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Instruments From The Russell Collection Vol 1 / John Kitchen


Release Date: 07/25/2006 
Label:  Delphian   Catalog #: 34001   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  AnonymousTarquinio MerulaOrlando GibbonsJan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,   ... 
Performer:  John Kitchen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

After World War II, Raymond Russell began to assemble a collection of keyboard instruments, 19 of which were presented to the University of Edinburgh by his mother, after his death in 1964. Many instruments have been added to this fine collection since it was first opened to the public in 1968, and the disc issued here bears witness to a part of its rich variety of instrumental types and sounds. Spinet, virginal, single and double manual harpsichords, clavichord, chamber organ and fortepiano are represented in a fascinating aural tour of the collection by the Edinburgh University organist John Kitchen. Kitchen has taken care over his choice of pieces so as to present each instrument in its best light. The repertoire comfortably spans a Read more period of 250 years, with the earliest pieces being played on a late 16th-century virginal and the latest, by Clementi, on an early 19th-century English fortepiano. Readers will quickly discover their own favourite sounds. For myself, I was attracted by the brightness and clarity of the early 18th-century English spinet, which serves the two Domenico Scarlatti sonatas very well, and by the double-manual Kirckman harpsichord (1755) used for a pleasing suite by Maurice Greene. But there is, as they say, something for everybody in a recital that is both entertaining and instructive.

-- Nicholas Anderson, BBC Music Magazine

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The Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments, housed in St Cecilia's Hall, Niddry Street, Cowgate, Edinburgh, comprises over 50 pieces, ranging from the late 16 th to the early 19 th Centuries – harpsichords, spinets, virginals, clavichords, early piano. Many of these were gathered together by Raymond Russell (1922-64) and then presented to Edinburgh University which has added to the Collection substantially since then. It is good to have a representative collection of its instruments on CD in music contemporary with, or otherwise suitable for, each of them and admirably played by John Kitchen of Edinburgh University.


More than that, the CD, arranged roughly chronologically, makes a satisfyingly varied programme. We begin with the Collection’s oldest playable instrument, an Italian virginal, heard in two anonymous Scottish galliards (the only Scots music on the disc) and a strikingly chromatic Capriccio by Merula (d.1665). A single manual Italian harpsichord of 1620 shows its paces in Byrd’s celebrated Pavan and Galliard and The Earl of Salisbury and in some virtuoso variations, probably by Sweelinck. Scarlatti can hardly by left out of such a production and two contrasting sonatas sound well on a Hitchcock spinet of 1728. Another London instrument, a Kirckman double manual harpsichord of 1755 is the vehicle for a brief, charming and direct three movement Suite by Maurice Greene, sounding very much like Handel, although the two men seemingly did not get on. Some actual Handel, a strikingly chromatic Fugue (along with a popular Stanley voluntary), comes on a Parker chamber organ of 1765 and an arrangement of the Rodelinda Overture (the arrangement is not by Handel himself, although he did make others) on a Broadwood harpsichord of 1793.


A Taskin harpsichord, built is Paris in 1769, received more exposure than any of the other nine instruments featured, and its music is perhaps as revealing as any. Armand-Louis Couperin (1727-89) was one of the later members of the Couperin dynasty that did so much for French keyboard (and other) music for perhaps a century and a half. The three quite extended Forqueray pieces are astonishingly idiomatic and memorable despite being arrangements from originals for bass viol and continuo. One clavichord from the Collection, a German instrument of 1763, is heard, very appropriately, in one of J S Bach’s "48", the E flat from Book II. And so finally to an early piano built by Thomas Loud of London in about 1810 and one of Clementi’s Sonatinas dating from 1797, in just two movements, an Allegro and a Rondo: a teaching piece, no doubt, like most of his sonatinas, but one, I would think, for a pretty advanced pupil.


I have had much enjoyment from this disc and happily recommend it, not only to lovers of old keyboard instruments, but also on account of the music, which includes a number of striking and unusual items. The booklet gives a history (and a photograph) of each instrument and notes on the music. The recording, admirably clear and with a natural sound, is excellently managed.


-- Philip L Scowcroft, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Galliarda la Reyne d'Écosse by Anonymous
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord), John Kitchen (Chamber Organ), John Kitchen (Spinet),
John Kitchen (Virginal)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Scotland 
2.
Gaillarde "Queen of Scots" by Anonymous
Performer:  John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Harpsichord), John Kitchen (Spinet),
John Kitchen (Chamber Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Scotland 
3.
Un cromatico ovvero Capricio by Tarquinio Merula
Performer:  John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Chamber Organ), John Kitchen (Harpsichord),
John Kitchen (Spinet)
Period: Baroque 
4.
Pavane and Galliard "Lord Salisbury" by Orlando Gibbons
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord), John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Spinet),
John Kitchen (Chamber Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 
5.
Ballo del granduca by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Performer:  John Kitchen (Chamber Organ), John Kitchen (Spinet), John Kitchen (Harpsichord),
John Kitchen (Virginal)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Netherlands (Holland 
6.
Sonata for Harpsichord in F minor, K 481/L 187 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Chamber Organ), John Kitchen (Spinet),
John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
7.
Sonata for Harpsichord in G major, K 471/L 82 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord), John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Spinet),
John Kitchen (Chamber Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1756; Madrid, Spain 
8.
Suite in F by Maurice Greene
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord), John Kitchen (Spinet), John Kitchen (Chamber Organ),
John Kitchen (Virginal)
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 
9.
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2: Prelude and Fugue no 7 in E flat major, BWV 876 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord), John Kitchen (Spinet), John Kitchen (Chamber Organ),
John Kitchen (Virginal)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1742; Leipzig, Germany 
10.
Fugues and Voluntaries (12) for Organ: Fugue in A minor by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord), John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Chamber Organ),
John Kitchen (Spinet)
Period: Baroque 
11.
Pièces de viole: Suite no 3 in D major - 2nd movement, La Régente by Antoine Forqueray
Performer:  John Kitchen (Chamber Organ), John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Spinet),
John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
12.
Pièces de viole: Suite no 3 in D major - 5th movement, La Du Vaucel by Antoine Forqueray
Performer:  John Kitchen (Chamber Organ), John Kitchen (Spinet), John Kitchen (Virginal),
John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
13.
Pièces de viole: Suite no 3 in D major - 7th movement, La morangis ou La plissay by Antoine Forqueray
Performer:  John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Chamber Organ), John Kitchen (Harpsichord),
John Kitchen (Spinet)
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
14.
Pièces de clavecin: L'affligée by Armand-Louis Couperin
Performer:  John Kitchen (Chamber Organ), John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Harpsichord),
John Kitchen (Spinet)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1751; Paris, France 
15.
Rodelinda, HWV 19: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord), John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Spinet),
John Kitchen (Chamber Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; London, England 
16.
Progressive Sonatinas (6) for Piano, Op. 36: no 6 in D major by Muzio Clementi
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord), John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Chamber Organ),
John Kitchen (Spinet)
Period: Classical 
17.
Voluntaries (10) for Organ, book 3, Op. 7: no 9 in G major by John Stanley
Performer:  John Kitchen (Virginal), John Kitchen (Spinet), John Kitchen (Harpsichord),
John Kitchen (Chamber Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1754; England 

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