Thursday, June 12, 2014

Music for the Clavichord: Fischer's Musikalischer Parnassus

Last time we looked at a brief history of the clavichord. Did you know that J.S. Bach favored this instrument and his son, C.P.E. Bach, was quite accomplished at performing on it?

Are you familiar with any piece written for the clavichord? Most pieces written for harpsichord or organ can also be played on the clavichord. Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer, a leading keyboardist of the early 18th century, also composed for keyboard instruments. One composition he is known for, Ariadne, is a guide through the major and minor key for young organists, similar to Bach’s later work, The Well-Tempered Clavier.

Another one of Fischer’s works, MusikalischerParnassus, is a harpsichord collection but could also be played on the clavichord. This work contains nine suites, each named for a muse. Here is an excerpt taken from this piece performed on the clavichord. Listen carefully to the sound and compare it to your experiences listening to the modern-day piano. What are your thoughts? There is no right or wrong answer, but I’d love to hear your take!



No comments:

Post a Comment