Trevor Pinnock, Wigmore Hall, London

4.00

It was as a lively and stylish young solo harpsichordist that Trevor Pinnock first made his name in recital and on disc in the early 1970s.

It was as a lively and stylish young solo harpsichordist that Trevor Pinnock first made his name in recital and on disc in the early 1970s. For the next 30 years he was caught up in directing his pioneering period performance ensemble, The English Concert. But having bequeathed that distinguished outfit to Andrew Manze, he has increasingly returned to solo playing. This Wigmore Hall recital showed that he has lost none of his finesse, while expanding his musical range.

He began with a neatly worked Passacaglia from a suite by J K F Fischer - a German court composer 20 years older than J S Bach who seems to have borrowed an idea or two from him.

But Bach's own Partita No 5 in G BWV 829 - the "lightest" of the six though it may be - is so much more than merely neat. Pinnock emphasised its variety by imbuing the grace notes of its Sarabande with a delectably lazy rubato, and switching to the dry rattle of the harpsichord's buff stop to characterise the naughty cross-rhythm of the Tempo di Minuetta.

His instrument, a resplendent black, gold and terracotta two-manual modern model by Titus Crijnen of Bussum, had something of the sonorous gravity of a 17th-century harpsichord by Ruckers but with a wide range of stops.

In his brief spoken comments, Pinnock praised its adaptability to the very different styles of Bach, Handel, Rameau and Scarlatti. It also offered an effective vehicle for two recently commissioned pieces by the 36-year-old composer John Webb.

The first of these, entitled Ebb (2000), comprised a spasmodic discourse against a manic background of descending scale patterns like a kind of out-of-kilter change-ringing. Its companion piece, Surge (2003), was built up over an implacable rhythmic repeat-figure. Though neither was explicitly tonal, each skilfully avoided the merely percussive effect that the harpsichord's complex overtones can all too easily impart to more densely dissonant music. Toru Takemitsu's Rain Dreaming (1986), by contrast, proved a rather acidulated number from that usually more exquisite ear.

But the climax of the concert was Rameau's Suite in E minor, typically French in pushing the same dance genres as Bach to more picturesque ends. Here, Pinnock's bright precision in the filigree figuration of "Le Rappel des Oiseaux" for once justified the cliché "spine-tingling", while his drone-bassed "Musette" sounded as drugged with noonday heat as his rustic "Tambourin" was stampingly vigorous.

Finally, Pinnock relaxed into the floridly rolling periods of Handel's Prelude, Air and Variations (the so-called "Harmonious Blacksmith") from the Suite No 5 in E major - only to return for a perfectly judged account of Scarlatti's Sonata in E major K 380, with its pastoral trills and toy fanfares, by way of encore.

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...