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Ziyou at the Harpsichord: Finding Freedom in Early Keyboard Music | Graduating Student Recital | Liang Wang, harpsichord

Sunday • May 15, 2022   |   3:00 pm 5:00 pm

Free – $20.00
While this event is open to the public, you must pre-register in order to gain access in person. Registering for the performance is an important step to ensure the ability of contact tracing. No walk-ups will be allowed at Longy for performances.

Kristine Caswelch, soprano
Eva Skanse, baroque flute
Guinevere Conner, viola da gamba


Pavan and Galliard in C Minor, FVB 167-168 (1610-1623)
composed by William Byrd (1540-1623)

Toccata Ottava, F 2.08 (1615)
composed by Girolamo Alessandro Frescobaldi (1583-1643)

Prelude in A minor, RCT 1 (1706)
Gavotte et six doubles in A minor, RCT 5 (1726–1727)
composed by Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764)

Le Printems (1737)
composed by Julie Pinel (1710–1737)

Toccata from E minor Partita, BWV 830 (1730)
composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 –1750)

Sonata in C Major, Wq. 62/10 1749
composed by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)
I. Allegro
II. Andante un poco
III. Allegro di molto

Program Notes

Ziyou means “freedom” in my native Chinese language. Improvisation and freedom connect all my pieces for this recital. The two toccatas are improvisatory, sectional compositions in a flexible tempo. C. P. E. Bach’s sonata has a generally improvisatory style, representative of the “true and natural” or “feelingful” aesthetic of his time – it is full of varied figurations, dramatic silences, and harmonic surprises. Variation form is also closely related to improvisation, as shown in Rameau’s brilliant exploration of a Gavotte. In the Baroque period, many variation pieces were improvised according to a given melody, building on the ground bass tradition. William Byrd’s Pavan and Galliard each consist of three sections with freely ornamented repetitions, another way that performer/composers found creativity and pleasure in the 17th and 18th centuries. The unmeasured preludes, which were written without rhythm or metric indications, give the performers a great amount of flexibility in their interpretation Finally, basso continuo practice is mainly improvised, requiring keyboard players to invent the accompaniment based on figured bass notation and inspired by harmony, text, and affect. The flexibility in rhythm and tempo, along with the physical ease of the technique, help me find naturalness and enjoyment in harpsichord playing. I hope this recital brings the listeners a release of tension, a sense of freedom and comfort.


Liang Wang is a harpsichordist, pianist and music teacher. Music, for Liang, is a special language and an artistic form of expressing thoughts and passions. She has a strong interest and enthusiasm in harpsichord and historical performance. She hopes that the freedom and naturalness she enjoys in early keyboard music can bring emotional release and encouragement to her audience.


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Sunday • May 15, 2022
3:00 pm 5:00 pm
Free – $20.00
Event Category:


Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall
Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
Thanks to our partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council and their “Card to Culture” program, Longy School of Music of Bard College can offer free tickets to many of our diverse and innovative performance offerings. See the full list of participating “Card to Culture” organizations offering EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare discounts.