Rinaldo Alessandrini - Chaconne
The basis of this delightful and imaginatively curated recital is chaconnes and passacaglias. These forms deal with repetition and variation, and served as a springboard for many pre-Classical keyboard composers to strut their stuff. Rinaldo Alessandrini gets right down to business, opening with a bracing and full-bodied rendition of Frescobaldi’s Partite cento sopra passacagli that vigorously plays up the music’s audacious harmonies and energetic momentum. His use of agogics throughout Bernardo Storace’s Ciaccona casts the work in a convincing cross-rhythmical light that one wouldn’t hear in a “straighter” reading. At the same time, the Muffat Passacaglia’s final pages boast marvellously fleet and streamlined runs in both hands. In the two Louis Couperin selections, Alessandrini fuses graceful freedom and incisive dotted rhythms, while the Forqueray Chaconne features elegantly turned decorations. I’ve heard less effortful and fluid interpretations of Handel’s Chacone, but Alessandrini’s original Chaconne simply flows from his beautifully reproduced instrument like cool oil. While it’s interesting to hear a 20th-century work like Ligeti’s Passacaglia ungherese reproduced at 19th century pitch, I still prefer Elisabeth Chojnacka’s faster, more transparent interpretation available in Sony’s Ligeti Edition. Alessandrini’s informative booklet-notes prove as inviting as his keyboard artistry. I eagerly await “Chaconne II”!