Arts-Scène Diffusion

Jean-Luc Ho


Couperin : Nations

Couperin : Nations

Two harpsichords, violins and viola da gamba


Corelli's Italian concerti and sonatas at the end of the seventeenth century upset French and German composers. Before him, 'concerts were mediocre' according to François Couperin (1668-1733) who became an ardent defender of Italian music. But his idea was to balance La République de la Musique by working on the 'Goûts Réunis' (French and Italian). This 'perfection in music' was achieved with his publication of the Nations in 1726. 
Although published late, this work is central to Couperin's musical output. Each piece begins with a re-used Sonade à l'italienne, a vast prelude which he followed with a new suite of dances. They bring together the ardour of his organ masses, the refinement and grandeur of his sacred music and the sensitivity of his harpsichord. This construction is reminiscent of the Hortus Musicus (1687) by the Hamburg-born J. A. Reinken; a France-Italy contrast around which Bach's ClavierÜbung II (1735) seems to be built with the Concerto nach Italienischem gusto and the Overture nach franzosischer Art.
Approaching this trio work with an extended orchestra makes it possible to specify the colour and registration of each passage. The figure of Couperin the harpsichordist is also revealed here with the implementation of a possibility dear to Couperin: the performance with two harpsichords "with very happy success". A team of seasoned soloists surrounds Jean-Luc Ho in this adventure.

Jean-Luc HO, keyboard musician

Jean-Luc Ho is a concert musician with a passion for early keyboards, and performs in concerts on the harpsichord, organ, clavichord and in ensembles. His friends - builders, researchers, musicians and craftsmen - are dear to him and inspire his work on a daily basis. He dedicated his first solo recordings to Bach, Couperin, Sweelinck, Byrd (choice of France Musique, Diapason découverte, 5 diapasons, Choc Classica)... Substitute organist of St Germain des Prés in Paris from 2006 to 2016, he was one of the founders of l'Art de la Fugue, working for the restoration, the installation and the valorization of a historic Castilian organ of 1768 in the church of Fresnes (94). He and Guillaume Prieur were appointed at the beginning of 2022 as assistant organists of the historic organ of the collegiate church of Dole. His residencies at the Bach en Combrailles festival (2017-2019) and at the Royaumont Abbey (2018-2021) offer him an ideal setting for the approach of Couperin's Nations and Masses; the Art of the Fugue, the Musical Offering and Bach's Goldberg Variations. Harpsichord teacher at the Franconville music school (95) from 2004 to 2011, he now teaches in courses and masterclasses for Embar(o)quement Immédiat, the Royaumont Foundation, the Dieppe keyboard academy, Clavecin en France... He has also been teaching for more than 10 years at the Musée de la Musique - Philharmonie de Paris - for a wider audience. In 2021 he will succeed Émile Jobin as professor of tuning, settings and temperaments at the Paris Conservatoire CNSMDP. Jean-Luc Ho collaborates with the ensembles Les Meslanges, La Guilde des Mercenaires, and Le Petit Trianon.

Jean-Luc Ho, harpsichord
Bérengère Maillard, violin
Simon Pierre, violin
Nima ben David, viola da gamba
Yoann Moulin, harpsichord

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