Pasquini: Suites and Variations

Lydia Maria Blank harpsichord

Et’cetera KTC1532

Occupying a chronological and stylistic position between Frescobaldi and Domenico Scarlatti, Pasquini’s toccatas owe much to the former while the suites show a more French susceptibility. His variation sets are a particularly successful blend of styles and techniques. All are ably played here by Lydia Maria Blank on a copy of an 18th-century Italian harpsichord by Christian Fuchs with a mellow virginal-like sound which suits this music very well and is well recorded. As well as the five suites and six variation sets of the title there are three toccatas. The suites have varying numbers of movements and have no sarabandes, leaving them a bit lop-sided in contrast to those of French composers or of Froberger. But this is bright sparkling music, played with intelligence and panache and with lots of satisfyingly idiomatic ornaments on repeats. There are also very informative liner notes.

Noel O’Regan