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Friday, February 15, 2013

Andreas Staier, "... pour passer la mélancolie"

Froberger, Fischer, Louis Couperin, D'Anglebert, Clérambault, Muffat, Baroque era composer we don't hear as much of today as we should.

Harpsichordist-pianist Andreas Staier has given us a long and elegant program of their solo keyboard music on ... pour passer la mélancolie (Harmonia Mundi).

It concentrates on melancholy, as you have gathered from the title, the musical representation of it, the transcendence of it, or the acceptance, or the dissection, all something the Baroque (and for that matter, the Renaissance) were often prey to or concerned about. The solo harpsichord was an excellent means to draw such musico-emotional portraits, at once intimate, personal, solitary and expressive.

Andreas uses for the recording a particularly resonant, venerable instrument that reportedly was rescued from limbo at the start of our present century.

It sounds magnificent, as does the music, offered to us with the full ornamentation of trills and such that the melancholic seemed to evoke in Baroque musical minds, the trill as a kind of equivalent to the sob...

This is my kind of music and both the performances and recording make the otherwise pretty obscure repertoire breathe, come alive, move us today as if there were no 300 years or so intervening. It is a find! The CD will be available in March. You can pre-order it at Amazon. Paste the url that follows into your browser and hit enter to go there.

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