La Belle Homicide by Johanne Couture

La belle homicide


 Johanne Couture, harpsichord
musique française du XVII siècle
2003, EMCCD 7758

With this recording titled La belle Homicide, Johanne Couture creates a soft atmosphere, perfectly adapted to this French repertoire that features lute music transcribed for the harpsichord, a regular practice during 17th-century France. Her interpretation of these works is both elegant and refined. A recording that will transport the listener to another era, so far from the maddening rhythm of the 21st century. Works by Louis Couperin, Gallot, Gaultier, Chambonnières, and others.

***** GOLDBERG 5 STAR *****

Ms. Couture plays with great taste and control and a natural feel for the style brisé which is so prominent in these pieces. Contrapuntal textures also have great clarity and ornaments are well-placed. This is an entreprising programme, illuminated by a thorough essay (English and French), which makes very agreeable listening.

David Hansell, Early Music Review, March 2004


Product Description

Johanne Couture , Harpsichord

French Harpsichord Music of the 17th Century

See Program notes here.

Pieces in a minor

1. Prélude à l’imitation de Mr. Froberger Louis Couperin
2. Allemande le Bout de l’An de Mr Gautier Jacques Gallot
( ?-c1690)
3. Courante « La Belle Homicide » / Double [note 1] Ennemond Gaultier
4. Sarabande « La pièce de huit heures » Jacques Gallot 2:40
5. Canaris « Les Castagnettes » Jacques Gallot 1:49
6. Chaconne « Le Doge de Venise » Jacques Gallot 5:51

Pieces in C major

7. Allemande « Le Moutier » Double de la Mesme  [note 1] Jacques C. Chambonnières
8. Allemande « La Vestemponade » EnnemondGaultier/
Jean-Henry D’Anglebert
9. Courante [note 1] Anonyme 2:02
10. Sarabande [note 2] Ennemond Gaultier 2:12
11. Chaconne du Vieux Gautier Ennemond Gaultier/
Jean-Henry D’Anglebert

Pieces in d minor

12. Prélude François Dufault
(c1610, 1670)
13. Allemande « La Verdure » [note 3] Anonyme 2:47
14. Courante « L’Immortelle » /Double [note 3] Ennemond Gaultier 2:52
15. Courante « Le Printemps » [note 3] Anonyme 2:07
16. Sarabande / Double Ennemond Gaultier 2:24
17. Canaris Ennemond Gaultier/
18. Gigue «L’Estourdie » [note 3] Ennemond Gaultier 1:19
19. Tombeau de Mezangeau Ennemond Gaultier/

Pieces in F major

20. Prélude [note 3] Germain Pinel 1:46
21. Allemande « La Théologie » [note 3] Germain Pinel 3:34
22. Courante « La Discretion »/ Double [note 3] Anonyme 2:19
23. Chaconne la « La Cascade » [note 4] Ennemond Gaultier 5:48
24. Tombeau de Mr. Blancrocher Louis Couperin 5:55

1 Manuscript Babell, 1702 / 2 Manuscript Bauyn, c1660 / 3 Manuscript Ottobeuren, c1695 / 4 Manuscript Bod-576, post 1679

Last spring, we witnessed Mr. Saint-Saëns lend his powerful patronage to several pieces by Luis Milan (a famous 16th-century Italian lutenist) and play them, transcribed for piano. Michel Brenet, Note sur l’histoire du luth en France, 1899.


Yves Beaupré Harpsichord, completed in Montreal, 1985
The original instrument, signed ‘Vaudry, 1681’, is housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The only instrument by this seventeenth-century Parisian artisan to have survived into our time. A delicate casing, a design not yet influenced by the generous proportions of eighteenth-century instruments, a warm and intimate tone. . . the elements that combine to produce instrumental ambrosia. Be that as it may be, its noble nature delivers peace to the soul. It is built with a casing of walnut wood, thicker than Italian harpsichords but considerably more delicate than Flemish instruments. The stand in the style of Louis XIII is joined to moulded bridge, and a fairly short ÉCHELLE DE CORDES borrowed from the Italian school. This ÉCHELLE, in particular, diverts the majority of stress away from the casing and plays a defining role in the instrument’s sonorous qualities. Common during the seventeenth century, this model provides us with a glimpse of future, more voluminous instruments characterized by qualities truly particular to the French nation.

The harpsichord tuning chosen for this recording originates in texts that accompanied the composer and organist Lambert Chaumont’s 1695 publication of the Pièces d’orgue sur les huit tons. This highly expressive temperament [note 1] includes six pure major thirds, as well as a wolf (or faulty fifth). – Yves Beaupré, Montreal, September 2003
1. Référence : Pierre-Yves Asselin. « Musique et tempérament »

Recorded 9, 10 and 11 June, 2003 at Saint-Augustin-de-Mirabel Church, Québec

Producer : Johanne Couture, tous droits réservés / all rights reserved
Executive Producer : Claudia Berardi
Recording Producer : Brad Michel, Clarion Productions
Sound Engineer : Brad Michel, Clarion Productions
Editing : Brad Michel, Clarion Productions
Graphic Design, Lucie Arsenault for Luz Design
Cover photos : Alexandre Choquette
Hair and makeup : Yves-André Bergeron
Inside photos : Yves Beaupré

Johanne Couture would like to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for its financial support which has made the production of this recording possible.

Johanne Couture wishes to thank Pierre-Richard Aubin, Yves Beaupré, Hank Knox and Claudia Berardi for their support during the production of this recording.

Johanne Couture’s wardrobe (on CD cover) provided by Louise Daoust for Lili les Bains, Montreal

We would like to express our deepest appreciation to Mrs. Phyllis Lambert and the Canadian Centre for Architecture for permission to use the Paul Desmarais Theatre for the cover photos.

Made in Canada

© Johanne Couture, 2003 Under exclusive license with Les Productions inc.

EMCCD 7758.