Le Clavecin Francais: Music from the Borel Manuscript
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More than half of the pieces on these two CDs come from a recently discovered 17th-century manuscript of French harpsichord music (University of California, Berkeley, Hargrove Music Library, MS 1365). It bears the name Borel on its title page possibly a reference to its first owner and contains over 100 pieces, most of which are unknown elsewhere. Many of the works on these discs have therefore never been recorded before. The compositions date from 1650-1670. There are new pieces by five of the most eminent musicians of the period: Jean Henry dAnglebert, Jacques Champion de Chambonnières, Henry Dumont, Joseph de La Barre, and Jacques-Denis Thomelin. These works reflect the most refined styles of French harpsichord playing of the period and clearly relate to court circles in and around Paris since all of these musicians were in royal employ. The recording also includes a rich selection of anonymous pieces in various styles, from courtly suites to more rustic dances. They are heard on two exceptional antique instruments, built by Ioannes Ruckers (1635) and Nicolas Dumont (1707).