dda 25120
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ASSI KARTTUNEN (harpsichord)

A selection of works by the greatest harpsichord composer of all - François Couperin, and from contemporary British composer Graham Lynch, who is a very worthy successor with music that is expressive, descriptive, deep and exceptionally rich, showing that the harpsichord is capable of real expression.

The Lynch pieces are receiving their first recordings. Established virtuoso Assi Karttunen is from FInland and this is her first album for Divine Art, and a showcase for her amazing talent at the keyboard.

"Stunning performances of stunning music, stunningly recorded" - Fanfare magazine

Recorded in 2014

'Dance' from Petenera by G. Lynch

dealer release date: 2 February 2015





CD program:
5th Prelude from L'art de toucher le claveçin
Les idées heureuses
Les gondoles de Delos
Les Pavots
Beyond the River God
Admiring Yoro Waterfall
Secret Prelude

review extracts: for full reviews click here

“ What I find spellbinding about [Lynch's] music is that it is wedded to the harpsichord in the same way that the music of the French Baroque clavecinists, personified by Couperin, was wedded to the instrument. Fashioning a program of works by Couperin and Lynch was a stroke of genius. That [Karttunen's] playing equals her musical perspicacity, not to mention her informative and articulate album note, really pays dividends in this amazing venture to unite the voices of two composers from across a divide of three centuries. Stunning performances of stunning music, stunningly recorded. What more can I say?” - Jerry Dubins (Fanfare)

“An imaginative collection ... one welcomes this fascinating album as an important addition to one's music library. Assi Karttunen is the peerless interpreter... She is an ever assured yet conservative musician, neither erring on the side of caution nor overplaying the ornamentation. Her touch is definitive and her phrasing elegant. The album is handsomely packaged and designed ... a musical journey well worth exploring by any lover of music for the harpsichord.” – Rafael de Acha (Music for all Seasons)

“This intriguing program of music for solo harpsichord makes unexpected but successful partners of Baroque France's great François Couperin, who died in 1733, and the gifted English composer Graham Lynch, who is still very much alive. Where Karttunen really shines is in Lynch's music for her instrument, which reflects both a panoply of stylistic influences and a well-nuanced understanding of how to compose for the harpsichord. The recorded sound is beautiful, and Karttunen's notes offer much food for thought. The combining of old and new music can be tricky alchemy, but this experiment is a happy success.” - Alison Melville (The Whole Note)

“Enjoyable CD ... Couperin's melodies sound very modern. Karttunen is an accomplished player ... she knows her stuff. It's very more-ish and highly recommended.” – Jeremy Condliffe (The Chronicle)

“I was delighted, inspired and impressed by Assi Karttunen's playing.[Couperin's] music is imaginative, often exciting and always well-wrought. Lynch is certainly a fine composer. Application of the concept of playing François Couperin and Graham Lynch back-to-back has been highly successful. The Baroque works are full of charm and interest whilst the modern pieces are approachable, well-crafted and musically satisfying. The performance of both Couperin and Lynch is ideal.” - John France (MusicWeb)

“Assi Karttunen plays everything with flying colours. Ultimately the idea of combining Lynch with Bach's and Rameau's contemporary shows that they are not so distant.” - Wilhelm Kvist (HBL (Finland)

“ The surface of the Lynch works abound with generous and attractive melodic writing and, even when the harmony is nicely unpredictable, the extensive use of pivot pitches always keeps the music centred. I have to say, the quality of Lynch's writing is very much a match for that of his illustrious predecessor. Not that it's a matter of competition, since the two styles sit very comfortably together. The performances strike me as stylish and assured. In the Lynch Karttunen plays with verve, commitment and a total grasp of the structural issues at play. A highly rewarding disk.” - Christian Morris (Composition Today)

“Karttunen's playing on this disc is beyond reproach: well ordered, rhythmically flexible, and sensitive. The uncredited harpsichord is sonorous and well balanced, and has been faithfully captured by the recording engineer. Altogether, this is a refreshingly different and satisfying harpsichord recital, one that is warmly recommended.” - Christopher Brodersen (Fanfare)

“An unusual but well-though-out combination. Lynch gets the music to resonate fully with meanings and connotations, and the border between the heard and the unheard gets blurred, like Karttunen wishes. The playing is well-weighted, free and flexible. . As a whole the recording takes shape of an extraordinary and exciting harpsichord CD able to charm music lovers, the period music fans as well as the broad-minded modern music enthusiasts.” - Kare Eskola (YLE Radio New CD Review, Finland)

“An interesting mix of old and new which is not always a happy combination, but here is very fine and certainly well worth repeated listening. Assi Karttunen is a fine player with a great sense of colour and shading ... her ornamentation is exquisite. It is refreshing to hear contemporary music which is so well attuned to the character of the harpsichord. this disc is a refreshing one, and I would certainly recommend it strongly.” - Douglas Hollick (The Consort)

“Unlike other recordings presenting new compositions this CD is not a compilation, but instead a carefully crafted and in-depth journey into two harpsichord composers' musical thinking. The gap between three centuries seems to disappear. Lynch is openly inspired by the French eighteen-century, but similarly enchanted by the Japanese art and flamenco. He is a dreamer, with a very independent, ornamental and liquidly poetical musical language. It gives a timeless impression. Lynch really can write for a harpsichord taking into consideration the possibilities of the wide-ranging touches, and he is able to bring out the flaming palette of colours. Karttunen lets her interpretations breathe in an elegant manner, and the early and new music undulate against each other.” – Auli Särkiö (Tempo Finland)