Plus Fait Douceur Recordings

– CDs now available –

‘…a rare delight… drawn by the sheer size of the accompanying booklets and their beautiful design I decided to begin by reading… I was totally engaged and gratified, and as I then listened to the recordings I returned again and again to the wisdom and insight of the written word, seeking enlightenment, and in admiration of its author – the clavichordist himself…  These two discs provide a significant addition to the Early Music library.’ – Historical Keyboard Society of North America Newsletter

‘…invites us into the sort of private, devotional playing that must have been part of the clavichord’s duty for much of its history… Lenthall’s carefully curated touch and elegant sense of style allow each clavichord to sound at its best… exquisite tenderness… an excellent recital.’   Clavichord International 
‘“Heaven and Earth in Little Space” will fill hearts with the joy of embracing new and neglected music in addition to seasonal favorites for the celebration of Christmas heard, as for the first time, upon the clavichord… Adrian Lenthall takes these works… and gives them a fresh presence amid the ancient message of Christmas… It was a pleasure to hear this selection, sure to become a favorite for the holiday season.’   Historical Keyboard Society of North America Newsletter
‘Adrian Lenthall plays with taste and elegance, bringing out the subtle differences between the various composers and the four instruments… a very experienced clavichord specialist… more than five hundred years of music by 20 composers from some ten countries… and the disc is also a useful demonstration of this historical progression, well recorded as it is.’   Harpsichord & Fortepiano
‘Absolutely spell-binding…’   British Clavichord Society Newsletter (on Adrian’s live performance of the programme on this CD)

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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

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‘“A Lament on the Lips of Loved Ones” speaks poignantly to our time… Here we find a perfect three-some, Haydn, Bavington, and Lenthall… The clavichord shines, and in its reflection a new universe appears.’   Historical Keyboard Society of North America Newsletter
‘I was enchanted… beautifully played…  this fine recording… The clavichord is the perfect instrument for this music.  The sleeve-notes are excellent… The technical quality of the recording is also excellent.’   Friends of Square Pianos
‘…exquisite and enthralling… [The] poignant program notes draw on the musicological, the psychological, the spiritual, and the philosophical. … Lenthall plays with clarity, suavity, gracefulness, and a fine sense of style. He conveys the gravity of this elegiac music with understanding and ease, with duty and delight. There are many high points to savor… elegant, lyrical, and articulate… beautifully interpreted… utterly convincing… The recorded sound is excellent and accurately conveys the sound quality of the instruments. … A fine companion to Lenthall’s recent release ‘Heaven & Earth in Little Space: Christmas Music for Clavichord’, this thoughtful and heartfelt program is a joy to recommend.’   Clavichord International

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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.

PFD CD 02