Harpsichords, Pianos & a Clavichord!

In our final on-line occasion for the summer time, we had been handled to a really particular lecture-performance on a number of fascinating keyboard devices by harpsichordist and conductor Jory Vinikour. Jory carried out a unbelievable collection of repertoire from numerous model intervals chosen to showcase the traits of every instrument. This week’s blogpost includes a write-up of the occasion, sharing a few of what we learnt in the course of the course of a extremely pleasant and fascinating afternoon!

Harpsichord Piano Clavichord
Harpsichordist Jory Vinikour (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune)

Jory’s debut in our on-line occasions programme was a part of our Piano Day pageant wherein he gave a performance-lecture on the workings of the harpsichord and Baroque model that includes works by Bach, Couperin, Rameau and Scarlatti. Nonetheless, on this session Jory took us on an off-the-cuff tour of his assortment of devices which included revival harpsichords, two nineteenth C pianos, a collection of conventional harpsichords and a clavichord!

Revival harpsichords

The tour began with two revival harpsichords (click on right here to learn Jory’s weblog submit about revival harpsichords), the primary of which was an instrument by Pleyel from both 1939 or 1952. Not like conventional harpsichords, this one has an iron body which permits it to retain it’s tuning extra successfully and offers a strong sound. The primary piece featured within the session was a Bach Concerto after Vivaldi in D main.

Jory playing Bach on his Pleyel harpsichord
Jory enjoying Bach on his Pleyel harpsichord

The opposite revival instrument was constructed by the famend British builder, Anthony Sidey. This instrument is Jory’s most well-liked for live shows and he performed Scarlatti’s Sonata in A minor, K175 Sonata for us. It was fascinating to notice that this instrument has been inbuilt a extra conventional method than the Pleyel, but in addition produces a strong sound able to carrying in a live performance corridor.

Second of the harpsichords by Sidey
Harpsichord by Anthony Sidey

One other fascinating remark was that  each of those devices have a a lot heavier motion than conventional harpsichords. Jory talked about that warning is required when enjoying them as a way to keep away from harm. That is partially as a result of harpsichord approach tends to rely much more on finger motion than trendy piano approach which thinks about finger and arm mixed.

The pianos

After the revival harpsichords, we took a short step again in time to hear two lovely 19th C pianos by Bosendorfer and Erard. The Bosendorfer dates again to 1846 and is from the top of the interval which featured the lighter Viennese motion. Weighing a 3rd of a contemporary Steinway D, this instrument is successfully a bridge between a classical fortepiano and the trendy piano. Jory performed Mendelssohn’s lovely Music With out Phrases, Op. 19 No. 1 for us and defined {that a} higher use of pedal is required because the instrument has much less resonance than a contemporary one.

Erard Aufschwung
Jory enjoying Schumann’s Aufschwung on his Erard piano

The opposite piano was made in 1843 by Erard who has a major impression on the event of the piano with quite a few patents to their identify. Apparently, Liszt most well-liked the Erard pianos to these of the opposite nice French maker of the time, Pleyel (which was Chopin’s choice). Jory performed Aufschwung from Fantasiestücke, Op.12 by Schumann, demonstrating that that is far more highly effective than the Bosendorfer and nearer to the trendy instrument that we are actually conversant in.

The clavichord

The primary half of the session closed with an illustration of a quite intriguing instrument which is from a definite household to the harpsichord and may very well be seen extra because the grandfather of the piano. Not like a harpsichord which plucks its strings, the strings of a clavichord are struck and due to this fact it was callable of manufacturing dynamic variation, albeit on the softer finish of the dynamic vary. Jory performed Mozart’s Fantasy in D minor and demonstrated how troublesome the instrument is to play in that they keys must be hit in the precise place inn order to supply the specified sound!

Mozart’s D minor Fantasy performed on a clavichord!

Conventional harpsichords

The final devices featured had been copies of conventional harpsichords, the primary being a duplicate of a 16th century Italian design constructed by American builder Clyde Parmalee in 1985. Just like the Italian devices of the time, that is a lot lighter than French or German counterparts with a shallower case. Jory performed a Toccata by Frescobaldi and mentioned numerous fascinating matters referring to the harpsichord, together with the quick octave, the a number of registers and completely different stops.

Parmalee harpsichord
Harpsichord by Clyde Parmalee

The final instrument was constructed by David Rubio with options from Franco-Flemish devices mixed with some trendy revival components, due to this fact isn’t a museum normal copy. Jory demonstrated this instrument with a Bach Toccata  and works by Byrd and Bull from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Guide. The session got here to a rousing finish with a dance suite by Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer.

Should you missed this workshop or the earlier session then you’ll be able to nonetheless buy entry to the recordings for every of them right here and right here. Jory additionally has an in depth assortment of albums out there to take heed to on Spotify. Click on right here to view his profile.

Subsequent occasions

We shall be taking a brief break over the summer time with our occasions programme returning in mid-September. Our subsequent occasions will embody shows on wholesome, expressive approach, studying items and the Trinity piano examination syllabus. We will even be celebrating the On-line Academy’s fifth birthday in October with a particular line-up of occasions. Please sign-up to our mailing record for info and updates concerning upcoming occasions.