Early Keyboard Instruments: The Benton Fletcher Collection at Fenton House

Overview

The Benton Fletcher collection, housed at Fenton House in London, contains an outstanding selection of early keyboard instruments including harpsichords, spinets, virginals, clavichords, and pianos. Considering its small size, this collection includes a remarkable selection of extremely rare 16th or early 17th-century Italian examples, along with rare 17th-century English virginals. The instruments range from the elegantly simple to the exquisitely extravagant. Collectively they provide a fascinating history of ...

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Overview

The Benton Fletcher collection, housed at Fenton House in London, contains an outstanding selection of early keyboard instruments including harpsichords, spinets, virginals, clavichords, and pianos. Considering its small size, this collection includes a remarkable selection of extremely rare 16th or early 17th-century Italian examples, along with rare 17th-century English virginals. The instruments range from the elegantly simple to the exquisitely extravagant. Collectively they provide a fascinating history of the craft of early keyboard-making. Each of the 19 instruments in the collection is carefully described in terms of manufacture, content, musical components, history, and technical data, and each is illustrated; often by specially commissioned photographs. Hear the beautiful sounds of early keyboard instruments in a specially recorded CD that comes free with this book. The CD contains 30 individual pieces of music played on many of the instruments in the collection by early keyboard specialist Terence Charleston.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781905400188
  • Publisher: Anova Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 6
Author's Note 7
Introduction 9
The Instruments
1 Harpsichord: Burkat Shudi & John Broadwood, London, 1770 32
2 Harpsichord: Ioannes Ruckers, Antwerp, 1612, later enlarged in England 36
3 Harpsichord: Burkat Shudi, London, 1761 40
4 Virginals: Marcus Siculus, Sicily, 1540 44
5 Virginals: attributed to Vincentius Pratensis, Italy, late 16th or early 17th century 48
6 Harpsichord: Jacob & Abraham Kirckman, London, 1777 50
7 Spinet: unsigned, formerly attributed to Thomas Hitchcock, London, first half of 18th century 54
8 Spinet: inscribed John Hancock, London, late 18th century 56
9 Harpsichord: Jacob Kirckman, London, 1762 58
10 Clavichord: Arnold Dolmetsch, Haslemere, 1925 60
11 Virginals: Robert Hatley, London, 1664 62
12 Square Piano: John Broadwood, London, 1774 66
13 Grand Piano: inscribed Americus Backers, London, late 1770s 68
14 Grand Piano: John Broadwood & Son, London, 1805 70
15 Harpsichord: Anonymous, Italian, c. 1590 72
16 Harpsichord: Jacob Kirckman, London, 1752 76
17 Harpsichord: Longman & Broderip, London, 1783 78
18 Virginals: attributed to Giovanni Celestini, Venice, late 16th or early 17th century 82
19 Clavichord: Anonymous, German, late 17th or early 18th century 86
App. I Restorers and Repairers of the Benton Fletcher Collection 89
App. II Previous Keepers of the Benton Fletcher Collection 92
App. III Transcript of Benton Fletcher's letter to the Friends of Music Society 94
Glossary 95
Bibliography 101
Picture Credits 105
Index 106
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