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Couperin : for spoken voice and ensemble

by Ann Carr-Boyd (1974)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Diana Weston, Thoroughbass from the CD Flying west

Flying west


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Score & Part

Couperin : for spoken voice and ensemble / Ann Carr-Boyd.

Library shelf no. 783.965/CAR 1 [Not for loan]

Work Overview

In the latter part of the 20th century, composers were exploring new sounds, harmonies and rhythms which departed from the sounds of classical and romantic music. Couperin was my particular venture into the experimental sounds of the time. I found the chamber organ with its ability to sustain chords an exotic contrast to the sparkling sounds of the harpsichord, with further colour contributed by the percussion instruments. The addition of spoken voice makes a unique combination - a combination of sounds and textures which I am eager to explore again.

The spoken words are taken from Francois Couperin's L'Art de toucher Le Clavecin, a manual on harpsichord playing which Couperin wrote in 1716. In it he covers very completely all matters of style and technique, from which a few sentences have been chosen as a starting point for this composition, which is a homage to French music of all periods.

Work Details

Year: 1974

Instrumentation: Spoken voice, harpsichord, chamber organ, percussion.

Duration: 11 min.

Commission note: Commissioned by the Organ Institute, NSW

First performance: by Danielle Grant, Thoroughbass at Thinking of You (The Rose Room) on 24 Sep 2016

Performances of this work

24 Sep 2016: at Thinking of You (The Rose Room). Featuring Danielle Grant, Thoroughbass.

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