Old Gallants and Retired Financiers

2018-09-10T10:54:01+00:00

François Couperin (1668-1733), probably writing to entertain Louis XIV, varies the moods to suit his epoch’s conception of love in relation to such aspects as Virginity, Modesty, Ardor, Hope, Languor, Coquetry, and other amorous qualities, each color-coded to different masks – pink, crimson, invisible, and so forth. The title of No. IX, “Old Gallants and Retired Financiers,” got a laugh, perhaps making the audience think of elderly pensioned bankers; but it put me more in mind of a possible title for a satirical Daumier drawing. The piece became undeniably period French in concept with the concluding numbers: Kindly Cuckoos (Cuckolds), Taciturn Jealously, and Frenzy or Despair. (“O rage, o deséspoir!”)

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George Weinberg-Harter, San Diego Arts, March 14, 2007