Yu Yashima harpsichord
This is a debut CD from the Japanese-born harpsichordist who trained in Milan. She has recorded a mixed Frescobaldi programme taken from across the two books of Toccatas. It includes six toccatas in which she shows both stylistic awareness and technical fluency. The playing in these can be a bit formulaic, with somewhat exaggerated contrasts between sections and quite a lot of sudden accelerandos, but the rhetorical divisions are clear. The canzonas and gagliardas get lively performances, as does the centre-piece of the programme, the Cento Partite sopra Passacagli. There are two sets of variations which are played more reflectively and perhaps too slowly in the case of the Romanesca set. It is good to have the less-commonly recorded Capriccio sopra La Battaglia which is given a suitably bellicose performance. Yashima plays on a copy by Andrea Restelli of a harpsichord by Gregori of 1726 which is closely and richly recorded. There are informative liner notes by Marco Gaggini. This is a promising debut from a player from whom we can expect more in the future.