Review and Preview

International harpsichordist Trevor Kinnock''credit Peer Lindgreen
International harpsichordist Trevor Kinnock''credit Peer Lindgreen
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Trevor Pinnock

Crucible Studio

HE did a little unconscious foot tapping as he played the courante in the Partita No 4 at his all-Bach recital, but the renowned musician stayed firmly seated at the keyboard of his two-manual harpsichord.

His acute sense of rhythm is finely tuned to Bach’s music, whatever its speed, subtly underpinning all and leaving you hooked listening to it.

He may have performed the music many times before but it still becomes a physical part of him as he plays it. Fingers and keyboard are inextricably linked and comes over as a fresh-sounding, living force.

And it is spontaneous: “I’m sorry. It went away,” he announced quickly when fingers and keys fleetingly failed to co-ordinate in the last movement allegro of the Vivaldi violin concerto transcription (BWV 972). When it instantly ‘came back’, you could palpably feel added purpose in his playing.

Sir Thomas Beecham, who described the sound of the harpsichord as like “playing a bird cage with a toasting fork” – well, it’s less bizarre to visualise than his other: “two skeletons copulating on a corrugated tin roof” – never heard a Trevor Pinnock (pictured).

Nothing was jagged or percussive-like about the sound he cajoled out of a copy of the mid-18th century French instrument he played and regularly got fortepiano resonance out of. The music flowed, legato-like with a wide variety of colour and genuine beauty, especially in the French Suite No 6.

Pinnock designed the recital to show how Bach’s writing for the harpsichord developed which he clearly did in a demonstration of artistry and skill that left each piece with its own individuality and inner sound.

Bernard Lee

PREVIEW

DERBY-based Present Company roll back the years at Buxton Opera House next week when it puts on a staging of White Horse Inn.

Once hugely popular, it has survived for a while now on the strength of its musical numbers, including In Salzkammergut, the title song, My Song of Love and, in particular, My Heart in Broken, universally known as Goodbye sung by the rejected-in-love Leopold as he prepares to go off and join the Foreign Legion.

Less well known is that it is not part of original show, premiered in Berlin in 1930, but was written, as was You Too, by Robert Stolz for the London production which opened in 1931 and ran for 651 performances. It had similar long runs in Paris, Vienna and New York.

Based on a highly successful German play, a number of composers were involved in creating the musical version, which was actually called a musical play, prominent among them being Ralph Benatzky, Stolz and Eduard Künneke who did the choral arrangements.

What’s it about? Well, Leopold, head waiter at the White Horse Inn in the Austrian Tyrol, is in love with the hostelry’s owner but she only has eyes for a solicitor who comes each year. When he arrives this time he immediately falls for another guest, the daughter of his client’s business rival.

The client’s son, would-be beau of the daughter arrives. The business rival sees an advantage in marrying her off to him, but then the son falls for a beauty on a tour through the Salzkammergut . . . and you wondered why Leopold had a mind to join the Foreign Legion?