By 1770 the fortepiano had, to a large degree replaced the harpsichord, and Jane Austen as part of the education expected of that generation of young women, acquired considerably more than a passing knowledge of music and contemporary composition. Her insights, tastes and interests were reflected in what we might, in today’s parlance, refer to as the making of a “mix tape”- an anthology of one’s favorite compositions for a friend. This is Austen’s “Songbook”; Soprano Julianne Baird, and Marcia Hadjimarkos have created a superb and imaginative program of musical works, along with readings from Austen’s novels in order to bring her favorite music and thus her spirit back to life.
Julianne Baird, soprano
Julianne Baird, whom the Washington Post describes as having “exquisite instrument which she uses with the intelligence of a scholar...the best voice of any living musicologist”, and Marcia Hadjimarkos will also present, as part of their residency, a master-class for singers Tuesday, October 17th, at 2:00 p.m. on the stage of Hudson Hall at Willamette University. Admission is free for the master-class. Julianne Baird is also a supremely accomplished teacher who regularly gives master-classes at Yale, Juilliard, and Oberlin
Marcia Hadjimarkos, fortepiano
Marcia Hadjimarkos is performing on an instrument, the fortepiano, whose new dynamic range and subtlety of response can be seen as a metaphor joining the worlds of music and literature. Her playing is described in Diapason; “Beyond the wondrous sensitivity of her touch, two elements stand out: her very flexible approach to rhythm and her witty, sometimes daringly profuse and yet always idiomatic ornamentation. In short this is the most satisfying playing of Mozart I have heard in a long time”.