Harpsichord recital

Thursday in the IV. Week of Easter
2019.05.16 · 12.00
St David’s Episcopal Church

Praeludium in g BuxWV 163    Dieterich Buxtehude
Ciacona in G    Georg Muffat
Fantasia I    Anthoni van Noordt
Paduana Lachrymae    Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck or Johann Praetorius
Passacaglia from ‘Urania’ (Musicalischer Parnassus)    J.C.F. Fischer

I’m pleased to be presenting this recital on a newly acquired harpsichord built by Gerald Self in 1996. This Praeludium (which might equally be called a Toccata) finds the great North German master at his most Italianate, while the sweet little major-mode Ciacona is on the French side of Muffat’s cosmopolitan palette. Van Noordt’s Fantasias, perhaps especially this first one, are reminiscent of canzone or capricci, particularly in the outlines of their subjects, but their single-section plan and rigorous and tightly woven imitative-contrapuntal texture set them apart from many examples of those genres. Their allure and challenge lie in their elegant and closely fitted craft. One of many arrangements of Dowland’s international hit ‘Lachrymae’ had been attributed to Sweelinck but now is thought perhaps to be the work of one of his many students, Johann Praetorius. In either case it is a work of utter elegance. The passacaglia that is the final movement of the final suite in Fischer’s Musicalischer Parnassus, a set of French-style suites named after the nine Muses, brings the program to a stirring close. After many years of playing mostly organs that are operated by electric remote control, it is a real joy to have this intimately expressive instrument at my disposal.