Anna Bon di Venezia: Six Sonatas for Harpsichord, Op.2

Record Label: MSR Classics
Release Date: December 2007

Barbara Harbach, harpsichord
Harpsichord Built by Willard Martin (1989), A Copy of an 18th Century, Two-Manual French Double Harpsichord Designed by François Blanchet.


“[Anna Bon’s] work remained largely overlooked but is now the subject of this excellent release courtesy of Dr. Barbara Harbach’s commitment and, of course, her skill of performance. The album would probably have never seen light of day without Dr. Harbach’s dedication to her chosen cause.”
Jeff Perkins, BlogCritics – May 2009

“Harbach has a fluent technique…”
BBC Music Magazine – November 2008

“Barbara Harbach is a splendid musician whose commitment to excellence as a performer informs all of this music with not only Bon’s evident spirit of fun but also her contrasting moods of reflection and energy. In other words, she has taken fairly ordinary music with a few extraordinary moments and made it all sound rather excellent by virtue of her interpretive brilliance and total identification with the material. This is extraordinary harpsichord-playing by any measure. I would buy this recording just to hear this woman play…because she elevates every note and phrase into a realm beyond the written score. This album is a triumph for Harbach and a vindication of her
decision to record these works.”
Fanfare – September / October 2008

“Barbara Harbach’s playing complements [the music’s] variety in the well-judged use which she makes of a wide range of registrations. Player and instrument bring out the dramatic dimensions of some of Bon’s music… a good deal was lost when Bon swapped the life of composition for life as a married woman. Clearly and brightly recorded – but not overly so – this makes a very persuasive case for the precocious musical virtues of the young Anna Bon and will surely interest and give pleasure to all lovers of the harpsichord tradition…this is fine music.”
MusicWeb International – August 2008

“The emphasis [of these works] is generally on grace and charm… Harbach plays with considerable skill, wit and obvious affection for young Anna’s music.”
International Record Review – July/August 2008

“We just marveled at the wonderful compositions of Barbara Harbach and here she is back on the performer’s bench with a unique program of harpsichord sonatas…[Her instrument’s] sound is perfect for the sonatas and well recorded too.”
Audiophile Audition – May 2008

“Bon’s Six Sonatas for Harpsichord Opus 2, printed when she was between the ages of 17 and 19, clearly attests to her talents, which register to the ear not as the products of an eager, bright and enthusiastic teenager but that of an experienced, seasoned and accomplished musician with a unique voice… [Barbara Harbach] has edited these works for Vivace Press and knows every twist and turn in these scores. Harbach utilizes a beautiful sounding Willard Martin instrument fashioned after a French double manual harpsichord built by François Blanchet; it suits the music perfectly, and Harbach intelligently works with the Martin’s various registrations to keep the program overall varied in sound…
Releases like [this] may lead some old school grumblers to say, “We are only reviving such fourth tier composers because they are women.” Let them grumble away; were Bon male, those grumbling would have no trouble accepting her as a significant and substantive transitional figure from the Baroque-to-Classical era, comparable to Johann Schobert. Those who enjoy and appreciate eighteenth-century keyboard music will certainly not fail to treasure this MSR release.”
All Music Guide – May 2008