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Froberger on the 1658 De Zentis / Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra

Froberger / Ruitar-feenstra,Pamela
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Fleur De Son   Catalog #: 58002   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



FROBERGER Capriccios: No.1 in G; No. 2 in a; No. 8 in g; No. 18 in C. Toccatas: No. 2 in d; No. 4 in C; No. 17 in G; No. 20 in a; No. 25 in F. Fantasia No. 2 in a. Partita, FbWV 603a. Partita Mayrin, FbWV 606a Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (hpd) FLEUR DE SON 58002 (74:16)


It would be hard to overestimate the importance of the great German harpsichordist and composer Johann Jakob Froberger (1616–67), who acted as an overarching bridge between the all important keyboard styles of the Read more 17th century: the Italian school of Frescobaldi, the French clavecinistes , and ultimately the North German school of Buxtehude and Sebastian Bach. There have been plenty of excellent recordings of Froberger to choose from by the great harpsichordists of our time: Leonhardt, Rousset, Verlet, Rémy. There is even a complete recording of the keyboard works by Richard Egarr (Globe, four volumes); it was praised by Kevin Bazzana in Fanfare 18:4. My perennial favorite is the Archiv LP (later reissued on CD as part of the Galleria series) that Kenneth Gilbert recorded around 1979 on an instrument built in 1729 by Le père Ballot.


On this new release by Ann Arbor-based Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra, the main attraction seems to be as much the instrument as the music. It is an original single-manual harpsichord built in 1658 by Jerome (or Girolamo) de Zentis. The instrument has been lovingly and expertly restored by master builder Keith Hill, who gives a brief description of the restoration in the liner notes (much more info is available, of course, on Hill’s website). De Zentis was the royal instrument builder to Queen Christina of Sweden in Stockholm. When Christina abdicated the Swedish throne and moved to Rome in 1658, Hill speculates that Christina had her royal instrument builder “shipped ahead of her to Rome to build an instrument for her to use the moment she arrived.” Since de Zentis originally was from Rome, Hill further speculates that he “merely had to locate one of his former constructions and set about building the instrument to fulfill her expectations.” Perhaps, but isn’t it just as likely that he built the instrument prior to moving, and had it shipped to Rome in time for the Queen’s arrival? Be that as it may, the 1658 de Zentis has an intriguingly dry, hollow timbre with a decided pop at the beginning of each note, a perfect example of the classic Italian sound. The choice of a small, single-manual Italian may seem odd for Froberger, but it works quite well. My only reservation has to do with the (unspecified) temperament. It’s obviously a very aggressive, uncompromising sort of meantone, which results in some grinding inharmonicities at times—ouch!


Judging from both her playing and the essay in the liner notes, Ruiter-Feenstra has an intuitive understanding of Froberger’s musical language. There is a suppleness, a natural give-and-take to her phrasing that I associate with the best harpsichordists, including those named in the opening paragraph. The recording is far too close up for my taste; this is a decided disadvantage when recording an Italian instrument, since it emphasizes the percussive nature of the sound at the expense of the sustain. A valuable addition to the Froberger discography and recommended, despite the caveats.


FANFARE: Christopher Brodersen
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Works on This Recording

1.
Libro secondo di toccate: Suite no 6 in G major, FbWV 606 "Partita auff die Maÿerin" by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1649; Germany 
2.
Libro di capricci e ricercate: Capriccio, FbWV 508 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
3.
Libro secondo di toccate: Toccata no 4 in C major, FbWV 104 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1649; Germany 
4.
Libro secondo di toccate: Fantasia no 2 in a/e, FbWV 202 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1649; Germany 
5.
Libro secondo di toccate: Toccata no 1 in A minor, FbWV 101 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1649; Germany 
6.
Libro di capricci e ricercate: Capriccio no 2 in A minor, FbWV 502 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
7.
Libro secondo di toccate: Partita in G major, FbWV 603a by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
8.
Libro secondo di toccate: Toccata no 2 in D minor, FbWV 102 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1649; Germany 
9.
Libro di capricci e ricercate: Capriccio no 1 in G major, FbWV 501 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1658; Germany 
10.
Toccata no 20 in A minor, FbWV 120 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
11.
Libro secondo di toccate: Canzona no 6 in A minor, FbWV 306 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1649; Germany 
12.
Toccata no 25 in F major, FbWV 125 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
13.
Libro di capricci e ricercate: Ricercare no 18 in C major, FbWV 518 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
14.
Toccata in G major, FbWV 117 by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 

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