Harpsichord Quartet: Couperin, Frescobaldi, etc. - Esoteric/Counterpoint CPT-517
Jacket VG / LP EX / US pressing
This fascinating LP from Esoteric / Counterpoint Records (CPT-517, US pressing, red/silver label, mono) features The Harpsichord Quartet in a program of Couperin, Frescobaldi, and Rosenmüller, music seldome heard in the concert hall or on records, but receiving the most distinguished advocacy here, 4 brilliant soloists in masterly chamber music performances.
The Harpsichord Quartet was comprised of:
Claude Monteux, flute
Harry Shulman, oboe
Bernard Greenhouse, cello
Sylvia Marlowe, harpsichord
Their exact program is as follows:
Girolamo Frescobaldi: Five Canzoni per Sonar
Johann Rosenmüller: Sonata No. 2 in E minor
François Couperin: Le parnasse ou l’Apothéose de Corelli (in 7 sections)
Incidentally, the striking cover photo was taken by Cynthia Pennel and there are insightful liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket, in English only, by James Lyons.
It seems worth re-printing the eloquent tribute given by The New York Herald Tribune’s Music Critic, the inimitale Virgil Thomson:
“It is not often that instruments of disparate character – a double reed, a pipe, a bowed string and a plucked string – obtain so just a balance. Neither is it common for instrumentalists to give such loving care to the execution of all those mordants, trills and turns that are the salt of the Baroque style.”
The gradations of condition I use are as follows: MINT, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
The condition of the jacket is VERY GOOD. There is a slight bit weakening along the spine, though no seamsplits. In addition, there is minor bumping/wear at corners, but that is all. There are no seamsplits, bends, owners’ markings, or other defects, and the album remains solid, bright, and highly attractive – overall, this rates as a very good collector's copy.
The condition of the LP itself is EXCELLENT (Fresobaldi / Rosenmuller) / VERY GOOD (Couperin). There are some scattered tics in the Couperin (nothing repetitive). Elsewhere, although the surfaces are not silent, really this is a nice copy and the playback is enjoyable. Those requiring a flawless or near-MINT copy are kindly advised to look elsewhere. Overall, this rates as a very good to excellent collector's copy.