Extracts from some reviews of The Mirror of Human Life
by Jane Clark and Derek Connon
From reviews of the current (2011) edition
- Derek Adlam, writing in Classical Music, 4 June 2011:
- Jane Clark and Derek Connon give us keys to the elusive, allusive titles of Couperins solo harpsichord music, titles that indicate the content, atmosphere and character of these works of subtle genius ... for me, the pages of the Ordres now teem with actors and actresses, characters from the Commedia dellarte, courtiers and courtesans, all portrayed in Couperins witty, punning, sly, amused, sympathetic, loving commentary on his life and times ... This neatly produced work is essential for players and listeners alike.
- Mark Kroll, writing in Early Music America, Summer 2011:
- In just a few hundred pages the authors create a compelling portrait of Couperin and his world, providing an invaluable service, not only to harpsichordists (and all les amis de Couperin) but to everyone interested in the music, art and theater of the period.
From reviews of the first (2002) edition
- David Hansell, writing in Early Music Review, December 2002:
- Jane Clark has been exploring the personalities behind Couperinís often enigmatic titles for many years and has previously published what can now be seen as preliminary versions of the present study ... Chapters on the social and cultural background and the literary/theatrical world ... will be of interest to more than just lovers of Couperin as his milieu was, of course, also that of his contemporaries.
- From Le Nouvel Observateur (13 March 2003):
- Les amateurs de musique liront ce livre anglais avec délectation: ils y trouveront la signification, pièce par pièce, de tous les titres de François Couperin, leur origine, les allusions qui sy cachent. La connaissance ajoute au plaisir.
- From The Diapason (March 2003):
- Indispensable! One word characterizes this new book by Jane Clark and Derek Connon.
- Jean Louchet, writing on the Amazon web-site in 2002:
- As far as I know, this is the only serious existing explanation (in any language) of the often misleading titles of the harpsichord pieces by Francois Couperin. Based on extensive scholarly study of contemporary sources and history, it gives lots of insight upon the characters in Couperin's neighbourhood upon whom he got his inspiration... I recommend it strongly to all harpsichord players and students.