Quincy Porter & George Barati: Works with Harpsichord
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL226     Release Date: 2010-02-01
Virginia Pleasants, harpsichord; Polish National Radio Orchestra, Jan Krenz, conductor
Baroque Chamber Players of Indiana: James J. Pellerite, flute; Jerry E. Sirucek, oboe and English horn; Murray Grodner, cello and bass; Wallace W. Hornibrook, harpsichord

Quincy Porter's Harpsichord Concerto was commissioned by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra which gave the work its first performance on January 19, 1960, with Frank Brieff conducting and Ralph Kirkpatrick as soloist. Mr. Porter has made the following observations regarding his Harpsichord Concerto:

“I was interested in the particular qualities of the harpsichord, especially of clarity in the portrayal of more complicated harmonic combination, and in the delineation of rhythms. These qualities I tried to take advantage of, and I think that I even made the characteristics of the solo instrument dominate my treatment of the whole orchestra so that the orchestra may, at times, sound like the harpsichord ‘let loose.’

“I have tried to build a composition which has the proper contrasts coming at psychological points where they seem called for as the music progresses. Between these variously placed points of contrast, I have tried by rhythmical means or by changes of one kind or another, to give rise to dynamic lines (leading either up or down) which will assure the audience that the music is going somewhere. Or on occasion the music may be temporarily static, for another type of contrast.

“The theme at the beginning of the Concerto returns to its original form at the very end. After this theme has been developed for some measures, another theme is given out quietly by the harpsichord. This motive is used extensively in a great variety of ways throughout the whole Concerto, both thematically and as figuration.”

George Barati's Harpsichord Quartet was composed in 1964 as the first of three commissioned works for Indiana University’s Baroque Chamber Players. The other two are an octet and a concerto. Mr. Barati has said:

“I was intrigued from the beginning by the unusual sonorities inherent in the flute-oboe- double bass combination with the harpsichord. I developed a new language for myself in which I have explored several means to achieve a free rhythm of speech . . . mainly through a combination of ‘irrational’ rhythms, further minimizing the tyranny of the bar line without, however, changing the latter too often.”


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Various Artists

Quincy Porter & George Barati: Works with Harpsichord

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Track Listing

Harpsichord Concerto
Quincy Porter
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Harpsichord Quartet: I. Andante scherzando
George Barati
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Harpsichord Quartet: II. Adagio
George Barati
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Harpsichord Quartet: III. Allegretto ritmico
George Barati
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