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Classical

Apotheoses: Music of Francois Couperin

Gli incogniti, Amandine Beyer, violinist

[Harmonia Mundi]

3.5 stars

So many of us, thinking of Francois Couperin, think of Ravel’s charming piano masterpiece, “Le Tombeau de Couperin” – the tomb of Couperin – which looks back affectionately on the Baroque master. It’s sweet, in light of that, to know that Couperin, in turn, looked back on the musicians who inspired him.

His “Apotheoses” pays homage to Jean Baptiste Lully and the wonderful Bolognese master Arcangelo Corelli. Scholars note the virtues Couperin inherited from his mentors, which include simplicity from Lully and peace and beauty from Corelli. Casual listeners, for their part, will be happy simply with the delights of this music.

The melodies shine, played on period instruments against the tinkling harpsichord. The rhythms are clear-cut and catching. Gli Incogniti, formed in 2006 by violinist Amandine Beyer, takes its name from a Venetian musical society of the 1630s. Like Couperin, the musicians pay worthy homage to their forerunners.

- Mary Kunz Goldman