On Saturday evening July 23 Aberfoyle Baroque’s audience was treated to an exquisite recital by Grammy Award-winning tenor Aaron Sheehan and harpsichordist/pianist Adam Pearl. The concert, which had sold out more than one month in advance, highlighted the musical lineage of two nations (Britain and France) through works from two eras (the Baroque and the 20th century) in two genres (vocal compositions and keyboard solos). The program included works by Purcell, Blow, Lambert, François Couperin, Britten, and Debussy.
The artists shone in the intimate setting of Aberfoyle Baroque’s performance space. Mr. Sheehan's always luminous voice glowed to particular advantage in the plangent French airs de cour, and he sang Benjamin Britten’s Canticle I (composed by Britten for his partner, the singer Peter Pears) with a passionate conviction that drew loud applause in the middle of what was meant to be an uninterupted song set. Adam Pearl coaxed an exquisite legato sound from harpsichord in the tiny masterpieces of Couperin's L’Art de Toucher le Clavecin, and his agile leap from the micro-dynamics of the harpsichord into the sound world and technical universe of Debussy's Reflets dans l'eau was a feat to behold.
An optional complimentary four-course seated dinner followed the concert. Guest chefs Randy Knight and Mark Acarenza of Frederick, Maryland, prepared a beautiful and delicious dinner featuring a main course of Tea Smoked Cornish Game Hens and Potatoes Roasted in Duck Fat. Spanish rosé and French Vouvray wines complemented the meal, and guests enjoyed conversation with the artists and fellow audience members until late in the evening. The meal concluded with an Earl Grey and Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème not soon to be forgotten!