeners. Many refer to theatrical spectacles; others are portraits, sympathetic or satirical, of characters in the composer's circle--courtiers, aristocrats, musicians, actors and actresses. This book opens a door into Couperin's world. Jane Clark introduces us to some of the characters that inhabit the Pièces de  Read more...
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Details

Named Person: François Couperin
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jane Osborn Clark; Derek F Connon
ISBN: 0955559030 9780955559037
OCLC Number: 712854628
Notes: Originally published: King's Music, 2002.
Description: 224 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Contents: Foreword / Jane Clark --
Preface / Derek Connon --
Aspects of the social and cultural background / Jane Clark --
Aspects of the literary scene / Derek Connon --
The architecture of the ordres ; Catalogue of movements of the Pièces de clavecin / Jane Clark.
Responsibility: Jane Clark and Derek Connon.

Abstract:

The titles of François Couperin's harpsichord pieces have puzzled generations of players and listeners. Many refer to theatrical spectacles; others are portraits, sympathetic or satirical, of characters in the composer's circle--courtiers, aristocrats, musicians, actors and actresses. This book opens a door into Couperin's world. Jane Clark introduces us to some of the characters that inhabit the Pièces de Clavecin, whose lives, sometimes dramatic and even scandalous, are illustrated by quotations from contemporary letters, songs and satirical epigrams. Derek Connon explores the literary and theatrical world in which the composer moved, particularly the rival French and Italian Comédies, the latter with its links to the improvised Commedia dell' Arte. The heart of the book is an analytic catalogue of the individual movements from all 27 Ordres, explaining what is known about the meaning of each title. Even to the composer's contemporaries, not every reference was transparent: where mysteries remain, alternative possible explanations are presented here. The Mirror of Human Life was first published by King's Music in 2002. This Keyword Press edition incorporates new facts that have emerged since, particularly about Couperin's connections with the theatre; it includes a new essay by Jane Clark on the architecture of the Ordres, and some striking illustrations from contemporary sources [Publisher description].

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