The eighteenth century French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau was in his time mainly known as a music theorist. At the relative late age of fifty he celebrated his debut in the world of opera, the genre that won him the most fame after he died in 1764. Outside of that he is well known for his almost analytical books of keyboard works. So works like on this record are a bit odd: they are neither keyboard nor opera. What’s more, they’re not mentioned on the list of his works on wikipedia that I found. What is going on?
Jacques-Joseph-Marie Decroix was a lawyer from Lille in France. He worked for the Royal Chancellery in Flanders and at the Treasury. In his spare time he showed great interest in Rameau. He studied it, but also rewrote some of his works. One of those is on this record. It is a transcription of Rameau’s Pièces de clavecin en concerts, composed in 1741.
This mono recording is dreadful. The work itself might be interesting, but I cannot get myself to hear past the flatness of the recording and the blandness of the performance. It might be interesting to hear different versions of this and compare. I saw there was a version from Les Talens Lyriques that might easier to listen to.