Harpsichord

Sweet Wines for Suite Music - Sept. 15 at Capriccio Baroque

At one time, sweet wines like Hungary’s Tokaj, Spain’s Sherry, France’s Sauternes, Austria’s Ruster Ausbruch, and Germany’s Trockenbeerenauslese were the most sought after wines in the world.  Vintners rarely profit from making these wines, and they’re becoming increasingly difficult to find. Sweet wines are a bit like harpsichord music, a once highly popular item that today is appreciated only by the select, refined few!  Enjoy both at Capriccio's Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 concert - with a concert ticket comes complimentary wine tastings & a glass of bubbly.

Mahan Esfahani at Carnegie

Mahan Esfahani rehearsing in Weill Recital Hall

Mahan Esfahani, who performed the Goldberg Variations in New York City in the fall (see my earlier post), returned on May 1 for a solo recital in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. The program was a diverse one of Frescobaldi, Rameau, Benda, and Bach. The instrument was once again a French double after Hemsch and Blanchet built in 2010 by the Montreal maker Yves Beaupré—an instrument that usually resides in our living room.   The things that always stand out for me in Mahan's playing are virtuosity, varied color, and passionate commitment, all of which were very much in evidence throughout the program. The opening set of Frescobaldi pieces included the famous Toccata settima, played with freedom and brilliance...

Goldbergs One More Time: Jean Rondeau at the Morgan

Jean Rondeau

For the NYC performance, Jean Rondeau sat at a French double by David J. Way (1987) and opened the recital not with the famous Aria but with an apparently improvised prelude, which had the character of a prélude non mesuré from an earlier generation of clavecinistes. But then the Aria arrived, first with the standard ornamentation, then with more ornaments on the repeats, all done with skill and taste. The thirty variations that followed were impeccably rendered, by turns dazzling and sensuous...

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