Available October 26 - November 15
Under the Influence: Mark Edwards, harpsichord
Mark Edwards, harpsichord
Experience this exclusive digital concert with Canadian harpsichordist as he explores the rich musical world of the 17th-century French clavecinistes. Uncovering a performance culture of spontaneity, variability, and improvisation, he illustrates how these composer-performers were constantly adapting their own music and the music of others. The concert features music by Jacques Champion de Chambonnières, Jean-Henry D’Anglebert, and Louis Couperin, along with a number of improvisations by Edwards, influenced by these improvisers of the past.
These three 17th-century harpsichordists knew each other well. Chambonnières, the so-called “father of the harpsichordists,” was famous for his ability to uncover “new charms” within the music he played, varying his pieces each time he played them. He was also a decisive influence on both Couperin and D’Anglebert, and all three certainly knew and played each other’s music. This concert re-creates this culture of mutual influence, showing how performers took the music of others and made it their own through the medium of performance. It also shows how performers of today can continue this tradition of adaptation. In addition to a variety of improvised preludes, Edwards improvises within a suite of pieces by Chambonnières, adding ornamented variations, additional sections, and even new movements. Under the influence of 17th-century improvisers, the score no longer represents the composer’s last word. Instead, it becomes an invitation to discover “new charms” for old music.
Click here for the concert programme and credits.