Academic journal article Notes

Jean-Philippe Rameau

Academic journal article Notes

Jean-Philippe Rameau

Article excerpt

Jean-Philippe Rameau. A Basket of Wild Strawberries: A Selection of Keyboard Jewels by Jean-Philippe Rameau. Tzimon Barto. Ondine ODE 1067-2, 2006.

Even those (like this reviewer) who are generally susceptible to the arguments of the period-instrument school must concede the great pleasure of listening to baroque keyboard music when performed on the modern piano. Where Johann Sebastian Bach's inventions and toccatas can sound clattery and brittle on the harpsichord, on the piano they play out like strings of pearls, the notes round and luminescent and lovely. This is no less true of similar works by other baroque composers, notably Jean-Philippe Rameau, whose keyboard music is given a bold but sensitive interpretation here by the young American pianist Tzimon Barto. As the disc's title suggests, the pieces on offer are selected from a variety of suites and books; each is presented as a small but complete musical argument in and of itself, rather than a segment of a larger whole. Barto's approach to Rameau's keyboard music is very heavily influenced by his love for and understanding of Rameau's opera, and he also displays a healthy willingness to use the piano's capabilities while maintaining respect for the nature of the written work. …

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