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Couperin-Wester, The Mysterious Barricades

Couperin-Wester, The Mysterious Barricades

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The Mysterious Barricades by Couperin (arranged for guitar by Stefan Wester)

  • Product: Self Print (PDF) or Print on Demand
  • Length: Eight pages, 74 bars
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Extras: All versions are included in the PDF download
  • ISMN 979-0-706803-43-2
  • Order Number: BE-151125

The Mysterious Barricades (Les baricades mistérieuses) is probably Francois Couperin's most famous composition. It comes from the suite Ordre 6eme de clavecin from his second book of keyboard music (Pieces de clavecin), published in 1717. The Mysterious Barricades is composed in the style luthé (Lute-style), a term used by Couperin referring to arpeggiated textures in his music. JS Bach was one of many composers who loved Couperin's music, and he copied one of Couperin's pieces in the notebook to his wife Anna Magdalena Bach. Pieces de clavecin consists of hundreds of compositions, most of which have imaginative and descriptive titles. There has been much speculation about what the enigmatic title The Mysterious Barricades actually means. Some believe that it refers to the piece's musical character, it's haunting melodies with its sustained notes, dissonances, and continuous overlapping notes. Others suggest that it may have a metaphorical meaning, such as female beauty, virginity, or the barrier between life and death.