– CDs released September 2020 –
HEAVEN & EARTH IN LITTLE SPACE: Christmas Music for Clavichord
Frescobaldi, Buxtehude, Bach, Scarlatti, Nielsen, Bartok, Geoffrey Allan Taylor (premiere recordings) and others
Adrian Lenthall, Clavichords after Silbermann, Hubert and two anonymous clavichords
‘Absolutely spell-binding’ – British Clavichord Society Newsletter (on Adrian’s live performance of the programme on this CD)
Christmas is a moment when the great things are revealed within the tiny:
‘There is no rose of such virtue, As is the Rose that bare Jesu: Alleluia. For in this rose containèd was Heaven and Earth in little space: res miranda.’
Of all the keyboard instruments, the clavichord is the one contained in the littlest space, but in its range and subtlety it is equal to the profoundest musical thought. Material and yet ethereal – the softest and most intimate of any instrument – its own paradoxes parallel those of the being-made-flesh of the eternal Word. It is a kind of musical manger: a humble wooden box standing open where we can feed and be rested, containing whispered news of things glimpsed in darkness, heard far away or high above. The music presented here takes us beyond the well-worn moods and sounds of Christmas, and into a little-explored region of intersection between the particular magic of Christmas and that of the clavichord.
PFD CD 01
A LAMENT ON THE LIPS OF LOVED ONES: Private memorials, secret grief
Froberger, Louis Couperin, J. S. Bach, C. P. E. Bach and Haydn
Adrian Lenthall, Clavichords by Peter Bavington after Silbermann and Mersenne
‘An unforgettable performance of Haydn’s Andante and Variations in F minor: strong, brilliant, subtle and heartfelt playing in response to every turn of that extraordinary work’ – British Clavichord Society Newsletter (on Adrian’s live performance of the final piece on this CD)
Even the beautiful must perish! … The most perfect must die; But a lament on the lips of loved ones is glorious …
Friedrich Schiller, ‘Nänie’ (1799)
Mortality and loss are at once the most universal aspects of human experience, and among the most private. Several of the finest pieces of keyboard music have been responses to loss – though this has not always been made explicit by their composers. In these cases a crucial facet of the music has remained private or secret, and has had to be revealed conjecturally by scholars or performers. This disc brings these remarkable pieces together with two famous ‘Tombeaux’ – memorials which, though open about their connection to loss, were intended for private circulation only. It is an exploration, through extraordinary music, of the nature of loss, privacy and healing.