Lecture Recital Series - Elena Vorotko
Multi-keyboard specialist Elena Vorotko illustrates the developing history of pianism and compositional styles through dialogues with the Museum’s historical keyboard collection in a six-part lecture-recital series exploring familiar and lesser-known repertoire from the Renaissance to the present.
It was good to meet up again with Elena Vorotko at the first of a series of demonstration lecture recitals at RAM's piano gallery, where she was formerly Assistant Curator of their important keyboard instruments collection. A Russian-trained concert pianist, she told us how thrilled she was upon encountering early instruments for the first time only when she came to the Academy for further training!
A valued contributor to Musical Pointers, Elena Vorotko had to stop reviewing to work on her PhD about Bach's Well-tempered Klavier (which does not mean equal-tempered, she emphasised!)
This was a well prepared and carefully organised event, ranging through British and Italian Temperaments, with numerous extracts played on three instruments: an Italian Virginal of early 17C (Quarter-comma Meantone), a British-made Kirkman harpsichord (mid-18 C, Werckmeister Circular Temperament) and an early 20 C Steinway piano in Equal Temperament, with all keys "equally out-of-tune" !
Jumping from one to another, Elena demonstrated subtle features and differences, including "wolf-notes" and "beats", with the Steinway relatively bland, her illustrations hopefully sharpening our ears. Some of us however found the discrepancies on the Virginal piquant and spicy, rather than unpleasant.
This series, running through until next Spring, promises to be educative and entertaining; one for your diary.
Peter Grahame Woolf