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Harpsichord Music from England, Spain & Portugal
Zuzana Růžičkova (harpischord)
Rediscovered gems recorded by the “First Lady of the Harpsichord”.
Keyboard music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries from Spain and Portugal (Cabezon, Carvalho, Seixas, Soler) and England (Byrd, Bull, Croft, Morley, Dowland, Farnaby, Munday, Peerson, Richardson, Purcell) Recorded in Prague at the Domovina studio, April 1966 (CD1) and at the Rudolfinum, October 1983 (CD2) To celebrate the 85th birthday of the “First Lady of the Harpsichord”, Supraphon is once more returning toZuzana Růžičková’s extensive discography.
Hot on the heels of the previous release (SU 4117-2), dedicated to Bach, Scarlatti and 20th-century works, this CD is focused on the very beginnings of the history of the harpsichord and the music intended for this instrument. The period spanning the 16th-18th centuries delimitates (disregarding modern music) the entire epoch of the harpsichord’s pre-eminence. Juxtaposing the harpsichord repertoire from the Iberian Peninsula with that hailing from the British Isles gives rise to interesting comparisons. Spain and England had bitter long-term political tensions, yet when it comes to the beginnings of music for keyboards we can find strong similarities between the two countries, including the influence of the powerful organ and lute traditions. Zuzana Růžičková’s supreme musicality makes these recordings more than a document; her accounts allow this precious music to dazzle in fine shades of colour and light. These sublime recordings are being released on CD for the very first time.
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Fitzwilliam Virginal Book Volume 1
The first volume of the Complete Edition of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.
This remarkable collection of works for the virginal, or small harpsichord, is found in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is the largest collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean keyboard music, all handwritten and totalling nearly 300 compositions, and all of which predate the first keyboard music published in England by about 50 years. The identity of the copyist of these works is uncertain, although a fascinating riddle.
The manuscript is a role call of the leading composers of the era - John Bull, Giles Farnaby, William Byrd, Peter Philips, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Tomkins and a number of unknown composers all feature. The copyist was, therefore, immersed in the world of keyboard music, with connections to the great composers of the day. Research seems to point to one Francis Tregian from Cornwall, who may have copied the music whilst in Fleet prison from 1608 until his death in 1619. He certainly had time on his hands, but how he obtained the materials and original music is far from clear. His connection to Cornwall is important - William Cornyshe (whose surname probably indicated his birthplace) was a significant composer during the reign of Henry VII and Henry VIII, while Farnaby and Tomkins also came from Cornwall.
Tregian’s remarkable work – which extends to four volumes and 2000 pieces – ensured the survival of music by many of the most important composers of this era.
This CD, the first in a series, includes a number of rare but intriguing keyboard works, performed by harpsichordist Pieter-Jan Belder.
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Byrd to Blow: The English Baroque Organ
On this CD, Robin Walker performs works by Byrd, Bull, Gibbons, Tomkins, Purcell and Blow on the organ of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, London. The instrument reflects its life over the last two and a half centuries and is suitable for a wide range of repertoire. Robin enjoys a busy and varied musical career as performer, conductor, teacher and church musician.
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
Mr Tomkins his Lessons of Worthe
Bertrand Cuiller (harpsichord)
Thomas Tomkins may be the least known of the composers recorded here, but we unique insights to the Worcester composer, as his autograph manuscripts have been preserved in his own hand, in particular Re.1122 in the Bibiothèque National in Paris. This recording takes Tomkins advice to a copyist, or ‘lessons of worthe’, and applies it to a recital programme: “placed in their owne native keyes: not mingling or mangling them together wth others of contrary keys: But put in theyr Right places.” The pieces in G are played on a copy by Malcolm Rose of the harpsichord built by Lodewijk Theeuwes in 1579, now in the V & A; those is D are on a claviorgan. This hybrid instrument combines a harpsichord and an organ, both operated from the harpsichord keyboard. Here an Italian harpsichord by Philippe Humeau is coupled with a positive organ by Etienne Fouss. Lastly, the pieces in A are performed on a magnificent invention by the builder Philippe Humeau, a diminutive Italian harpsichord in sequoia with 8’ and 4’ stops.
All of these instruments are pitched at A440. Excellent booklet essay by Alan Brown.
Bertrand Cuiller is one of the most promising harpsichordists of today. This French prodigy studied with Christophe Rousset and Pierre Hantaï and was a prizewinner at the Bruges International Harpsichord competition. He has played with such prestigious ensembles as Le Concert Spirituel, Stradivaria, Le Poème Harmonique and La Rêveuse and has recorded for Alpha and Mirare.
“Anyone still sceptical about the expressive potential of the harpsichord should be converted by this subtle and gentle survey of great 17th-century pieces...Cuiller is a master of the ebb and flow of harpsichord sound, the sustained resonance and eloquent overlapping of notes” The Observer, 31st July 2011
“a recital that reveals his dexterity and polish and the terrific variety that this repertoire harbours.” The Telegraph, 4th August 2011 ****
“This is an ingenious programme, ordered by keys and instruments. All the pieces are selected by Thomas Tomkins's list of 'Lessons of Worthe' - and his endorsement is worthy of respect...A 58-minute disc seems rather parsimonious but, within it, Cuiller displays a remarkable range of colour.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 ****
“The wealth of colour is welcome, and Cuiller's masterful playing on the claviorganum makes one wish more harpsichordists would explore the instrument. Cuiller deftly manages the wild timbral contrasts of this hybrid instrument, using it to emphasise and clarify the counterpoint...He also has the imagination and essential command of the virginal idiom to make music that can come alive with an almost folksy directness.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.
The Nightingale and the Sparrow
Derek Adlam (harpsichord)
Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.
Mystery and unbridled virtuosity respectively distinguish the biography and the keyboard works of John Bull. While the composer’s biography remains cloaked in legend, his keyboard works, which span a variety of genres (plainsong settings, preludes and fantasies, pavans and galliards, other dance forms, arrangements and character pieces, and grounds and variations) reflect his spectacular accomplishments both in the English and Continental styles. The talented young organist Kevin Komisaruk is a perfect match for these demanding works, delivered on the beautiful instrument by Helmuth Wolff in the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Montreal.
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
Early English Organ Music, Vol. 2
From the Mulliner Book
“An intriguing disc, very well played and recorded.” The Organist (UK)
Ton Koopman - Organ & Harpsichord
Bach, Scarlatti and the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book
My Lady Careys Dompe
Bach, J S:
Two-part Inventions Nos. 1-15, BWV772-786
Three-part Inventions (Sinfonias) Nos. 1-15, BWV787-801
Six Little Preludes, BWV933-938
Voluntary No. 28
Voluntary No. 29
Ut re mi fa sol la
Prelude and Carol "Laet ons met heerten reijine"
"Den lustelijcken Meji"
Pavana & Galiarda
Qui passe (chi passa) for my Lady Nevell
Voluntary for my Lady Nevell
Up [T]ails All
Almaine 'Mr Johnson'
A Fancy for Double Organ
Fancie (Fitzwilliam Virginal Book)
Toccata (Fitzwilliam Virginal Book)
Trumpet Tune in C major, ZT 698, from the Indian Queen
Keyboard Sonata K420 in C major
Keyboard Sonata K513 in C major
Keyboard Sonata K461 in C major
Keyboard Sonata K159 in C major 'La caccia'
Keyboard Sonata K208 in A major
Keyboard Sonata K209 in A major
Keyboard Sonata K380 in E major
Keyboard Sonata K216 in E major
Keyboard Sonata K115 in C minor
Keyboard Sonata K146 in G major
Keyboard Sonata K544 in B flat major
Keyboard Sonata K545 in B flat major
Keyboard Sonata K361 in B flat major
Keyboard Sonata K490 in D major
Keyboard Sonata K491 in D major
Keyboard Sonata K492 in D major
A sad Pavan for these distracted times
Ton Koopman (organs of St Mary's Rotherhithe & Adlington Gall, harpsichord)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.