Capriccio Baroque

Mahan Esfahani at Carnegie

Mahan Esfahani rehearsing in Weill Recital Hall

Mahan Esfahani, who performed the Goldberg Variations in New York City in the fall (see my earlier post), returned on May 1 for a solo recital in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. The program was a diverse one of Frescobaldi, Rameau, Benda, and Bach. The instrument was once again a French double after Hemsch and Blanchet built in 2010 by the Montreal maker Yves Beaupré—an instrument that usually resides in our living room.   The things that always stand out for me in Mahan's playing are virtuosity, varied color, and passionate commitment, all of which were very much in evidence throughout the program. The opening set of Frescobaldi pieces included the famous Toccata settima, played with freedom and brilliance...

Goldbergs One More Time: Jean Rondeau at the Morgan

Jean Rondeau

For the NYC performance, Jean Rondeau sat at a French double by David J. Way (1987) and opened the recital not with the famous Aria but with an apparently improvised prelude, which had the character of a prélude non mesuré from an earlier generation of clavecinistes. But then the Aria arrived, first with the standard ornamentation, then with more ornaments on the repeats, all done with skill and taste. The thirty variations that followed were impeccably rendered, by turns dazzling and sensuous...

Old Vine Cinsault: Heritage in a Glass - Don Winkler, International Wine Review

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to taste old vine Cinsault produced on three different continents. Cinsault  yields prolific grapes that can produce light wines of little distinction and, for this reason, often doesn’t get a lot of respect. But old vine Cinsault put in the hands of outstanding winemakers is another thing altogether. Some compare it to Burgundy, others say it’s Beaujolais-like, but it’s undoubtedly delicious! And, it’s a perfect accompaniment to assertive, exuberant, full-bodied harpsichord works -- Padre Antonio Soler’s Sonatas or Francois Couperin’s Huitiéme Ordre perhaps? Or, maybe something more contemporary  like Janine Johnson’s lovely harpsichord Suite in f-sharp minor, Opus 24 might work very well.

The Goldbergs on Harpsichord in NYC, 2017–18

Bach’s Goldberg Variations was published in Nuremberg in 1741 with the dryly descriptive title “Aria with assorted variations for a harpsichord with two manuals.” It was one of those rare works that Bach actually took the time and trouble to publish, and the work evidently represented an achievement that, as he entered what would be his final decade, he was determined to preserve for posterity.

Introducing OenoNote - Fine Wines to Enjoy with Baroque Music!

Capriccio introduces the launch of its new OenoNote Blog for music & wine lovers!  Don Winkler, wine reviewer & co-publisher of the International Wine Review (IWR), will be reviewing fine wines, those special accompaniments to an evening of glorious Baroque music.  With this Blog it'll be possible to get full information on wines served at Capriccio's concerts; access helpful reviews when choosing wines for your own special listening events; & hear artists' perspectives on wine & music pairings.  Click on the OenoNote link at top right of this home page to read Don's first Blog on some fine Italian Varietals.

Introducing Erik Ryding as Principal Capriccio Blogger

Capriccio is delighted to welcome Erik Ryding as a principal Blogger on its new Music Review & Literary Review Blogs.  A lutenist, Erik Ryding is an award-winning author, writer of program notes for NYC's most prestigious music venues, pre-concert lecturer, & president of Quill Classics.  Click on "Music Reviews" above to read Erik's blog on a recent NYC happening. 

Capriccio Offers a New Subscription Package for this Season!

Our just-announced subscription package offers 10% off two concerts highlighting dance music of the Baroque. March 18, 2018, Grammy nominee Jory Vinikour is joined by exquisite Baroque dancer Caroline Copeland  in a program of  J.S. Bach, Rameau, Handel & Scarlatti.  July 15, 2018, renowned harpsichordist Andrew Appel is joined by Loretta O'Sullivan on Baroque Cello & acclaimed Baroque dancer Paige Whitley-Bauguess  with works by F. Couperin, d'Anglebert, Fischer, Biber & more.

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