Concerts royaux (Couperin)

The Concerts Royaux (Royal Concerts) are four suites composed by François Couperin for the French court of Louis XIV between 1714 and 1715 – hence the qualifier "royal". Composed while chamber music concerts were in vogue, they are intended for listening more than dancing. They were published in 1722 without indication of instrumentation; therefore, the same piece can be played by solo harpsichord or by an ensemble with a bass instrument, a violin, a viol, and an oboe or a flute. (This freedom of instrumentation is also found in certain works of Marin Marais and Gaspard Le Roux). This collection was supplemented in 1724 by a set of "Nouveaux Concerts" with the subtitle les Goûts réunis, or the "reunited tastes" of French and Italian styles.

Each concert is composed of a prelude and a succession of dances in the traditional order (allemande, sarabande or courante, followed by other dances.)

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