FranÃ§ois Couperin's contribution to the literature of baroque keyboard music has long been recognized. FranÃ§ois Couperin and 'The Perfection of Music' updates and expands upon David Tunley's valuable 1982 BBC Music Guide to the composer, and examines the whole of Couperin’s output including the organ masses, motets and chamber music, in addition to the well-known works for harpsichord. Taking as its focal point Couperin's concept of the perfection of music through the union of the French and Italian styles, this book takes a more analytical approach to Couperin's work. Early chapters outline the main contrasting features of the two schools in the seventeenth- and early eighteenth-centuries, and it becomes clear that Couperin's expressive power owed much to his fusion of the polarities of the French classical tradition with that of the Italian baroque. The book features a number of appendices, including the prefaces to Couperin's work both in the original French and in English translation, and a glossary of dances of the French baroque.
'Highly recommended.' Choice Reviews 'It is good that this readable and helpful book has been expanded and updated for another generation of readers.' Early Music Review '… this is a generally pleasing enlargement of a text which I would recommend to anyone seeking a way into Couperin's elusive but endlessly fascinating world.' Early Music 'A welcome update of the author's 1982 survey of Couperin's work published in the BBC Music Guides series, the book amplifies the original text with new background information, and a wider range of music is discussed. Tunley's lively summaries of Couperin research in the intervening decades open for the average reader a window onto issues of primary source study… the most accessible of the monographs on Couperin currently available.' Music and Letters