The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Trevor Stephenson’s new season of house concerts starts this Sunday with Vladimir Horowitz’s favorite openers — Scarlatti sonatas — then moves on to Handel and J.S. Bach.

October 20, 2011
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

This weekend, on Sunday at 3 p.m. early music keyboard artist Trevor Stephenson will start another his House Music concerts, presented in his west side home at 5729 Forsythia Place, with the music of Domenico Scarlatti (below) – one of The Ear’s favorites as well as a favorite of Chopin  and Vladimir Horowitz, who rediscovered his work and popularized it on the modern piano. (See the video from Horowitz’ famous Moscow concert at the end with a Scarlatti sonata Trevor will perform on the harpsichord.)

The two other concerts feature the two other musical geniuses born in 1685: Handel on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 at 3 p.m.; and J.S. Bach on Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m.

These are intimate, charming and informative concerts. I know because I have gone to several and have also taken friends with me who enjoyed them too.

Usually, there is room for about 40. The performances are outstanding, and ticket are $35, which includes light refreshment and lots of socializing with other classical music fans. Perhaps best of all, Trevor (below) is a charming master at explaining the music and the instruments in a totally engaging and convincing way.

Reservations are required. Here is the info: You can e-mail or call (608) 238-6092.’

And here is a note Trevor sent to post:

“On Sunday afternoon, I will give a concert featuring music of baroque harpsichord ace and composer extraordinaire Domenico Scarlatti.

“The program will feature 10 diverse sonatas ranging from the Pastoral D minor Sonata, K. 9 and the whimsical, sunny G major, K. 259 to the exuberant, festive C major, K. 159 and the furious, frenetic F minor, K. 239 (probably a depiction of a bullfight).

“Scarlatti was the master of the three-and-four-page sonata and his material jumps to life the moment it is sounded. Because of this genius for immediacy we often call him the Hemingway of the harpsichord — Scarlatti makes you see the fish!

“I will perform the concert on my 18th-century replica double-manual harpsichord, which is a particularly wonderful instrument for Scarlatti. Norman Sheppard and I completed this instrument a couple of years ago and customized it specifically for Scarlatti’s music—even fitting it out with the very high g3, which most harpsichords do not have and which Scarlatti calls for frequently.

“I will also talk about the instrument as well as the 18th-century tuning that I use for performing Scarlatti’s music.

“All best wishes,


Posted in Classical music

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