The Essence of a Harpsichord Recital



Tilman Skowroneck‘s wisdom and experience never cease to amaze me. The clarity of his writing about the harpsichord (and its repertoire) is a wonder. In a blog post which explores lecturing as entertainment, he sets up his argument by describing the essence of a harpsichord recital, and hits the nail on the head, so to speak.

The harpsichordist largely depends on getting the entire package of her or his recital across “as is.” Dancing, for example, funny costumes, grimaces, dramatic monologues, cigar juggling or walking on one’s hands don’t really do the trick to make a harpsichord recital more palatable to the audiences. The times that the use of an “exotic” instrument in itself worked like a hat trick are long gone. At the end, it is the programming, the choice of venue and instrument, one’s sparing but informative spoken introductions, one’s stage demeanor and finally the quality of one’s playing that together “make” a recital. We are telling the audience something about the music and the instrument and ourselves by (ourselves) playing music on the instrument.

Read more: lecturing or entertainment? (Tilman Skowroneck)

Previous Post: Photo: Goethe-Institut Boston
Next Post: Early Music America Panels at the 2011 Boston Early Music Festival

  • Tilman

    Thanks, Bernard, for the kind words!

  • My pleasure, Tilman.