Johann Pachelbel Keyboard Works I

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Organ or harpsichord? This question is ever present throughout the first solo release by Márton Borsányi: the virtuoso and Early Music specialist answers this question individually for each of the works by Johann Pachelbel that is recorded here. Borsányi performs at a select set of instruments, modelled on prominent exemplars of the seventeenth century: the harpsichord emulates the tradition of the famed dynasty of harpsichord builder Ruckers-Couchet, and the sound of the small organ by Peter Meier resembles that of the Nuremberg organ builder Nicolaus Manderscheidt. These instruments make audible the rich colours of seventeenth-century music. The joy of discovery and experimentation with which Borsányi gives each of these works its very own character demonstrates that this music is anything but dull – even if it was first performed over 300 years ago. He manages to capture a vast range of colours in fascinating manner: from wan wafts to sparkling radiance.

Johann Pachelbel Keyboard Works II

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With his compositions for keyboard instruments, Pachelbel left the type of instrument, on which each work could be played, open to the musician. Thus, Márton Borsányi had to consider carefully whether he should play these pieces on the harpsichord or the organ. For those pieces where the virtuoso chose the harpsichord, he is playing on a reproduction of the Mayer harpsichord from 1619 – one of the only 13 instruments preserved from the time of Pachelbel. Where the organ is his choice of instrument, he is playing on the euphonious Deutschmann organ in the Kálvin Square Reformed Church in Budapest.

By exploring the full potential of each instrument, Borsányi presents not only a historically accurate interpretation but also one of exceptional musicality and sensitivity. The composer’s ingenuity, which was even praised by Johann Mattheson, an important publicist at the time, is wonderfully expressed here. Márton Borsányi fills the air with the most distinct and distinguished timbres, and proves once more that this music has everything to offer: from a deeply moving aria to the sparkling virtuosity of a Toccata!
Xavier de Maistre: Notte Veneziana
With L'Arte del Mondo
Label: Sony Classical Records
Release date: 03.2012
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