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Montrèal harpsichord virtuoso Geneviève Soly played Claviers Baroques' French double harpsichord Muguette to critical acclaim in her October 1, concert here in Toronto...

from the Toronto Star, Wednesday, Oct 3, 2001:

 

Smooth Sounds of Antiquity

By John Lehr
Special to the Star

We tend to think of the harpsichord as the instrument that gives period instrument ensembles the authentic twang of antiquity. But what about the harpsichord as a solo recital instrument? Would it have enough resonance to fill a modern recital hall? Wouldn't prolonged exposure to its sound jangle the nerves?

Those questions were answered Monday night when harpsichordist Geneviève Soly made her Toronto debut in a solo recital at the Jane Mallett Theatre. She played a two-manual instrument whose resonant sound had a pleasant palette of tonal colours that soothed rather than irritated the ear.

Not only was she championing her instrument, however. She was also championing a little-known composer, Christoph Graupner, whose music turned out to be an equally pleasing surprise. Friendly with Telemann and Händel, a contemporary of J. S. Bach, Graupner had an excellent reputation in his own day. And the three large suites of his that Soly performed showed how well deserved that reputation was. Like Bach, Graupner gave the varied textures and moods in each suite a unified feeling. Like Telemann, his personality had a genial tenor with occasional moments of great profundity. His star is rising again, with new editions of his work in preparation to make it more easily accessible to performers. Soly herself is helping to edit the keyboard works and has begun to record all of his harpsichord suites.

It would be hard to imagine a better interpreter for him. She played with an enthusiasm that equaled her exemplary technique. Ornamentation, springing naturally from the musical line, never sounded pedantic and added-on. She played with the freedom that comes from mastery. The only disappointment was that so few showed up to hear this instrument, this music and this performer.

Note: Ms Soly has now released Volumn One of Graupner Partitas pour clavecin on CD, Analekta FL 2 3109

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