Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The news in Monday's Kennedy Center concert was that the entire hall, plus its stage seats, was sold out for the flute of Jean-Pierre Rampal and his longtime associate, Robert Veyron-Lacroix, at the harpsichord.
What was not news that they played baroque works by Bach and Handel, Blavet and Telemann, Scarlatti and Dandrieu in the manner made familiar to thousands through their superlative recordings and concert appearances.
These two companions in art, colleagues now for 30 years, are not to be separated in any discussion of their playing. It is a matter of the stylistic perfection, the brilliance of execution, the spirit of all that play, of elegance or pathos, out-and-out bravura or Bach in some of his finest moments that makes their music so rich an art.
Rampal's tone is an arsenal of colors and weights, at time so fleet, as in the doubles of these baroque masters, that it seems as if he were piling one note literally onto another. His phrasing, created by marvels of breathing in a solo sonata by Bach, was total mastery. In all that he did, Rampal was flawlessly seconded by Veyron-Lacroix, who contributed touching solos by Dandrieu. The audience sounded ecstatic at all that transpired.