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CD Review

A Century of Domestic Keyboards 1727-1832

  • François Couperin:
  • Les Barricades Mysterieuses
  • Les Folies Françaises
  • George Frideric Handel:
  • Fantasia in C Major, G. 60
  • Sonata in G minor, G. 273
  • Toccata in G minor, G. 276
  • Air and Variations, G. 56
  • Johann Sebastian Bach:
  • Prelude in E Major, BWV 933/5
  • Prelude in E minor, BWV 933/6
  • Franz Schubert:
  • Waltz in B minor, D. 145 #6
  • Waltz in B Major, D. 365 #24
  • Ecossaise in D Major, D. 783 #17
  • Deutscher Tanz in G Major, D. 779 #13
  • Ländler, D. 790 #4
  • Valse Sentimentale in A Major, D. 779 #13
  • Ungarische Melodie, D. 817
  • Felix Mendelssohn:
  • Venetian Gondola Song, Op. 30 #6
  • Venetian Gondola Song, Op. 62 #5
  • Wie die Zeit läuft!
  • Duetto, Op. 38 #6
  • Albumblatt in E minor, Op. 117
  • William Byrd: Pavan - The Earle of Salisbury
  • Padre Antonio Soler: Sonata #84 in D
  • Wolfgang Mozart: Adagio in B minor, K 540
Joanna Leach, spinet & square piano
Divine Art/Athene Records ATH23026 66m DDD
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This CD is a documentation of the history of the piano, or keyboard, more than anything else. True, the composers featured are among the best known and loved; Couperin, Byrd, Handel, J.S. Bach, Soler, Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn all find their way into the programme, but what we really must focus on is how this music sounded when it was written.

The four instruments used on this disc span a period of just over a century (1727-1832), a century which witnessed huge changes in the tone of keyboard instruments, from the popular harpsichord and spinet to the majestic fortepiano. The renowned pianist Joanna Leach performs with emotion and commitment with the instruments all treated with elegant delicacy.

Space is limited here so one is directed to the excellent programme notes which accompany this disc and which definitely are essential reading. In sum, this is a scholarly disc which should enlighten as much as entertain.

Copyright © 2008 by Gerald Fenech