on 16 May 2013
For the most part, this album is pleasant enough in a soporific sort of way. At low volume it won't intrude on late night reading and will aid dozing off when the sand man softly calls and comes near.
Theraud is a master of the instilling a "close-the-eyes-and-sail-away" mood. If that's your taste, then don your slippers, open your novel, and have a relaxing time. One needn't be acquainted with baroque music for this album to invoke its soothing effects. This is the special corner of the piano garden to which Theraud devotes himself. Asked to summarize this album, I'd call it pleasing, generally tasteful and not aiming overly high.
Does it make sense to take the plunge and buy all three CDs? It's a price drop, but since they're also available singly I'd suggest testing the water with either the Couperin or the Rameau. The Bach pieces are so smoothed out that a person listening to them blindfolded would be very unlikely to recognize them as Bach. They're smooth and relaxable, rather than rigorous in the traditional sense. They please by moving along at a good clip --- argreeable and samey. The Rameau and Couperin pieces fare quite a bit better than the Bach when treated this way.
Enthusiasts of the album love putting their minds in a hammock and emerging stress free. That's what Theraud caters to and since his keyboard technique is smooth, rapid and glossy, his fans feel right at home. Removing stress is a benevolent enterprise and Theraud is a friend to man by providing us with these pleasant sounds that ease our unraveling.