Early Music Concerts 2000-2009

Early Music Concerts 2000-2009: (US) Towards Bach: The Harpsichord in Germany Before Bach -- Concert (Oct. 4/2009)

Contributed by harmoniamusicae on Aug 03, 2009

Giuseppe Schinaia, Harpsichord
(October 4, 2009 at 3 pm)

First Presbyterian Church
6400, Kimbark Ave

Chicago IL


  • Christian Ritter:                  Allemanda in discessum Caroli XI Regis Sueciae
                                                   (allemanda, courande sarabanda gique)
  • Johann Kuhnau:               Hezekiah Sick Unto Death and Restored to Health
                                                   (Biblical Sonata n.4)
                                                   (Lamentation, Confidence in God, Joy Upon Recovery)
  • Joh.Casp.Ferd.Fischer:   Uranie, Suite No. 9 from Musicalischer Parnassus
                                                   (Toccata, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gavotte, Gigue,
                                                   Rigaudon I & II, Menuet I & II, Passacaglia)
  • Joh.Seb.Bach:                    Fantasy and Fugue in a minor BWV 944

The harpsichord was for centuries the main keyboard instrument in private houses, courts, dining halls and theaters in the Western World, only occasionally surpassed by the pipe organ when sacred music was involved. Its decline at the end of the XVIII century was due both to the changes in musical taste and to the larger sound required by the increasing number of people attending public performances; its place and functions were replaced by the piano or fortepiano, as it was named at its origins.

However, the sound of the harpsichord, with its limitations but also with its potentialities, still retains its fascination in the execution of musical compositions expressely conceived for it.

This program includes 3 compositions, divided into various movements and belonging to a period ranging from the end of the XVII century to the very beginning of the next one. They originate from the German cultural atmosphere that led to the development of the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach, author, in his very early youth, of the fourth and last piece in the program. Using the musical connections between these various compositions and with the guide of a short oral introduction to the concert, it will be possible to understand and follow the development and the analogies in style and taste of the keyboard music in Germany during those culturally fertile years.

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