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Following his acclaimed Linn debut, One Byrde in Hande, Richard Egarr turns to the music of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck for his new recording of fantasias, toccatas and variations. As well as being a notable composer Sweelinck was a skilled improviser and keyboard virtuoso whose knowledge of the stylistic innovations of his English contemporaries, such as Byrd and Morley, was evident in his work. Egarr performs on a harpsichord designed after Ruckers (1638); its strict ¼-comma meantone tuning highlights the amazing chromaticism present in Sweelinck’s music. This is particularly evident in the famous Fantasia Crommatica, a highly improvisatory, boundary-pushing work that showcases many of Sweelinck’s innovations in keyboard composition. Within his lifetime Sweelinck was most celebrated for his variations on the popular tune Mein junges Leben hat ein Endt; Egarr relishes the intricate counterpoint which builds from the simple theme into a masterpiece of inexhaustible invention and limitless variety. A selection of fantasias and toccatas complete the programme in which Egarr’s passion for the harpsichord and Sweelinck’s music are enthusiastically conveyed.

"La Clef: Richard Egarr sculpts each phrase and makes the most rigorous counterpoint very expressive."
Res Musica, 4 February 2020
"Performance 4* / Recording 4* - Egarr’s playing is full of energy and insight, his rhythmic sense is invigorating and his enjoyment of the music evident in his often exuberant virtuosity."
BBC Music Magazine, January 2020
"Beautifully recorded on Egarr’s own Ruckers copy ... The Fantasia Crommatica gets a particularly fine performance as do two sets of variations."
Early Music Review, 29 November 2019
"Egarr brings his usual interpretive virtues and quirks to bear ... Egarr emerges as easy to listen to and recommend."
American Record Guide, February 2020
"Egarr’s particularly piquant quarter-comma meantone tuning adds a frequent dash of lemon and lime to the mix."
Gramophone, February 2020
"It’s a lovely recording, a really fine recording and you hear all the detail and all the colour."
BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review’, 18 January 2020