Never short of ideas when it comes to offering concert programs imbued with authenticity and refinement, Luc Beauséjour is an exceptional harpsichordist and organist. "The naturalness of his
harpsichord playing, the remarkable attention he gives to proportions and to a singing quality have made him a one-of-a-kind artist." (Le Devoir)
He is a highly sought-after musician not only for his virtuosity and the subtlety of his playing, but also for his outgoing personality and the ease with which he communicates with his audiences. Luc Beauséjour leads a very active concertizing career. He has performed as soloist in North and South America as well as in Europe. He was named "2003 Performer of the Year" by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique and has won Félix awards for two different recordings at the Gala de l'ADISQ in Québec (2002 and 2006). His love of Bach's music has led him to perform the Cantor's works for harpsichord and for organ almost in their entirety. Beauséjour has carried out over 30 recording projects, either as soloist or as musical director. He has collaborated
with many internationally acclaimed artists, including Julie Boulianne, Karina Gauvin, Shannon Mercer, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, James Ehnes, Hélène Guilmette, Philippe Sly, and Hervé Niquet.
Since 1994, he has been the artistic director of the ensemble Clavecin en Concert, an organization whose mission is to promote music written for the harpsichord both as a solo instrument and as part of an orchestra. Teaching is also an important part of Beauséjour's musical activities. He is a music professor at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal and at the Université de Montréal.
The repertoire on this recording was written for harpsichord during the Baroque period, generally considered to span the years 1600 to 1750. While many pianists have played Bach, Scarlatti, Handel, Rameau, and even Couperin and Froberger, few harpsichordists have come to the defence of the harpsichord repertoire on the modern piano. The idea was born during a meeting with Analekta president, François Mario Labbé. I was submitting some recording proposals for harpsichord and clavichord, and he asked me, "Why not make a CD of piano music'" Somewhat taken aback, I asked for a few days to think about it. Not long after, I suggested a program that would not only include harpsichord repertoire already covered by pianists–Bach, Scarlatti, and Handel– but would also feature some lesser-known works.
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Each week KDFC: San Francisco members can download a free mp3 from some of the biggest releases in the world of Classical music. Baroque Session from Luc Beausejour started as an idea was born during a meeting with Analekta president, François Mario Labbe who asked: "Why not make a CD of piano music?" Somewhat taken aback, Beausejour asked for a few days to think about it. Not long after, the pianist suggested a program that would not only include harpsichord repertoire already covered by pianists–Bach, Scarlatti, and Handel– but would also feature some lesser-known works.
Grab a track from pianist Luc Beausejour performing Rameau's Les Sauvages from his latest release, Baroque Session on Piano. Download it from KDFC!
French-Canadian musician Luc Beausejour branches out with this new recording of keyboard works from the Baroque period (roughly 1600-1750). A noted harpsichordist, Beausejour carefully selected only those pieces that he felt "translated" well to themodern piano on this recording. For example, he decided not to include any Bach Fugues, explaining that it is much more difficult to create definition for the inner voices of a fugue on a piano than on a harpsichord. The resulting program is a fascinating exploration of what is gained and what is lost when playing Baroque repertory on a modern keyboard.
Luc Beausejour - Baroque Session on Piano is the KDFC: San Francisco 'CD Of the Week'
Luc Beauséjour is a highly sought-after musician for his virtuosity and the subtlety of his playing on the harpsichord and organ. The repertoire heard on this recording, originally written for the harpsichord during the Baroque period, is played on piano. Beauséjour selected works that appealed to him most and that he felt worked best on the piano.
The Bach: Concerto in D minor, BWV 974 (after Marcello) (11:11) from Luc Beausejour: Baroque on Piano on Analekta is a WFMT: Chicago - Featured Release
We would like to have seen the look on Luc Beauséjour's face when Mario Labbé, president of the Analekta record label, suggested Beauséjour's next album should be a collection of baroque keyboard music played - anachronistically - on piano. Beauséjour, one of Canada's leading harpsichordists who has spent decades championing the authentic performance of this music on period instruments, was taken aback. How could Labbé suggest such a thing? Was he even serious? It was sacrilege.
Or was it?
Maybe the idea wasn't all bad, he thought. Maybe the modern piano, with its hammered strings and wide dynamic range, could express something that the harpsichord, a plucked-string instrument without dynamic variation, could not. And so, with characteristic curiosity, Beauséjour set out to see if he could make Labbé's crazy idea a reality; to find repertoire that might actually sound as good - or better? - on piano as it does on harpsichord. Baroque Session on Piano, streaming above until its release on Feb. 12, is the result. We reached Beauséjour to find out more about this project. (He spoke to us in French; this is our translation.)
LISTEN TO THE First Play