It’s puzzling that many of the inventive, magical harpsichord pieces that Alexandre Tharaud plays here have never been recorded on the piano before. Perhaps, in our modern era, we’ve become too bound by the “rules” of historical performance—which would be a shame, because the French composers of the 17th and 18th centuries, all of whom here served at one time or another at the Court of Versailles, wrote enchanting, sophisticated keyboard music. Just listen to the delicate filigree of Rameau’s ornamented “Le Rappel des oiseaux,” Royer’s strikingly modern “La Marche des Scythes,” and the stately simplicity of D’Anglebert’s “Sarabande”—and marvel at how Tharaud’s playing brings washes of dazzling color and depth of sound to these centuries-old scores.

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