There are not so many recordings available that feature Square Pianos where we have details of the piano itself, as well as the performer. A couple of Friends who have recorded CDs recently have been kind enough to send me copies, and I am delighted on this page to give details of them.
If any Friends would like their recordings to appear on this page, please send a copy so that I can listen to it, and do not forget to say how copies may be purchased.
This website is primarily about Square Pianos, but I am happy to stretch a point to include spinets or other early keyboard instruments. Hint for you players out there. Previously, I said that didn't know of a complete recording of a particular spinet, so very special thanks to Peter a nd Mary Berg, for sending me the CD of their Haxby spinet - reviewed below. But please let's have more!
Also, you may remember that this page was formerly called 'Friends' CDs', but I am slowly being dragged into the 21st century. For specialist recordings in particular, there are advantages in the digital download format. I will miss the pictures and 'sleeve notes', but I suppose I will have to get used to the new ways eventually.
Discovering the Piano - Cristofori Style
OK, so this is not a square piano, but as I said, I make the rules, and this is a recording that every early piano enthusiast should have. It features spirited playing by Linda Nicholson on a beautiful replica of a 1730 Cristofori-Ferrini piano made by Denzil Wraight. None of the few surviving Cristofori pianos is in a condition to give us any idea of how they sounded originally, so rather than copy an original, Denzil has based his instrument on all known sources of information. The result is a truly delightful and expressive sound, very far removed from what I was expecting. Comparison with Zumpe's diminutive squares is hardly fair, so let's just say that this is a lovely sound, which we all should enjoy. The recording is Passacaille 1024, which deservedly received the Diapason d'or award in 2017
Denzil has very kindly provided a download of the English part of the CD booklet.
New CD Release - Giovanni Matielli
New CD Release - Jacob Kirkman
This is the first recording I know of to feature one particular spinet, so thank you to Peter and Mary Berg for sending it to me. Their Haxby spinet (c.1760) is an early instrument by the famous York maker, who went on to make very fine square pianos. On this CD, Timothy Roberts plays a selection of pieces by Thomas Arne, one of the most popular composers of the day.
Although all English spinets look more-or-less the same, it is surprising how much their sound and character can vary. This instrument is bright and chirpy, reminding me of the big harpsichords of the time.
This fine CD is available through the website www.orchardstreetmusic.uk/recordings
Our Friend Marina Rodriguez Bria has recently recorded a splendid new CD of Clementi's music played on an 1824 piano carrying his name.
The CD is number UMCCD001, and it is now available via this link.
Fine music, beautifully played on a beautiful piano - what more could we ask for? For Finchcocks this year, Marina very kindly sent copies which we gave to Christopher Clementi, and to Martyna Kazmierczak, winner of this year's prestigious Clementi Award.
I have a copy, I enjoy listening to it, and I can strongly recommend it.
The 1831 Geib piano used for this recording was the subject of an amazing restoration by Tom Strange. On this CD, Patrick Hawkins plays music by Haydn, and also by Maria Hester Reynolds, who was born in 1760. She married Thomas Park in 1790, and supplemented the family income by composing and publishing a number of pieces, and also by giving lessons. Amongst those she taught were the Duchess of Devonshire and her daughters. She died in 1811. Maria's music is charming,and well worth listening to.