Raritan Players (USA)
Rebecca Cypess & Yi-heng Yang keyboards
It is commonly thought that musicians abandoned their harpsichords and took up the fortepiano quickly and suddenly around 1780. In fact, the two instruments coexisted happily for decades. Throughout the eighteenth century, instrument makers explored novel ways of producing sound through experimentation with keyboard technologies. As new inventions were introduced, they were folded into an already diverse keyboard culture, expanding the palette of sounds available to players. Harpsichords and fortepianos of various sorts should be understood within the culture of invention and experimentation that led, during the same period, to such developments as musical automatons, orchestrions, the glass harmonica and musical clocks.
In the context of salons the use of various types of keyboard instruments allowed women to display their erudition while still adhering to the norms of their gender and social station. The tasteful combination of such instruments in performance enabled family members and friends to forge a sympathetic bond through music-making and presented their listeners with a topic of polite conversation. Indeed, in bringing together diverse sounds and technologies, the two players of a fortepiano-harpsichord duo enact a conversation of the same sort encouraged by the social institution of the salon: they differ in their sounds and the roles that they play, while still finding ways to harmonize with and complement one another.
Our concert features the fortepiano and harpsichord side-by-side, or, rather, face-to-face, presented by two artists renowned for their “simply mesmerizing” (Early Music America) performances and their scholarship in the areas of performance practice and the evolution of keyboard instruments.
Brio and panache…simply a delight to the ear. – Fanfare
Tickets $31; 10% discount for seniors & members; youth and students FREE at the door.
Workshop on the evolution of keyboard instruments in the 18th Century
Our artists have studied and written extensively about the development of keyboard instruments in this important transitional period and will be sharing that knowledge in an afternoon talk, which will include discussions, questions and answers and demonstrations on fortepiano and harpsichord.
Join us for this FREE event, Friday, January 6, 2pm at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (Broughton St. entrance).
Let us know if you plan to attend by emailing us at email@example.com