Trevor Pinnock - Journey - All Music
A leader in the field of early music performance for half a century, Trevor Pinnock is best known to audiences as the conductor of the English Concert and the European Brandenburg Ensemble, though he has long maintained a second career as a harpsichordist. Journey, his 2016 release on Linn Records, is a survey of 200 years of harpsichord music from Spain, England, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, and Pinnock constructs a kind of musical narrative, inspired by the travels ofAntonio de Cabezón through these countries. The program includes short pieces by Cabezón, William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, John Bull, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Girolamo Frescobaldi, and George Frideric Handel, though works of Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti are explored in a little more depth through the French Suite No. 6 in E major, BWV 817, and the three Sonatas in D major, K. 490, K. 491, and K. 492. Such a smattering of Renaissance and Baroque music can only give a general outline of the historical developments in keyboard writing, though Pinnock has chosen well from representative pieces, and the album is enjoyable for the variety and richness of these composers' approaches. The multichannel recording gives Pinnock great clarity and close-up presence, though the use of a single instrument for such a wide-ranging survey is a missed opportunity to show off the different sonorities available to these composers.