‘Hats off ,Gentlemen,a genius’ Jean Rondeau at the Wigmore Hall

Jean Rondeau the Prince of the Harpsichord.
An artisan arriving on stage with sleeves rolled up ready to caress and lovingly coax sounds from the beautiful antique box before him.
Cherishing every moment he shares with the delicate instrument just as a master violin maker lovingly shapes the wood that with great artistry and mastery he brings to life.Transforming it into a breathing,living instrument of another age.
There were filigree embellishments that were like delicately carved Chinese ornaments of refined intertwined golden thread.

But there was also a sense of line and architectural shape that kept us on the edge of our seats for the eighty minutes of continuous music that poured with such simplicity from his hands.
A body in continuous motion like on a great wave following the currents of sound that were flowing with such power and inevitability from this beautiful instrument.A body and instrument that become one is a rarity indeed.

I am not competent to go into the details of harpsichord technique or the specialist scholarship that is needed to bring this music to life in an authentic way.
But by God I do know when a musical genius is at work.
Schumann exclaimed on hearing the young Chopin what could very well apply to Jean Rondeau tonight :’Hats off ,Gentlemen,a genius !‘



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