This is a 24-bit/44.1 kHz transcription using high-end analog equipment of a performance by the late Scott Ross of Francois Couperin's Eighth Order from his second book of harpsichord pieces. It was released in 1978 as part of a 16LP collection of the complete four books of Francois Couperin's Pièces de Clavecin on STIL Records, performed on an anonymous 18th century French harpsichord.
The Eighth Order is Couperin's "Goldberg Variations" (or the Goldberg Variations is Bach's Eighth Order, since Couperin's work was written a generation earlier), with a unifying theme being variously reworked in several of the movements. Of all of Couperin's works, this is the one that most reminds me of Rameau's great suites of pieces for harpsichord from 1724 and 1728.
It's a lovely, detailed recording of a fine example of the French harpsichords of that period, with an assertive snorty bass register and glittery complex treble notes. The LP is in immaculate condition, and there is virtually no tracking distortion at all. Listen in the pauses for the faint sounds of birds singing outside the chateau where it was recorded.
Equipment used for A/D conversion: Lyra Helikon phono cartridge, Linn LP12/Lingo turntable, Linn Ittok tonearm, Audioquest LeoPard tonearm cable, PS Audio PS2 preamplifier, Kimber PBJ interconnect, M-Audio Audiophile USB A/D converter.
01 - L'Art de toucher le Clavecin, 1717 - Sixième Prélude [1:40]
02 - Pièces de clavecin, Second Livre, 1716-1717 - Huitième Ordre, side A [16:55]
Allemande l'Ausoniène (Légèrement et marqué)
Sarabande L'Unique (Gravement)
03 - Pièces de clavecin, Second Livre, 1716-1717 - Huitième Ordre, side B [13:45]
La Morinète (Légèrement, et très lié)