New Classics

Period-instrument specialist Joanna Leach takes us on a journey through the development of keyboard instruments used in wealthy homes, from a spinet through three square pianos, each instrument being contemporary with the music played. The four instruments on this disc span a period of just over one hundred years. It was a century which saw huge change in the tone of keyboard instruments from the then familiar sound of the harpsichord and spinet to the new and
exotic timbre of the fortepiano. The instruments chosen are typical domestic instruments of the period. While the harpsichord, and later the grand piano was to be found in theatres, assembly rooms or larger houses, the spinet and the square piano were designed for a more ordinary domestic setting – though, due to the expense, they would be found only in rather upmarket homes. The music is by Couperin (Les Barricades Mystérieuses, Les Folies Françaises), Byrd (Pavan – The Earle of Salisbury), Handel (including his Toccata in G minor), J. S. Bach, Soler, Mozart (Adagio in B minor), Schubert (Six Dances) and Mendelssohn (including two Venetian Gondola Songs). This unique recital of elegantly played music vividly brings to life the sounds of another age.