The world may not need another harpsichord recording of Bach's Italian Concerto or Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, but Lucy Carolan's solid musicianship and first class technique serve these war-horses well. While some of her agogic adjustments in the Italian Concerto's opening movement tend to get in the music's way, her ruminative shaping of the Andante and strong, vigorous Presto finale more than compensate. Carolan admirably points up the Chromatic Fantasy's improvisatory sweep, albeit to less bravura effect than Masaaki Suzuki's cyclonic traversal on BIS.
If Carolan doesn't quite match Igor Kipnis' rhythmic flamboyance in the huge French Overture, her genuine feeling for each movement's specific dance-like character is enhanced by thoughtful ornamentation on repeats and subtle shifts in registration. And her spacious, flexible phrasing organically underscores the Four Duets' extraordinary harmonic invention. Carolan's harpsichord is miked at enough of a distance to give the impression of how the instrument might project in a small, not overly resonant room, which makes the whole recital fall easily on the ear.