Rameau: Les Cyclopes

While I still have a way to go to finish the Grade 6 pieces, I wanted to finalize a selection from List A for Grade 8. It’s not a period of music I instinctively ever want to learn and I wasn’t enthusiastic about more Bach to be honest. So I had a look at the list and attempted to find a good reason to learn the Scarlatti that was on the list. I failed.

I’ve chosen this:

Les Cyclopes, Rameau as interpreted by Vikingur Olafsson

There is a really great version by Grigory Sokolov around too and what fascinates me is how how different the various interpretations are. I suspect in part it’s because it was written in the early half of the 18th century, at a time when the composers did not necessarily leave much on the way of instruction, given they were written for harpsichord and this allows today’s musicians some latitude in how they play the pieces. But there are elements of this that I absolutely love.

Rameau_Les Cyclopes Extract
Extract from IMSLP version of Les Cyclopes by Rameau

You can find the sheet music here. I congratulate myself on finding a particularly antique version of it. I think it’s the first edition. Currently, it looks like the best publisher to get this from is Barenreiter – it’s not on Henle’s digital library and Barenreiter appear to have a couple of options to get it in print. I don’t think it’s on their digital library yet. In theory I am not in a hurry to get this. But I will still try to buy it tomorrow. I’m not sure I want 43E worth of Rameau, on the other hand I am supposed to be upping my sightreading game too. We will see what is supposed to be there.