Mahan- Esfahani ( Kaja Smith photograph )

A degree of emotions that are imbued in songs like those found in literature were presented at Saturday hour’s Rockport Chamber Music Festival musical, which was performed from both old and new perspectives. Innovative harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, whose appearance last year enchanted, joined the Viano String Quartet ( Lucy Wang and Hao Zhou, violin, Aiden Kane, viola, and Tate Zawadiuk, cello ), as did flutist Demarre McGill and bassist Jeremy McCoy in a program spanning from Baroque through Now.

Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach claimed that his dad was his only professor, bridging the gap between the Baroque and Classical eras, and that he was frequently regarded as the father of the late 20th century. In his Trio Sonata in C Minor, WQ 161/1, H579, subtitled as” Conversation between a Sanguineus and a Melancholicus” provides a great example of C. P. E.’s purpose to convince the world that songs can be physically express. These violinists Wang and Zhou conversed, with Esfahani’s piano as mediator. The second movement, Allegretto –Presto, Melancholicus is subdued and sweet, and Sanguineus unmuted and quad presto—and what’s more, changes from the first C Minor to E- smooth Major. The figures “debate” throughout the first motion and much of the next, an Adagio, in which Melancholicus begins subdued and squarer. Nevertheless, by the Adagio’s close, there is a sense of artistic unanimity. At that point, Melancholicus is a bit cheered, and the last movement’s Allegro confirms it. The perplexed and energetic iteration of the work by Wang and Zhou with the creative support of Esfahani demonstrated, as C. P. E. intended, that music however can be as express as words, often, moreso.

Georg Philipp Telemann, a near friend of J. S. Bach and among C. P. E. Bach’s elites, provided a great example of differences in his Gulliver Suite for two strings. TWV: 108 from his selection Der Getreue Musik- Meister, featuring around, Wang and Zhou. The Gulliver follows Swift’s guide, published about two years prior to this composition from Intrada, with Lilliputian Chaconne, Distinctive Gigue, Laputian’s reverie and their assistant Flappers, and, lastly, Loure of the well- polite Houyhnhnms &amp, crazy dance of the wild Yahoos. First, the depth and robust sound of the two violins surprised. In its brief eight-minute runtime, the piece’s subtly funny humor beamed.

Co- commissioned by the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, the Harpsichord Quintet: Mr. Bryars, His Sorrow at Miss Bley, Her Passing, is the second work the composer, Gavin Bryars, has written for Esfahani within the past year ( the other, his exuberant harpsichord concerto ). Bryars, a prodigious and wide- ranging composer and double bassist whose work ( and performances ) travel the range of the possible, creates sad magic within this 15- minute quintet. An elegy for Bryar’s jazz composer friend, Carla Bley, it was not an easy “listen”, as the grief it expresses pervaded every corner of the hall. In that regard, the performance delivered a more depressing requiem than any other. People who are familiar with Bley’s work will recognize passages from her writing in this one. While the audience expressed restrained appreciation, I suspect this work will gain a solid and durable following.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

C. P. E.’s familiar and sunny 1786 Sonata for Flute in G Major, Wq 133, H. 564 ( the so- called Hamburger sonata ) greeted the post- intermission audience. Flutist McGill displayed his entrancing full sound, which sounded like Rampal. This last of C. P. E.’s flute and continuo sonatas, written while the composer was in his 70s, bestows originality, with an airy, light Allegretto connected by a short bridge to a Rondo: presto with martial overtones.

The afternoon ended with J. S. Bach’s Brandenberg No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050, scored for flute, violin, flute, and harpsichord soloists and continuo. In a twist, the harpsichord gets to steal the show. The keyboard switches from its initial continuo role to become a soloist in this work, making the Fifth a signal piece, regardless of whether Bach’s purchase of a fine harpsichord in Berlin shortly before writing the work inspired such dominance. The string ensemble serves as ripieno, with violin, viola, cello and double bass ( the able McCoy ). It almost never is, despite the repeated hearing of the Brandenburg 5th might seem tiresome. Here, the two Allegros were affixed to an Affettuoso and had the audience gasping at the conclusion. The monumental cadenza at the close of the first Allegro is a stunner, especially when played by an artist of Esfahani’s caliber. The Affetuoso presents a trio sonata constellation, but the harpsichord is a soloist, much more than simply the continuo. The final movement adds more strings, and with its initial fugal exposition takes control with more complexity and joy.

In all, another concert intriguingly programmed and engagingly delivered.

Julie Ingelfinger studied piano at Harvard, the Hartt School of Music, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. She enjoys working as a deputy editor for the New England Journal of Medicine, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and a pediatric nephrologist at Mass General Hospital for Children on the weekends.