Imagine (Bach), J. Rondeau
(released on January 27, 2015)
Erato 825646220045 | 79'56"
In this program, Rondeau excelled in several slow-tempo sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, often slathering on a thick layer of rubato, teasing out curled phrases in the C major and F minor sonatas (KK. 132 and 481, both marked "cantabile"). He used the instrument, built by Thomas and Barbara Wolf and now owned by the University of Maryland, in a fairly straightforward way, combining the two 8' stops for occasional antiphonal effects and changes on repeats, as in the D minor sonata (K. 213) and the A major sonata (K. 208), and not using the instrument's other stops. Seeming to recognize his strength, Rondeau included only two sonatas in faster tempos, not to the most pleasing effect, with inelegant hand crossings in the D major (K. 119) but savoring the piled-up dissonant chords and guitar-like figuration in the A minor (K. 175).
Patrick Rucker, Young harpsichordist continues to amaze (Washington Post, June 18)