Penelope and Anne Crawford
Having heard her perform, however, I can attest that Anne Crawford is a remarkable player: she has tremendous technique, complete control of color and dynamic contrast not an easy matter on the recalcitrant harpsichord and great sensitivity to the emotional nuances of the music she performs. And the opportunity to hear her perform with her mother is, I think, unprecedented. Fortunately, the Crawfords won't be limiting themselves to Pergolesi's less than wholly mature concerto they'll also perform Bach's magnificent Concerto for Two Harpsichords in C Minor. Although the piece is a transcription from a Bach concerto for oboe and violin, it's hard as it so often is with Bach transcriptions to tell which version came first. This piece sounds great both ways. With its virile opening movement, its sensitive Adagio, and its robust closing movement, it's a wholly mature example of Bach at his considerable best.
In both pieces Anne Crawford plays first harpsichord while Penelope plays second. The rest of the ensemble is led by Ars Musica alum Daniel Foster on first violin. The program also features a Sammartini recorder concerto played by Beth Gilford and three smaller works by the seventeenth-century Italian composers Fontana, Uccellini, and Donati. The other big Bach highlight of the concert is his cantata for soprano, trumpet, and strings Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen (Praise God in All Lands), featuring the well-known local soprano Lorna Hildebrandt and Baroque brass player Kiri Tollaksen.
[Originally published in February, 2002.]