Yuko Tanaka & Robin Carlson Peery
(Peninsula Reviews photo prohibited by Carmel Bach Festival)
Today we heard “Bach’s Brunch – Week One” as Robin Carlson Peery and Yuko Tanaka performed an early afternoon program of works for flute and harpsichord in the Sunset Center Foyer. This intimate setting, with surprisingly good acoustics and excellent sightlines, has the audience seated in chairs on the floor of the foyer with the harpsichord nicely elevated by being placed on the stairs leading to the theater.
Yuko Tanaka performed the J.S. Bach Keyboard Sonata in D Minor, BWV 964, which according to the program notes is an arrangement of the Solo Violin Sonata in A Minor, BWV 1003. The arrangement itself has a shaky provenance, but even if we are unsure of its origin, this worthy piece received a solid and expressive performance by Ms. Tanaka. Enhancing the playing was the very beautiful sounding harpsichord owned by Ms. Tanaka, a French double manual made in 1999 by John Phillips in Berkeley, after François Blanchet, Paris, 1773. Ms. Tanaka displayed her usual crisp articulation, fine rhythmic precision with lots of interesting ornaments and embellishments.
Ms. Peery encored the work she performed last week at the Wednesday Twilight Concert at the Church in the Forest – Bach’s Partita in A Minor for Solo Flute, BWV 1013. Peery is such a natural artist, her phrases flowed like melted butter. Once again I observed how magically she snatched little intakes of breath during the near seamless passages in the Allemande and Courante. I enjoyed her performance even more the second time.
The concert finished with a Sonata for Flute and Harpsichord in G Major, Wq.86, by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. The second movement, Allegretto, was in some ways the most interesting piece on the program, and the final Allegro movement was both lots of fun and fascinating, with beautifully integrated flute and keyboard passages. This was a performance that left you thirsting for more.