Just imagine, being asked whether you would be interested in a pile of copies of scores left over from the extensive collection of the legendary Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014), one of the British pioneers of the Early Music movement.
Just imagine, being asked whether you would be interested in a pile of copies of scores left over from the extensive collection of the legendary Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014), one of the British pioneers of the Early Music movement. This happened to harpsichordist Menno van Delft who, together with Artem Belogurov, one of his former Master students, worked through no less than twelve large boxes of historical material: a true voyage of discovery!
Working closely together, Belogurov and Van Delft brought order to the extensive collection. They also made a preliminary selection of works they wanted to perform, in which all possible combinations were imaginable, from solo to six-handed! But also a four-handed fugue for organ or a combination of harpsichord and fortepiano were among the possibilities.
The adventurous TRPTK label immediately expressed its interest in a recording project. Amerongen Castle was chosen as the location, a place that breathes music with its collection of historical instruments. Van Delft: “The music hall has fantastic acoustics and the residents were extremely hospitable. We were allowed to record there every evening for a fortnight, after the tours during the day. We really lived there.” Belogurov: “I was completely in love with the rare Kirkman harpsichord they have there, a beautiful instrument.”
Inspired recordings were made in this inviting atmosphere, with WA Mozart’s ‘Sonata pour deux clavecins ou piano-forte in D Major, KV 448’ given a performance on fortepiano and harpsichord for the first time. A discovery for Van Delft is the oeuvre of Siegfried Schmiedt (c1756-1799), who is represented with his ‘Fantasia in A Minor’ and ‘Sonata No. 4. He also finds the ‘Vivace’ from the ‘Concerto in E Major’ by Hirich Conrad Kreising (c1700-1771) masterly. Belogurov mentions the ‘Sonata No. 2, Op.2’ by Georg Simon Löhlein (1725-1781) and the ‘Sonata per Gravicembalo Solo in C Major, Op. 15’ by Gottfried Weber (1779-1839). A curiosity is the ‘Sonata No.1’ by Christian Friedrich Gottlieb Schwenke (1767-1822), who extensively quotes from the aforementioned sonata by WA Mozart. Rarely has a more penetrating look been offered into the keyboard music of the 18th century, with various well-known, lesser-known and forgotten musical masters.
Classical – Baroque (1600-1750)
Amerongen Castle, Amerongen (NL)
PCM 352.8kHz 32bit
October 1st, 2021
"Van Delfts performance is, both on harpsichord and clavichord, outspokenly brilliant. [...] Belogurov is also a musically and technically skilled musician, who lets the Viennese fortepiano from the studio of restorator Gijs Wilderom speak beautifully. He who purchases Miscellanea, will await a fantastic voyage in time through the eighteenth century."
Christo Lelie, Trouw
"It is obvious that all the performances demonstrate great commitment to bringing unknown beauty to light. This makes the journey of discovery worthwhile. The sound quality is of the highest level."
Jan de Kruijff, Musicalifeiten
"This sets the tone for a feast of discoveries of around twenty pieces by as many eighteenth-century minor and major masters. All presented with infectious playing pleasure by the anthologists of Hogwood's crop."
Hans Quant, Luister
"The audiophile recording proves to be of exceptional transparency, finesse and realism, to the point of making you believe that the musicians are playing in your living room. The album is dedicated to Christopher Hogwood and his "lively spirit of curiosity": one can imagine how much such an aesthete would have enjoyed the result. Baskets of simple joys, which do not seem to have been unearthed from dusty archives, but freshly picked from the garden, to be savored as a gourmet."
Christophe Steyne, Crescendo Magazine
"The music is inspired and thought-provoking, it is technically finished to perfection, and this partly unknown "straw" is presented with great expertise."
Aart van der Wal, Opus Klassiek