To hear Bach played on an instrument from the world-class collection at St Cecilia’s Hall offers a privileged glimpse into how the composer’s music might have sounded at the time.
Keyboard Concertos 3, St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh * * * * *
For the latest concert in the series, Masato Suzuki was fortunate to be playing one of the finest harpsichords in the world, the 1769 double manual Taskin.
Its pellucid warmth sharpened by the percussive tinkle of the plucked strings were beautifully articulated by Suzuki together with the Dunedin Concert in Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in G minor. The musicians might start in unison, but the harpsichord quickly follows its own richly ornamented path especially in the slow movement.
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With no volume control or ability to sustain notes, the harpsichord parts are typically fast and furious and the Keyboard Concerto in D minor is no exception. Suzuki’s hands moved seamlessly between the two manuals adding to the drama of this richly scored work. The accompanying period instruments produced a lively orchestral sound centred around the dynamic viola interactions with the harpsichord.
Suzuki took full advantage of the opportunity to show off the full extent of the Taskin’s bright tonal colours with his dazzling account of Bach’s virtuosic Italian Concerto for solo harpsichord.