Performance Thursday, April 23, 2015 | 7:30 PM

Kristian Bezuidenhout

Weill Recital Hall
Keyboard master Kristian Bezuidenhout brings intelligence, wit, and subtlety to the extraordinary range of music for harpsichord. The Boston Globe called him, “a vigorously intelligent musician, well equipped with the technique to back up some extraordinary new ideas about old music,” and said, “Bezuidenhout played with vigor, variety, and color: extraordinary ... and immensely expressive.”

Part of Salon Encores.


  • Kristian Bezuidenhout, Harpsichord


  • WECKMANN Toccata in E Minor
  • PURCELL Prelude from Suite in G Minor, Z. 661
  • PURCELL Almand from Suite in G Minor, Z. 661
  • PURCELL Rondeau Minuet from The Gordian Knot Unty'd, Z. 597
  • PURCELL Round O from Abdelazer, or The Moor's Revenge, Z. 570
  • PURCELL Ground in C Minor, Z. D221
  • MUFFAT Passacaglia from Apparatus musico-organisticus
  • L. COUPERIN Prelude in C Major
  • RITTER Suite in C Minor from Möller Manuscript
  • L. COUPERIN Passacaille in C Major
  • FROBERGER Tombeau in C Minor, FbWV 632
  • BACH Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828

At a Glance

Compared with other keyboard virtuosos of the Baroque era, Johann Sebastian Bach rarely ventured beyond his home turf in eastern Germany. As his D-Major Partita shows, however, Bach combined the German love of counterpoint with the French affinity for suave melodies and harmonies and the new Italian taste for brilliant display and rhetorical contrast. Bach particularly admired François Couperin and his fellow French claveciniste composers, whose highly ornate harpsichord music demanded exceptional lightness and evenness of touch.

Of the earlier masters represented on this evening’s program, Johann Jacob Froberger—arguably the greatest German keyboard composer before Bach—was especially broad-minded in his artistic sympathies. His extensive travels and friendship with kindred spirits such as Louis Couperin and Matthias Weckmann inculcated a cosmopolitan outlook that came to typify the north-German school of keyboard music in the 17th and early 18th centuries. This outlook bore fruit in a profusion of toccatas, preludes, passacaglias, fantasias, and other improvisatory-sounding pieces that exemplified the free and unrestrained method of composing known as the stylus fantasticus, or “fantastic style.” In an increasingly interconnected Europe, such stylistic influences spread far and wide—from Stockholm, where Christian Ritter served as a musician, to the Swedish court, to Henry Purcell’s London.


An Introduction to Before Bach

Before Bach
This performance is part of Before Bach, and Early Music Instrumental.

Part of