The Théâtre de la Ville, being currently closed for major works, has organized its season with the partnership of other venues. Benjamin Alard was giving a harpsichord recital at the CRRP, on the theme of JS Bach and Italy.
The concert of Benjamin Alard, young and talented harpsichordist and organist, co-tenured at Saint-Louis-en-l’Île Church in Paris, was part of the series “Music & words” ; so he provided some explanations and anecdotes to the audience.
Music-wise, he performed the Toccata II by Froberger, German composer of the XVIIth century, already in touch with Italian music, the Cantor’s very beautiful Canzona BWV 588, in the same scale of D minor, and Bergamasca, a piece by Frescobaldi, the great Italian keyboard master from the early XVIIth, who travelled to Flandres and taught … Froberger in Rome.
Back to Bach, with the Quodlibet, from the Goldberg Variations, followed by the Fugue on a theme by Corelli BWV 579, two scores Benjamin Alard did justice to.
Then he performed 3 Sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, exact contemporary of Bach, who worked in Italy and the Iberian Peninsula, successively K 162, K 208 – remarkable in every way – and K 491.
The concert was ending with a very fine rendition of the great Johann Sebastian’s Italian Concerto.
Benjamin Alard gave an encore, which I could not identify, but very beautiful and enjoyable.