Gaku Nakagawa harpsichord
Behind the unforgettable front cover image of a sad-looking lion door knocker from Leipzig’s Thomaskirche lurk two very fine talents; one the often underrated keyboard composer, Telemann, and the other a wonderfully gifted 24-year-old Japanese harpsichordist who, without a single lesson on period instruments, won the 27th Yamanashi international competition for Early Music. He now studies under Prof.Glen Wilson at the Musikhochschule Würzburg. For his debut CD recording, he has selected these fascinating pieces which were published in Nürnberg between 1745 and 1749 and display a fusion of national styles in condensed form. These interesting works both highlight and reflect Telemann’s own musical spectrum, offering us some conventional Ouvertures with their fugato workings as well as more sonata-like movements; the second of these with hints of the Polish mode in the final Scherzando sections. Ouverture V (Track 13) has a much more Italianate feel, and that of Ouverture III (Track 7) is a freestyle French Gigue in 6/4. These works do not follow the conventional choices of dances following after the opening Ouverture; further examples of this form may be found in TWV32:13-18. But let’s not stray from the remarkable musicianship of this gifted young man, who brings out the various elements of these blended pieces with a skill beyond his age. The future is bright and will give Gaku Nakagawa the opportunity to plunder the riches of the harpsichord repertoire of these nations in evidence and much more for years to come. Would have been nice to know what the instrument used was?