Eighteenth-century American harpsichord music isn't something you hear everyday, but the delightful sounds of Enlightenment in the New World can be appreciated by any keyboard lover. Using a French harpsichord built in 1774, Olivier Baumont performs lively (not to mention "enlightened") works by seldom-heard composers William Selby, Alexander Reinagle, Victor Pelissier, someone named simply Mr. Newman, and a few others. There's nothing monumental here–James Hewitt's "Yankee Doodle with 9 Variations" may be too silly to fully appreciate–but the playing is exquisite and there are some great discoveries.
The Camerata of the 18th Century and its director Konrad Hünteler are committed to the recovery of original sound from the forgotten and not-soforgotten musical past. This long-awaited re-release features a masterpiece and one certainly well worth all the painstaking research that went into it: Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.
The pianist on this CD, Yulliana Avdeeva, is the winner of the Chopin piano competition in 2010. Checking the internet, you will find that the decision by the jury was controversial. Her playing was considered not to display the proper Chopin style, and too cool. I wasn't present at the competition, so I cannot write much about this. But having bought this CD, mainly because of use of old instruments, and the direction by the recently deceased icon of old music Frans Brüggen, I must say that I was totally blown away by the playing of Yulianna Avdeeva.