Harmonia Podcast #118: J.J. Froberger × 2

23

April
2010

It is perhaps a little unfair to feature a couple of harpsichordists performing essentially the same repertoire by Johann Jakob Froberger. Comparisons—a “who is better” game—are inevitable even if there was no intention of posing them as such.

On one hand, there’s Christophe Rousset, one of the world’s great harpsichordists (never mind his excellent ability to direct an ensemble) known for releasing consistently good solo recordings. On the other, we have Webb Wiggins who, while not boasting the kind of international acclaim that Rousset does, is easily one of America’s finest, especially when it comes to his terrific skills and excellent reputation as a chamber musician.

The thing that struck me after listening to both was how equally good they were, each harpsichordist having his own personal approach, at once unique and faithful to the style. If anything, Wiggins’ recording benefits from being performed on harpsichord and organ (the instrument Froberger was renowned for), as well surveying the complete works from the Libro Quarto of 1656.

  • J.J. Froberger: Suites 1649 & 1656, Rousset (buy)
  • J.J. Froberger: Libro Quarto, 1656, Wiggins

Listen:

#118—Keyboard Music of Froberger: Christophe Rousset and Webb Wiggins

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