The Andante from the Italian Concerto by J.S. Bach, performed on the harpsichord by Michael Peterson. Live, 4K UHD video from the Voices of Music Celebration of Bach concert, September, 2015.
Harpsichordist Michael Peterson has performed nationally and internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. His repertoire spans nearly five hundred years, with an emphasis on music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He enjoys bringing music to life in ways that stretch beyond the traditional concert experience; examples include living history programs, lecture recitals, and contributions to continuing studies courses. Mr. Peterson is a founding member of the Laudami Ensemble and has also performed recently with ensembles such as American Bach Soloists, the Pacific Chamber Symphony, and Gabrieli West. Michael graduated with degrees in harpsichord performance from Stanford University and from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
Double manual harpsichord by John Phillips, after Johann Heinrich Gräbner, Dresden, 1722.
About the harpsichord made by John Phillips:
Throughout his long career, J. S. Bach would have been intimately familiar with the so-called “middle German” harpsichords made locally in Thuringia and Saxony. Three of these instruments survive which were made during Bach’s lifetime, and, of these, two instruments were built by members of the Gräbner family in Dresden, who for five generations from the 17th through the 19th centuries built and repaired organs, harpsichords, clavichords, and eventually pianos.
The instrument used in tonight’s concert is based on the 1722 Johann Heinrich Gräbner preserved in the Villa Bertramka in Prague; this instrument is the earliest of four surviving Gräbner harpsichords: the 1722 Gräbner is a very good example of the large, middle-German style from Bach’s time. It is even possible that Bach met J. H. Gräbner, as the latter was the official court tuner when Bach journeyed to Dresden to match musical skills with Louis Marchand in 1717. One of Gräbner’s sons, Christian Heinrich, later studied organ with Bach in Leipzig.
Special thanks to Peter and Cynthia Hibbard for the use of the harpsichord in our Bach concert.
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