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MP3 Susan Adams - The Italian Collection

Many of the composers of the 17th and 18th centuries were seduced by the south. The sun, the fragrant air and the lush harmonies of Italian music found their way into the works of composers as diverse and William Byrd and J. S. Bach.

7 MP3 Songs in this album (33:08) !
Related styles: CLASSICAL: Early Music, CLASSICAL: Keyboard Music

Composers from the English Renaissance to the German Baroque admired the musical culture of the Italian peninsula. Queen Elizabeth I had lutes, viols and spinets shipped from Venice to London for performances at court. Domenico Scarlatti all of his 550 harpsichord sonatas in service to the woman who would later become the Queen of Spain, Maria Barbara. The young J. S. Bach was introduced to the works of Vivaldi and the Italian Baroque when he was employed as the head of music-making in Weimar.

Susan Adams plays a group of pieces from these diverse origins on a copy of an anonymous Italian single manual harpsichord now at the Smithsonian Institution. The light case structure, the brass stringing, crow quill and robust action of the harpsichord contribute a clarity of attack and crunch to this program.

Susan Adams was born in Ottawa into a family that encouraged music study. She began playing at the age of four, and started taking lessons when she was six years old. Susan studied the piano privately in Ottawa with Jaromey Anderson and under Boris Roubakine at the University of Calgary, both of whom were dedicated and generous teachers.

Later she studied early keyboard instruments and related subjects with many fine musicians at the Schola Cantorum in Basel Switzerland. She majored in harpsichord with Jean-Claude Zehnder, with whom she also studied continuo and organ, and she took fortepiano lessons with Klaus Linder. Improvisation and choral singing rounded out the program. Susan especially enjoyed playing the well-maintained collection of instruments at the Schola. Travels to Holland enabled her to have coaching from Gustav Leonhardt. Returning to Canada Susan continued performing the works of Bach, Couperin, Rameau and Scarlatti on an ever-widening variety of harpsichords, and the music of Haydn, Mozart and J.C. Bach on the fortepiano and antiques.

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