John Kitchen - uniquely familiar with Edinburgh's internationally acclaimed collections of early keyboard instruments - turns his attention to the world's most famous harpsichord, the Taskin harpsichord. The reign of Louis XV was the period during which the harpsichord gained its greatest popularity in France, and this glorious 1769 instrument by Pascal Taskin would have been the preferred choice of any composer. Here its opulent lushness is captured in the ideal acoustics of Scotland's oldest concert hall, St Cecilia's Hall. The Hall is also home to the Raymond Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments, which houses the Taskin harpsichord. The combination of instrument, venue, programme and performer creates a unique listening experience.
This is John Kitchen's fourteenth solo recording on Delphian. Since his appointment in 2002 as Edinburgh City Organist, he has curated a busy series of concerts in the city's iconic Usher Hall. Recent recital series in the USA and Germany complement his busy programme of activities in the UK. Having studied 17th century French harpsichord music whilst Organ Scholar at Clare College, Cambridge, John is now Senior Lecturer at Edinburgh University, Conductor of Edinburgh University Singers and Director of Music of Old Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Edinburgh.
“The 1769 Taskin harpischord, from Edinburgh University's Russell Collection, is a gem, resonant and entrancing. Unequal temperament pushes some intonation to its intriguing limit.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2012 ****