Since then, Parmentier reckons he and Berofsky have played three duo concerts together, the most recent being a Brunch with Bach recital at the Detroit Institute of Arts. For their March concert, Parmentier says, they'll be playing "three of Corelli's sonatas, plus sonatas by two other composers whose last names end with an 'i': Locatelli and Veracini. Those mid-18th-century Italian guys are all about bringing it to the edge as far as is possible in terms of technique." He's not kidding. Late Baroque Italian composers wrote some of the most technically advanced and excruciatingly difficult violin music before Paganini--and they didn't hold back when it came to the harpsichord part, either.
The notes themselves will be no challenge for Parmentier, but the spirit of the music may be. For a player best known for his imposing Bach and impressive Byrd, switching to the more extravagantly expressive Italians could be a challenge. The only way to know if he rises to it is to show up.
[Originally published in March, 2010.]