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BBC Music (02/2007)
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Alia Vox

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Reviewer: Nicholas Anderson

Couperin’s four dance suites of Les Nations were published in 1726. Each is prefaced with an Italianate trio sonata whose music, for three of them, derives from sonatas which Couperin wrote during the 1690’s. The fourth, introducing “L’impériale”, is a more fluently mature piece which he probably composed much later on. If the introductory ‘Sonades’, as Couperin called them, are Italian in their idiom, then the appended dances are characteristically and unmistakeably French. Jordi Savall brings the music to life with mediterranean warmth and an intuitive feeling of dance rythms and their individual gestures. This remains far the most satisfying version of Les Nations.



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