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Sunday, June 27, 2004
  Vingt-cinquieme ordre b) La Monflambert
Francois Couperin
Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, CD 5 Track 23

Mr. Couperin's friendly piece offers a lesson in orchestration. Intentionally or not, our gentle Frenchman has provided us with a model of doubling. This technique, as one can hear in this gigue, can have a profound influence on a work's narrative. To my ears, the petit reprise here arises from the charm of parallel sixths (separated by the octave).

Speaking of reprises, it is significant to me that the doubling does not start until after the conclusion of the first section. Hearing the initial material in a new key is Mr. Couperin's signal that we will be moving into new territory and that brave new world is one in which we listen to parallel sixths. Monflabert must have cherished this sound. It is placed in the narration like the gem of a ring.

What I like about this gigue is that the left hand gets a chance to carry the tune. Not all of us sing in treble clef. 
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In January 2004 I starting writing an opinion for each selection in the Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music. Now, more than a year later, I am almost finished. Soon, I will have an archive full of opinions on the music we so carelessly call "classical." And no one can stop me.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Director of the Contemporary Performer's Workshop... Music Teacher for St. Aloysius Gonzaga School... Principal 'Cellist of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra... Composer

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