22 August 2012

Three Bs, plus

Last night at the Old West Church here in Boston, Mark Engelhardt played a typically outstanding recital, on the C.B. Fisk Opus 55. In introductory remarks from the organ loft, Mark variously likened the program to a rondo and to a club sandwich.  First a Bruhns Præludium in G; then a Suite Breve by our mutual friend and colleague Carson Cooman (which may, a bit wryly, have been the single longest musical item); a Canzonetta in G by Buxtehude whose brief duration (in spite of its fair disclosure as a song-ette) seemed almost to take the audience by surprise; the Sonata in Sea by another estimable mutual f. & c., James Woodman; and ending (bien sûr) with the roisterous C Major prelude & fugue, BWV 547.

Mark was in strikingly good form, working well with an instrument which can be unforgiving of a performer less flexible. Both contemporary pieces sounded very nicely. In the Cooman Suite, the Sortie stood out for its assured brilliance. And while it was not the first time that I heard Mark play the Woodman Sonata (as I was telling the composer) it felt much like the best yet I had heard the piece performed.

No comments: