Classical Tyro

A Beginner's Guide to Great Music

Couperin, Les Barricades Mistérieuses (1717)

"The harpsichord is perfect as to it compass, and brilliant in itself, but as it is impossible to swell out or diminish the volume of its sound, I shall always feel grateful to any who, by the exercise of infinite art supported by fine taste, contrive to render this instrument capable of expression."

– François Couperin, Preface to Pièces de Clavecin , Book 1 (1713)

This piece by Couperin for harpsichord is almost 300 years old and still sounds fresh. It’s difficult to imagine anyone not enjoying The Mysterious Barricades


Katherine Shao, harpsichord (animated graphical score by Music Animation Machine)

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