[ Harmonia Mundi / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 27 August 2021
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Twenty years ago, for his very first album with harmonia mundi, Alexandre Tharaud embarked on a bold venture: to play Rameau on a modern piano. A challenge brilliantly met: well versed in the historically informed performance practice of harpsichord-playing, the young French pianist immediately found the key to making these foundational pages of keyboard literature sing and dance. A seminal recording!
"French pianist Alexandre Tharaud takes a less-traveled route in this recording. He reaches back to the 1720s to perform suites by the relatively obscure French composer Jean-Phillipe Rameau. The music is simple and direct, but is also blessed with intriguing layers of feeling. Tharaud's playing is never flashy. He says he used an 'extra light' touch in the performance, and the result is a gentle unearthing of gorgeous music. The trend in classical music is for pianist to record, over and over, the works of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach. A superb recording is the result of Tharuad's original approach."
Four Stars David Ramsey The Post-Standard
"Alexandre Tharaud is a talented, virtuosic musician who plays these pieces with flawless technique, and his choices of tempo suit the music perfectly. The recorded sound is excellent ...the piano is well-placed with superb tone. I'll definitely be on the lookout for other recordings by this young man."
"Tharaud combines pianistic imagination and stylistic sensitivity to locate the fidgety energy of La poule, the rhythmic playfulness of Les tricotets and the grandeur and verve of the Gavotte et doubles, and his playing has clarity and brilliance. To my mind no other pianist has reproduced the spirit of this composer more enchantingly."
"If you can nail the ornaments, bring out the architecture, and make the music sing, dance, and breathe, I'd rather hear a thoughtful, accomplished pianist such as Alexandre Tharaud in the A major and G major suites than a boring harpsichordist--and conversely. Tharaud partakes in updated performance conventions, such as varying the repeats and observing double-dotted rhythms in the A major's opening Allemande, yet he doesn't make scholarship the issue. He keeps the music's linear qualities afloat and varied with a mellow touch and a discreet foot on the sustain pedal. Tharaud's lovely playing will please you"
Jed Distler ClassicsToday.com
Suite en La / in A
Suite en Sol / in G