Author Topic: Harpsichord recital at Hammerwood Park Sat 29th August 4pm  (Read 4183 times)

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David Pinnegar

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Harpsichord recital at Hammerwood Park Sat 29th August 4pm
« on: August 26, 2015, 11:07:37 PM »
The performer on Saturday is an extraordinarily talented and musical lady http://www.alexandrakremakova.com/ who I met at the Greenwich Early Music fair last November and this is a particularly inspirational musical event http://www.earlymusicshop.com/More/Greenwich_International_Early_Music_Festival.aspx

 Harpsichords are extremely critically adjusted instruments and whilst they are still happy in summer humidity mode, we've asked Alexandra to bring out the best of the superb trio of instruments at Hammerwood. One of the instruments, a Sperrhake, appears very simple and ordinary but somehow multiplies the harmonics in the music in the manner of an organ. The effect is magical.

 The programme is:

J. S. Bach - Toccata E minor BWV 914

 D. Scarlatti - Sonata D minor K1
 D. Scarlatti - Sonata D major K119

 J. S. Bach - Prelude and Fugue F minor Well-tempered Klavier Book II

 D. Scarlatti - Sonata A major K208
 D. Scarlatti - Sonata D minor K141 'Toccata'

 J.S. Bach - Chiaconne from Violin Partita (arr. Colin Booth)

INTERVAL

 G. Handel - Sarabande D minor

 F. Couperin - Rondeau Passacaille B minor

 L. Daquin - Le Coucou
 Rameau - La Villageouse

 C. P. E. Bach - Variations on La Folia d'Espagne

 The concert will be in the mirrored drawing room which was no doubt the Ball Room in the 18th century and has a perfect acoustic for the harpsichord.

 So please come taking the opportunity of hearing a brilliant performer and these wonderful instruments at their best!

 Please telephone us 01342 850594 if you would like to come - and remember . . . if you would like a 50% discount, bring a child!

 There will be a guided tour at 2pm preceding the recital at 4pm.

 Best wishes

 David P

David Pinnegar

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Re: Harpsichord recital at Hammerwood Park Sat 29th August 4pm
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2015, 01:50:52 PM »
A recording is on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5bS_aS_zo4 which I hope will be enjoyable and inspiring

Best wishes

David P

Ian van Deurne

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Re: Harpsichord recital at Hammerwood Park Sat 29th August 4pm
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2015, 04:02:57 PM »
This is something else that I cannot understand.
Harpsichord recitals seem to be way too rare in Britain. Looking at last week's television magazine and the promenade concerts, I notice that there have been several Bach concerts this year; solo cello and violin, yes, but the works for keyboard have only ever featured one instrument - the piano!

Why?

After the comprehensive research during the last eighty or so years into Barock performance techniques, this state of affairs borders on the ludicrous!
       The piano was still in it's infancy at the time of Bach's death, in fact another quite unknown fact is that the person responsible for first introducing and developing the piano in Germany was none other than the organ-builder Gottfried Silbermann, although where he found the time to devote to it is unknown. All I can say is that it must have been a pet project or a hobby of his, outside of the time he devoted to organbuilding. It is also known that Bach developed an interest in his work on the piano and even made certain recommendations as to how the construction might be improved.
       Nevertheless, the piano at the close of the Barock period still remained remained a work in progress and it wasn't until 130 years later with the development of the iron frame and other vast improvments to the action by Steinway and others that the modern piano was born.
       So why on earth do these people still insist on giving concerts of Barock keybord music on a modern piano when the harpsichord should always be the obvious choice?
This at least might make the casual listener/viewer realise that there is far more choice in realizing this music than just on a modern piano, and who knows, they might even enjoy it!


 
           
 

David Pinnegar

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Re: Harpsichord recital at Hammerwood Park Sat 29th August 4pm
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2015, 05:50:11 PM »
Thanks so much for your support and encouragement above. I've wanted to try to bring forward things that are possibly under the threat of loss . . . and the harpsichord is at that stage.

The recording is interesting in comparing three instruments, one built on the lines of a piano frame, utterly stable but rather sterile, although effective, another which is spurned by reason of size but is remarkably musically effective, and one of the first authentic instruments ever made.

That instrument, the 1970 Clayson and Garrett fell into disuse at a school early on in its life and wasn't used for 40 years . . . I took an interest in it and with help brought it to life - documenting the repairs on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eyho0P0rxw&list=PL98A6E31D91961DB9 and before the two concerts this year, Michael Gamble and I spent two twelve hour days in regulating its pedal action and five ranks of jacks including the little heard Peau de Boeuf.

To the concert recorded here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5bS_aS_zo4 the audience numbered precisely sixteen. I hope people will enjoy the recording.

Another area in which the concert is important is in the choosing of an unequal temperament without which chromatic music cannot be enjoyed. We have been bludgeoned into thinking that the chromatic scale is merely an ascent and descent by semitones. The semitones do not make the music chromatic. It is the chords which change size, which present a different sonic colour, as we change pitch by a semitone. Transposing harpsichords between 440 and 415 are an abomination - changing pitch does not give any authenticity merely by slipping the keyboard up or down a note in equally tuned chords.

Best wishes

David P
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 05:56:46 PM by David Pinnegar »

 


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