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Francois Couperin : arr. Marlene Demers – Lemay : Les Bergeries



Francois Couperin arr. Marlene Demers – Lemay

Les Productions D’Oz: 6 pages



François Couperin was one of Baroques most famous keyboard composers and this beautiful piece is a Rondeau, which was No6 from the Sixieme Ordre and is tellingly marked Naivement , and set in D Major with a dropped D 6th.I say tellingly because the first thing that hits you is how simply it is harmonised, and how straightforward the music is.

The most difficult factor in putting this piece on the guitar is firstly picking the right key. The original is in Bb, not great on the guitar, and there is another arrangement on YouTube set in C Major. The other factor is the multitude of ornaments on the original manuscript. Our arranger has opted for putting just about all of them onto the guitar part, which certainly makes it a harder piece to negotiate, but then again they can , within reason be put in or left out as the player thinks fit, as witnessed again by the many other performances on YouTube.

The fact that this piece is constantly written in two voices (one for each hand of the keyboard) makes this a piece that is constantly on the move and great care has to be taken, with or without ornaments, as to where you are exactly going to place your hands.(It has a semi – quaver movement almost constantly in one part or the other.)

However everything does fit very conveniently onto the guitar and it is a prime example of Couperin’s style, which is so different from the music of Bach or Weiss .As such I can see this having a lot of interest for guitarists, although you will need a very good technique, especially if you want to incorporate the ornaments in their fullest capacity!


Chris Dumigan

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