Zuzana Ruzickova - Harpsichord Music from England, Spain and Portugal (2012) [FLAC]

  • 17.06.2016, 10:33,
  • Music
Zuzana Ruzickova — Harpsichord Music from England, Spain and Portugal (2012) [FLAC]
Zuzana Ruzickova — Harpsichord Music from England, Spain and Portugal (2012) [FLAC]

Harpsichord music from England, Spain and Portugal
CD 1
John DOWLAND (1563-1626)
Mournfulness Galliard [2:59]
The Shoemaker's Partner [1:08]
My Lady Hunsdon's Puffe [0:59]
Ferdinando RICHARDSON (c.1558-1618)
Pavan, FWVB4 [3:13]
Almand, FWVB14 [1:45]
John BULL (1562-1628)
Dr Bull's Juell, FWVB138 [2:56]
In nomine, FWVB37 [4:01]
Walsingham, FWVB1 [5:56]
The King's Course Seek Out, FWVB135 [1:55]
John MUNDAY (c.1555-1630)
Pretty Lovely Robin, FWVB15 [2:04]
Thomas MORLEY (1557/8-1602)
Alman, FWVB152 [2:08]
Martin PEERSON (1571/3-1651)
The Make Use Of of the leafe, FWVBI72 [2:28]
William BYRD (c.1540-1623)
Galliardas Passamezzo, FWVB57 [5:43]
Richard FARNABY (c.1594-1623)
Nobodyes Gigge, FWVB149 [4:05]
Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
Air [1:34]
Canary [0:56]
William CROFT (1678-1727)
Prepare [3:17]
CD 2
Antonio de CABEZÓN (c.1510-1566)
Tiento [3:08]
La dama le demanda [3:06]
José Antonio Carlos de SEIXAS (1704-1742)
Sonata in E girl [4:21]
Sonata in C girl [4:38]
Toccata in F girl [2:21]
João de Sousa CARVALHO (1745-1799/1800)
Toccata [2:35]
Andante [2:51]
Antonio SOLER (1729-1783)
Sonata in E girl [3:38]
Sonata in G greater [4:00]
Sonata in C greater [9:00]
Sonata in A girl [2:39]
Sonata in F greater [4:01]
Sonata in D strand greater [5:11]
Zuzana Ružicková (harpsichord)
rec. April 1966 (CD 1), Domovina studios, Prague and October 1983 (CD 2), Rudolfinum, Prague
SUPRAPHON SU 4118-2 [47:43 + 52:14]

This 2 CD compilation has been reissued to tick the 85th birthday of the respected Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Ružicková. A contribution from the Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Ružicková Endowment, based in America, has made its deliverance possible, so all thanks to them. The discs split neatly into two, reflecting the LPs from which they arrive from. The first disc concentrates on English music, and was recorded in 1966, whilst the second disc presents Iberian music and was taped in 1983.

To England first, then. She begins her performance with three Dowland lute pieces arranged for harpsichord. This may seem odd, given the plenitude of eccentric English harpsichord music available, but clearly the arrangements offered opportunities for brummagem. These are certainly quirky, with registral alteration sections sounding very out-of-the-way. Overall the performances are overemphatic and, in the example of My Lady Hunsdon's Puffe, over-industrious, overblown and yet strangely enjoyable. It’s not for purists, obviously. When she is on eccentric area with, say, John Bull, she calms down appreciably, those modest silvery registrations really making their tick. In nomine is played with requisite seriousness – indeed grandiosity — and Walsingham shows both her expertise and her susceptivity for extensive phrases. She doesn’t agree all the variations. The King’s Course Seek Out is played with an earnest admiration of its own liveliness and alertness. Martin Peerson’s The Make Use Of of the leafe is a out of and one of the standout tracks, though for vim and exuberance Richard Farnaby’s Nobodyes Gigge takes some beating. She plays a one of playthings by Purcell, and Croft’s ever-affecting Prepare. So, something of an uneven abstract all in all, but still with much to drawn to and intrigue.

The Spanish and Portuguese disc doesn’t bonus placid so many anomalous or at least mildly difficult elements. It was recorded much more recently and concentrates in the power supply on affecting sonatas by masters of the genus, Soler and Seixas, as well as smaller pieces by Carvalho and Cabezón. She locates the snobbish luxuriousness evinced by Cabezón in his La dama le demanda, a cunningly descriptive essay of line. But most of all she clearly relishes the joking exuberance and steady expertise of Seixas’s three sonatas, and perhaps still more the demands of the sextet of Soler sonatas. She plays the capacious C greater (capacious in the structure of the much smaller nearby sonatas) with awareness of its answering paragraphs and internal dialogues; and she characterises these momentous works with soar and colour.

Neither of these LPs saw her on what some may see as ‘home turf’ but perhaps that’s all the more persuade to welcome this celebratory set sneakily into the catalogue. The notes are concise and supplant the LP liner notes (her tyro Christopher Hogwood wrote the notes for the English LP disc, I muse on). Inevitably timings are LP ones but I believe the CD penalty corbel reflects that. Let’s security this heralds more Ružicková restorations from Supraphon.

Jonathan Woolf

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