Emily Kirk Weddle, Boston Baroque
For Immediate Release:
First Complete Edition of Armand-Louis Couperin’s Complete Keyboard Works Published for Free on IMSLP
The first critical edition is written and compiled by Boston Baroque Music Director Martin Pearlman
BOSTON, MA—The first critical edition of Armand-Louis Couperin’s Complete Keyboard Works has been published on IMSLP for free by author and Boston Baroque founder and Music Director Martin Pearlman. With over 50 pages of biographical and musicological scholarship, and over 300 pages of Couperin’s music, Pearlman’s complete edition is a contribution of note to the early music field.
“It seemed best, in the modern spirit of online sharing, to make the edition available without charge to those for whom it is of interest and useful,” Pearlman writes in the introduction. The edition is based on work Pearlman began in the 1970s, when he began to record some of Couperin’s music, and noticed gaps in his research on the composer and his music. Highlights from this edition include Couperin’s music for two harpsichords, including Pearlman’s completed versions of the Quatuors, which lacked second harpsichord parts, and Couperin’s Pièces de clavecin, which Pearlman discovered that the surviving copies were not in fact identical—as previously thought—but instead represented three different printings with incorporated corrections.
Armand-Louis Couperin (1727-1789) was a member of the illustrious Couperin family that played a long and important role in the musical life of Paris. His father, Nicolas, was the organist at the church of St-Gervais, a post Couperin inherited at just 21 years of age when his father died. Couperin was one of the great keyboard players of his time, and was a contemporary of composers Haydn, Gluck, and Mozart. While some of his compositions were published during his lifetime, the core of his musical life was as an organist at a variety of churches in Paris.
His compositional works for keyboard showcase a transitional period for the harpsichord. Popular tastes for the pianoforte were growing, and in an effort to compete, the harpsichord went under fascinating innovations. Couperin’s access to the latest harpsichord innovations was made easier by his marriage to Elizabeth-Antoinette Blanchet, whose father was appointed as the royal harpsichord maker in 1756. He kept Couperin well abreast of the latest keyboard instrument developments, who in turn incorporated these innovations into his compositions.
ABOUT BOSTON BAROQUE
The six-time GRAMMY®-nominated Boston Baroque is the first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America and, according to Fanfare Magazine, is widely regarded as “one of the world’s premier period-instrument bands.” The ensemble produces lively, emotionally charged, groundbreaking performances of Baroque and Classical works for today’s audiences performed on instruments and using performance techniques that reflect the eras in which the music was composed.
Founded in 1973 as “Banchetto Musicale” by Music Director Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque’s orchestra is composed of some of the finest period-instrument players in the United States, and is frequently joined by the ensemble’s professional chorus and by world-class instrumental and vocal soloists from around the globe. The ensemble has performed at major music centers across the United States and performed recently in Poland for the 2015 Beethoven Festival, with sold-out performances of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in Warsaw and Handel’s Messiah in Katowice.
Boston Baroque reaches an international audience with its twenty-five acclaimed recordings. In 2012, the ensemble became the first American orchestra to record with the highly-regarded UK audiophile label Linn Records, and its release of The Creation received great critical acclaim. In April 2014, the orchestra recorded Monteverdi’s rarely performed opera, Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, which was released on Linn Records and received two nominations at the 2016 GRAMMY® Awards.
Boston Baroque’s recordings have received six GRAMMY® Award Nominations: its 1992 release of Handel’s Messiah, 1998 release of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, 2000 release of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, 2015 release of Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and 2018 release of Biber’s The Mystery Sonatas.
High-res photos available for download online: https://baroque.boston/press-kit
ABOUT MARTIN PEARLMAN, FOUNDING MUSIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR
Boston Baroque founder, music director, and conductor Martin Pearlman is one of this country’s leading interpreters of Baroque and Classical music on period and modern instruments. In addition to Boston Baroque’s annual concert season, Mr. Pearlman tours in the United States and Europe and has produced twenty-six major recordings for Telarc and Linn Records. Mr. Pearlman’s completion and orchestration of music from Mozart’s Lo Sposo Deluso, his performing version of Purcell’s Comical History of Don Quixote, and his new orchestration of Cimarosa’s Il Maestro di Cappella were all premiered by Boston Baroque.
Highlights of his work include the complete Monteverdi opera cycle, with his own new performing editions of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse; the American premiere of Rameau’s Zoroastre; the Boston premiere of Rameau’s Pigmalion; the New England premieres of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride and Alceste; and the Beethoven symphonies on period instruments. Mr. Pearlman is also known for his internationally acclaimed series of Handel operas including Agrippina, Alcina, Giulio Cesare, and Semele. He made his Kennedy Center debut with The Washington National Opera in Handel’s Semele and has guest conducted the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa, Utah Opera, Opera Columbus, Boston Lyric Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony and the New World Symphony. Mr. Pearlman is the only conductor from the early music field to have performed live on the internationally televised GRAMMY® Awards show.
Mr. Pearlman grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, where he received training in composition, violin, piano, and theory. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University, where he studied composition with Karel Husa and Robert Palmer. In 1967–1968, he studied harpsichord in Amsterdam with Gustav Leonhardt on a Fulbright Grant, and in 1971 he received his Master of Music in composition from Yale University, studying composition with Yehudi Wyner and harpsichord with Ralph Kirkpatrick. In 1971, he moved to Boston and began performing widely in solo recitals and concertos. From 2002–2016, he was a Professor of Music at Boston University’s School of Music in the Historical Performance department.
Recent compositions by Martin Pearlman include his comic chamber opera Tristram Shandy, 3-act Finnegans Wake: an Operoar!, as well as The Creation According to Orpheus, for solo piano, harp, percussion and string orchestra. He has also composed music for three plays of Samuel Beckett, commissioned by and premiered at New York’s 92nd Street Y and performed at Harvard University in 2007.