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Period-instrument specialist Joanna Leach takes us on a journey through the development of keyboard instruments used in wealthy homes, from a spinet through three square pianos; each contemporary with the music played.

Musically both educational and extremely entertaining - a fine and unique recital.

playing time: 66.21
direct sale price:  £8.50
audio  sample: Handel - Toccata in G minor 
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Spinet (Barton, 1727)
Les Barricades Misterieuses
Les Folies Françaises
Pavan - The Earle of Salisbury
Fantasia in C major, G60
Square Piano (Longman & Broderip, 1787)
Sonata in G minor, G273
Toccata in G minor, G 276
Air and Variations, G56
Prelude in E major, BWV933 no. 5
Prelude in E minor, BWV933 no. 6
Square Piano (Stodart, 1823)
Sonata no. 84 in D major
Adagio in B minor, K540
Six Dances
Ungarische Melodie, D817
Square Piano (Clementi, 1832)
Two Venetian Gondola Songs
Wie die Zeit lauft
Duetto, op. 38 no. 6
Albumblatt in E minor. op. 117

review extracts: for full reviews click here

“The recording is beautifully judged throughout, very close and capturing the finest of nuances. Leach's performances are first-rate, stylish and alert, with impeccably pointed ornaments. The booklet notes by Andrew Lancaster are very informative, complemented by colour photographs of each instrument. Highly recommended: domestic instruments they may be, but they are of a quality and character which is remarkable to hear.” - Nicholas Salwey (International Record Review)

“A thoroughly enjoyable album finds Leach playing for the clear joy of it...A tasty work with a nice concept.” - Chris Spector (MidWest Record)

“Period instrument specialist Joanna Leach takes us on a journey through the development of keyboard instruments. This unique recital of elegantly played music vividly brings to life the sounds of another age. – New Classics
“There is no denying the pleasure of experiencing the music of Mozart, Handel and Schubert in a domestic setting and as it would have been heard in the instruments of the day. Joanna Leach's playing is intimate, stylish and pleasantly unassuming.” – Jeremy Nicholas (Gramophone)
“Joanna Leach adds to her well-respected output of recordings of square pianos with an eclectic programme of pieces on three pianos and a spinet. Joanna Leach articulates clearly, although there is a lack of contrasting over-holding and thus warmth of sound. However, at the 21 st track... her playing transports us into another realm as soon as the third instrument, the Stodart square piano of 1823, is touched at the opening of the Soler sonata.” – Penelope Cave (The Consort)
“Joanna Leach is an excellent artist... the instruments presented here are very interesting and not easily available on disc. They shed light on a virtually ignored aspect of music-making in the 18 th and 19 th centuries.” – Johan van Keen (MusicWeb)