The Pleyel Harpsichord (CD)

Move Records
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Roger Heagney

Please note: this title is published in a slim-line CD case.

Roger Heagney plays one of the last harpsichords (made in 1963) by the French Pleyel piano company, which was founded in 1807 and continued to make pianos until its doors were closed for the last time in 2014. The Pleyel ‘Concert Grand Harpsichord’ has a unique sound and variety of colours controlled by a set of seven pedals.

Known as the Grande Modèle Concert, this harpsichord has the date of manufacture on its keyboards of 14 August 1963. The old French piano making companies of Pleyel and Erard, exhibited three harpsichords, loosely based on a surviving Pascal Taskin harpsichord, at the Paris exhibition of 1889. So began the harpsichord's rebirth after almost one hundred years of neglect. Serendipitously, there was an increasing public interest in the performance of ‘music of the past’, so it was surely a timely renaissance.

The Pleyel harpsichord has been described as the ultimate achievement of the piano-maker’s art. Piano-like it may have been, but it was undeniably a harpsichord. It has been estimated that, over the next fifty years, Pleyel made as many as eighty such harpsichords.

Heagney has gained an international reputation as pianist and harpsichordist. He lectures at the Australian Catholic University and performs regularly with The Academy of Melbourne and Pro Arte Orchestras and at the Melbourne International Festival of Organ and Harpsichord.

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George Frideric Handel: Suite in A major

Nicolas Le Bègue: Prelude en D la re sol

François Couperin: Les Baricades Mistérieuses (Sixième Ordre)

François Couperin: Passacaille (Huitième Ordre)

Baldassare Galuppi: Sonata in C minor

Baldassare Galuppi Sonata in C major