SEON - Philips
1 LP - 6575 017 - (p) 1973
2 CDs - SB2K 60875 - (c) 1999


Jacques DUPHLY (1715-1789) "La de Belombre" in D Minor (3rd book, 1758)
4' 01" A1

"Les Grâces" Tendrement in D Major (3rd book, 1758)
4' 18" A2

"La Damanzy" in D Major (1st book, 1744)
4' 24" A3

"La Forqueray" Rondeau in F Minor (3rd book, 1758)
6' 11" A4

"La Pothoüin" in C Minor (4th book, 1768)
6' 07" A5

"Allemande - Courante" in D Minor (1st book, 1744)

7' 46" B1

"Menuets" in D Major (3rd book, 1758)
3' 43" B2

"La Damanzy" Vivement in A Major (2nd book, 1748)
3' 16" B3

"La Felix" Noblement in D Minor (2nd book, 1748)
3' 53" B4

"Chaconne" in F Major (3rd book, 1758)

7' 39" B5

Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord by David Rubio, Oxford, 1972 after Pascal Taskin (1723-1793) - Tuning: 1/2 tone below normal

Luogo e data di registrazione
Doopsgezinde Kerk, Amsterdam (Holland) - Gennaio 1973

Registrazione: live / studio

Producer / Recording Supervisor
Wolf Erichson

Recording Engineer

Dieter Thomsen

Prima Edizione LP
Seon (Philips) | 6575 017 | 1 LP - durata 51' 38" | (p) 1973 | ANA

Edizione CD
Sony | SB2K 60875 | 2 CDs - durata 51' 38" & 49' 42" | (c) 1999 | ADD

Original Cover


La riedizione in 2 CD della Sony contiene: nel primo CD le musiche di Duphly (Seon Philips 6575 017) e nel secondo CD le musiche di Forqueray (Seon Philips 6575 038).

Duphly has few truths to tell the world - except that France is a country unequalled in the field of decorative art. Ornamentation is not meant to be too arresting; ornamentation should be pleasant; ornamentation is necessary where otherwise boredom would reign. And Duphly understood exactly what bored Parisian high society wanted. He created music which was not too difficult for fingers or for ears. The gentle fingers of the young ladies, of whom he was a much sought-after teacher, found it comparatively easy to extract the most touching tones from the harpsichords of Blanchet, Vater, and Taskin, since his pieces concealed within their notes the secret of sonority. Such a style of composition demands as much expert knowledge as writing difficult or bizarre works. The perfect always seems easy in the eyes of the non-initiated.
Duphly, born in 1715 in Rouen, was a pupil of Agincourt. He held a number of posts as an organist before he went to Paris as a harpsichordist. He remained there until his death in 1789, earning his living as a performing artist. His pieces, like the man-himself, were “douces et aimables” and “affectent beaucoup le cœur“ [P.L. Dacquin, 1753]. Yet towards the end of his life he lost some of his former popularity and in the “Tablettes” he was referred to - in small letters and without eulogies - as “Duphly a fait différentes Œuvres de pieces détachées pour Le Clavecin,
and was overshadowed by such great names of the time as Balbâtre. Eckard, Edelmann, and Hullemandel.
In the four printed books of the “Pieces de Clavecin” of 1744, 1748,1758, and 1768, the final development of French harpsichord music can clearly be discerned. The first book still shows traces of the dance-suite tradition (Allemande, Courante), with groupings of eight pieces in D and seven in C. In the second book we find only character pieces divided into four key groups. The third book presents five key groups, again with character pieces, and the last book consists of a collection of character pieces without any grouping. In the final book we are also confronted with a style corresponding to the new ideal of simplicity. Frequently a simple melody moves above an accompaniment of simple broken chords.
Many performers may already at that time have played these pieces on the fortepiano or made use of the “Peau de Buffle” register of the most recent harpsichords. In the printed copy from the private collection of Lord Fitzwilliam we find Duphly’s handwritten directions, particularly with regard to fingering. He is one of the first to suggest modern legato scale-fingering with the thumb passing under. In other ways too the directions aim at the flowing, flexible, soft, and light style of playing which has been hailed as a French speciality.
The “Delicate Duphly” can still be enjoyed and admired by us today. The music may be the embodiment of a not altogether too high ideal, yet it is, in its own way, still perfect.
Gustav Leonhardt