This is the first edition of this music by Bernarnd de Bury (1720-1785), who resided in Versailles his entire life and held various positions at the court, including that of "King's Chamber Harpsichordist." Bernard de Bury (1720-1785) resided in Versailles his entire life, and held various positions at the court. He studied with his father, as well as with Francois Collin de Blamont (1690-1760), to whom he dedicated his Premier livre de pieces de clavecin. De Bury acquired the post of ordinaire de la chamber pour le clavecin ("King's chamber harpsichordist") in 1741. He continued a long distinguished line of musicians who held this position. A long, rich tradition of French harpsichord compositions preceded the publication of the harpsichord suites by Bernard de Bury. He, like so many others, was influenced by Francois Couperin, as well as Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764). For example, most all of his movements are given titles, even when also identified as a dance movement (and even when the dance is not identified). In addition, ten times the popular form of a rondeau is used (counting second rondeaux and doubles).
Furthermore, frequent changes in texture can be seen, ornaments can be identified from the tables of Couperin and Rameau, and notes inegales are appropriate (unless a movement is in Italian style). Examples of Italian influences can be seen in arpeggiated figures, passage work, imitation, circle of fifths progressions, and occasional frequent modulations. In keeping with French aesthetic, most suites end with tender sublimity rather than impressive virtuosity.
Harpsichordist and scholar Ruta Bloomfield (DMA, Historical performance Practices, Claremont Graduate University) is the first known performer of the music of Bernard de Bury outside of France since the eighteenth century. A complete recording of the four suites can be heard on her CD Music from Versailles (available at cdbaby.com.). Dr. Bloomfield serves on the faculty of The Master's College in Santa Clarita, CA.
Introduction; Source; Translation of Dedication; Premiere Suite; La Minerve; Sarabande, Les Regrets; Les graces badines; La Tendre Agitation; Le Plaidoyer de Cithere; 1er Rondeau; 2e Rondaeu; Seconde Suite; La belle Brune; L'Enfantine; La Citheree; 1er Rondeau; 2e Rondeau; Troisieme Suite; Les Amusemens; 1er Rondeau; And Much More.