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This disc shows how imagination can illuminate and stimulate. Guy de Maupassant’s hauntingly beautiful 1882 short story Menuet is reproduced in the booklet. Reading the story with the soundtrack of this disc should henceforth be compulsory.

The minuet is referred to as ‘the queen of dances’ by Maupassant, and Alessandro Stella’s rapt playing is nothing short of transportive. If his Mozart (the Minuet from the Duport Variations) is decidedly ruminative, it certainly supports the aura of Maupassant’s story; as does his Couperin (from the Premier Ordre of Pièces de Clavecin). Music by Krieger (Menuet from the Sixth Partita) and Dussek (Op 28/1) should gain friends for these less well- known composers, while the nostalgia of Ravel’s Menuet sur le nom d’Haydn is perfectly captured. Fascinating, superb and unmissable.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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