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Harpsichord Alive: New York City Music
The Queen's Chamber Band

Cover Photo: Charles Wiesehahn
Graphic Design: Bob Blake

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Catalog Number: CPS-8733
Audio Format: CD
Playing Time: 69:40
Release Date: 2004

Elaine Comparone, harpsichord

Track Listing & Audio Samples
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    J.S. Bach / Elaine Comparone
1. Prelude in C (2:24)
    Elaine Comparone, harpsichord
    Charles Sibirsky
  2. Mood Food (6:17)
    Elaine Comparone, harpsichord
    Elodie Lauten
3. The Architect (6:15)
    Marshall Coid, countertenor
    Karla Moe, flute
    Alexandra Knoll, oboe
    Robert Zubrycki, violin
    Lori Miller, violin
    Veronica Salas, viola
    Peter Saidenberg, cello
    Elaine Comparone, harpsichord
    Kenji, Bunch
4. Hobgoblinry (7:54)
    Veronica Salas, viola
    Elaine Comparone, harpsichord
    Peter M. Susser
5. With Dignity (2:13)
6. Mischievously (2:01)
7. Tenderly (2:13)
8. With Vengeance (1:41)
9. Flowing (3:33)
    Marshall Coid
10. Duo Fantasia (9:44)
    Marshall Coid, violin
    Elaine Comparone, harpsichord
    Robert Baksa
    Duo Concertante
11. Lively (4:49)
12. Interlude: Andante (7:40)
    Jerry Willard, guitar
    Elaine Comparone, harpsichord
    Stephen Kemp
13. Essay (4:45)
14. Torch Song (5:44)
15. Whimsy (2:44)
    Karla Moe, flute
    Marsha Heller, oboe
    Robert Zubrycki, violin
    Lori Miller, violin
    Veronica Salas, viola
    Peter Seidenberg, cello
    Jerry Willard, guitar
    Elaine Comparone, harpsichord


American Record Guide - March/April 2005
by Haskins

New works for harpsichord championed by Elaine Comparone. Charles Sibirsky's Mood Food is a jazzy confection for solo harpsichord, full of tasty harmonies and some lyrical solos is a quasi-recitative style. Elodie Lauten's setting of a text by Carl Karas, The Architect, is scored for countertenor, flute, oboe, two violins, viola, cello, and harpsichord. Her music is rather minimalist, with one reference triadic sonority that constantly alternated with others. The syllabic setting of the text often ignores the standard stresses for the words; this effect makes the words sound a bit like the individual bricks that form great buildings, but I remain unpleasantly puzzled.

Kenji Binch's Hobgoblinry, for viola and harpsichord, pays tribute to the eccentric supernatural images of the artist Henry Fuselli; it's light, uncomplicated fare of particular interest for its viola writing. In Peter M Susser's Stanzas, the oboe d'amore takes center stage in five expressive miniatures with harpsichord accompaniment. Few solo wind instruments can equal the oboe d'amore's haunting beauty, and Susser - an exquisite melodist with a real gift - takes full advantage of the best that both instruments offer.

Two further duos with solo instrument and harpsichord (Marshall Coid's Duo Fantasio and Robert Baska's Duo Concertante) demonstrate the keyboard's versatility in chamber music; in Cold's work it supports the dramatic violin flourished with incisive chords and sweeping passages; Baska's work marries the natural plucked sounds of guitar and harpsichord with finely-wrought melodies and beautiful triadic harmonies.

The disc ends in grand fun with Stephen Kemp's Octet, by far the longest work. Kemp, like the other composers, is more or less conservative in his style - but he also brings to his work an urbane with that repays attention.

The performances match the music's demands and expression in every respect; although only Susser's music remails in my memory after I hear the release, I can recommend the collection for the work and for readers who relish new music composed for older instruments.