Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Everything You Wanted To Know About Harpsichord, But Were Afraid To Ask

Everything You Wanted To Know About Harpsichord, But Were Afraid To Ask
Shostakovich - Khachaturian - Mendelssohn - Schubert - Schumann - Cramer

Caro Mitis | 1 CD | 61:08 | FLAC | no scans | 346 MB

Martynova is a leading harpsichordist in Russia as well as Europe and has appeared on other Caro Mitis releases. She studied in France and has long had an interest in expanding the interest in and the repertory for the harpsichord by performing works other than those composed in the 17th and 18 centuries. However, she has not been that attracted by the works of most contemporary composers for her instrument. Instead, she was moved to find works for the piano by Romantic period and modern composers which seemed to work well when played on the harpsichord. Works inspired by the Preludes and Fugues of J.S. Bach as well as music for children by modern composers are the focus of this very enjoyable collection. In her notes she goes into what she was looking for and discoveries she made in putting together such a program. She mentions the limitation of the harpsichord in achieving gradations of loudness which come naturally to the piano. Composers for the harpsichord get around the “terraced dynamics” of the instrument partially by writing more notes into their chords, since denser chords sound louder.
Shostakovich created his series of Preludes & Fugues specifically in emulation of Bach, so the four Preludes & Fugues from his Opus 87 work well on the Baroque instrument. So does one of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words - due to its simplicity - and four pieces from Schumann’s Children’s Album.

Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–1975)
1 Prelude in A major, op. 87
2 Fugue in A major, op. 87
Aram Khachaturian (1903–1978)
Three pieces from "Children’s Album"
3 Invention (Adagio from the ballet “Gayane”)
4 In Folk Style
5 Etude
Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)
6 "Lied ohne Worte" in C major, op. 67 No.4
Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
7 "Moment musical" in C sharp minor, op. 94 No.4
Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–1975)
8 Prelude in A minor, op. 87
9 Fugue in A minor, op. 87
Johann Baptist Cramer (1771–1858)
Four pieces from "Studi per il pianoforte"
10 Etude in E major
11 Etude in F minor
12 Etude in A minor
13 Etude in B flat major
Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–1975)
14 Prelude in B flat minor, op. 87
15 Fugue in B flat minor, op. 87
Robert Schumann (1810–1856)
Four pieces from "Album für die Jugend", op. 68
16 Schnitterliedchen (The Reaper’s Song)
17 Kleine Fuge: Vorspiel
18 Kleine Fuge: Fuge
19 Mignon
20 "Mai, lieber Mai... ("May, dear May...")
21 Fugue in D minor, op. 126
Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–1975)
22 Prelude in D major, op. 87
23 Fugue in D major, op. 87

Total time: 61'08"

Olga Martynova, harpsichord



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