Francis Monkman — A Harpsichord Sampler
(Voiceprint VP242, 2003, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2004-04-01
While Monkman may be known to rock audiences for stints with Curved Air and Sky, like many of the keys players in progressive rock, he has an extensive classical background, having come to public notice on harpsichord in the late 60s while attending the Royal Academy of Music. He now returns to his roots, as you might say, presenting a selection of pieces for unaccompanied harpsichord by William Byrd, Jacques Champion de Chambonnières, Jean-Henry d’Anglebert, George Frederic Handel, and Domenico Scarlatti. Note the absence of any composers named Bach. Many of us are used to the sporadic presence of harpsichord (or harpsichord imitations) as accompaniment to delicate passages in psychedelic or symphonic progressive rock, and if you always liked those sections (as I did), it’s nice to have a well-played and well-recorded collection of the instrument’s original repertoire. Certainly there are a number of other harpsichord recordings out there to choose from, but the connection with more modern music (to my mind at least) acts as a recommendation for Monkman. I don’t know how well received his interpretations will be in the classical world, but with my limited knowledge I can say I find him quite enjoyable. His fondness for the material is obvious in his performances, and it is beautiful music.
Related artist(s): Francis Monkman
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more