Jean Rondeau, Harpsichord
Jean Rondeau, Harpsichord
BACH Prelude from Partita in C Minor, BWV 997
BACH Fantasia in C Minor, BWV 906
D. SCARLATTI Sonata in C Major, K. 132
D. SCARLATTI Sonata in A Minor, K. 175
D. SCARLATTI Sonata in A Major, K. 208
D. SCARLATTI Sonata in D Major, K. 119
BACH Adagio from Concerto for Keyboard in D Minor, BWV 974 (after Marcello's Oboe Concerto)
D. SCARLATTI Sonata in F Major, K. 6
D. SCARLATTI Sonata in F Minor, K. 481
BACH Italian Concerto, BWV 971
BACH Chaconne in D Minor from Violin Partita No. 2 (arr. for keyboard left hand by Johannes Brahms)
COUPERIN "Les baricades mistérieuses" from Sixième ordre, Second livre de pièces de clavecin
RAMEAU "Les Sauvages" from Suite in G Major, RCT 6: No. 14, from Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin
At a Glance
The 18th century was a time of far-reaching changes in the musical world. Even as the harpsichord was gradually eclipsed by the more powerful and expressive fortepiano, so too did the crystalline harmonies and contrapuntal complexity of Baroque music give way to the elegant simplicity of the galant style and the more sophisticated tonal language of Classicism. Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, both born in 1685 and both renowned keyboard virtuosos, responded to this transition in different ways: Bach’s keyboard music epitomized the styles and procedures of the Baroque era, while Scarlatti’s looked ahead to the music of Haydn and Mozart.
As a composer, Bach was strongly influenced by the brilliant Italian style of instrumental music represented by Vivaldi, Marcello, and others. As a performer, he studied and admired the works of the French clavecinistes, whose harpsichord music demanded exceptional lightness and evenness of touch to achieve its characteristic blend of delicacy and brilliance. Scarlatti, one of the greatest harpsichordists in history, is best known for the short, single-movement sonatas whose apparent simplicity masks a highly original approach to the keyboard.
Jean Rondeau studied harpsichord with Blandine Verlet for more than 10 years, followed by training in continuo, organ, piano, jazz and improvisation, and conducting. He pursued additional study at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris (graduating with honors) and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
In 2012, at just 21 years old, Mr. Rondeau became one of the youngest performers ever to take first prize at the MAfestival Brugge. He also went on to win the EUBO Development Trust Prize, an accolade bestowed on the most promising young musician of the EU. The same year, he claimed second place in the Prague Spring International Music Competition, along with a nod for best interpretation of the contemporary piece composed specially for the contest. In 2013, he also won the young soloist prize from Les Médias Francophones Publics.
Mr. Rondeau is in demand for solo, chamber music, and orchestral appearances across Europe and the US. He frequently performs with the Baroque quartet Nevermind. Apart from his activities as harpsichordist, he founded the ensemble Note Forget, which presents his own jazz compositions and improvisations on piano.
Mr. Rondeau is signed to Erato as an exclusive recording artist. His debut album, Imagine, featuring music by J. S. Bach, was released in January 2015 and received the Choc de Classica and recognition from the Académie Charles Cros. His second recording on Erato, Vertigo, saw him pay tribute to two Baroque composers from his native France: Jean-Philippe Rameau and Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer. His latest album, Dynastie: Bach Concertos, explores keyboard concertos by Bach and his three most famous sons: Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, and Johann Christian. In 2016, Mr. Rondeau composed his first original score for a film, Christian Schwochow’s Paula, which premiered at the 2016 Locarno Film Festival.
Jean Rondeau plays a double manual Flemish-style harpsichord built in 1991 by Bruce Kennedy, which has been made available for tonight’s performance by The Juilliard School.