Violinist Helmut Braunlich ended Monday nigert by the Contemporary Music Forum at the Corcoran with what he called "an amen," a performance of the Ciacona from Bach's D Minor Partita for unaccompanied violin.
It was indeed an amen to an imaginative program of contemporary pieces -- all of which owed their structural underpinnings and, to a lesser extent, their textures, if not their harmonic idioms, to the influence of Bach and his contemporaries.
In its premiere performance, a trio sonata for flute, violoncello and harpsichord by James D. Wagoner gave an impression of the sort of concern with form and craftsmanship that characterized so much of the Baroque. The cello moved freely from continuo to equality with the top voices, and the conservative idiom was handled simply and unselfconsciously.
Robert Parris' Three Passacaglias for soprano, violin, cello and harpsichord were written 30 years ago when Parris' music was a good deal less complex than it is now. They are touching pieces and were performed beautifully by soprano Pamela Jordan and an ensemble that featured Parris himself on the harpsichord.
Braunlich gave an incisive reading of Gerhard's cerebral Chaconne, and the concert opened lyrically with a lovely sonata for cello and harpsichord by the late Washington composer Robert Evett.