Harpsichord Masterclass with Petra Hajduchova, Friday 2nd of March at 4.15pm

After the success of last term’s harpsichord masterclass, Petra will run another session on Barry Road on Friday the 2nd of March at 4.15pm. This is open to students of any age that are studying Baroque music or have an interest in learning Baroque music. The event is most suitable to Grade 1 students and above. Most A list pieces are suitable to be played on the harpsichord, so come along and try out your pieces on the instrument for which it was originally written! All masterclass attendees will be invited to perform on the harpsichord at our next concert.

Lorraine performs La Poule by Rameau:

The class lasts 60 – 90 minutes (dependent on number of participants) and costs £10. Register with your teacher if you would like to perform. The event runs as a drop-off session in order to accommodate as many students as possible. All participants receive a certificate in addition to a lesson with Petra on their chosen piece. See your A list of pieces as these are very often 17th Century pieces for the harpsichord. Pieces such as Babiole by Naudot, Gavotta by James Hook and Suite de Rejouissance by Daquin are all harpischord pieces!

Alanna with her Harpsichord Masterclass certificate

Here is a review of the last session along with videos of our students performing on the harpsichord.

In this 1 hour session, Petra gave us a brief introduction to the harpsichord and the various different types in existence, each with a different name in each language! In English, we call the instrument a harpsichord, but it is called a cembalo in German, clavicembalo in Italian and clavecin in French. A French harpsichord has a very different shape to a German harpsichord and we had fun identifying which harpsichord Petra owns (hers is English).

Examining the insides of a harpsichord with Petra Hajduchova

Then we had a fascinating demonstration on the inside of the harpsichord. The harpsichord differs from the piano in that the strings are “plucked” by what used to be a crow’s quill or leather but is now a plastic plectrum. We were all particularly delighted when Petra showed us that you can pull out all the keys of the instrument! A well played harpsichord requires daily tuning and it was great to see how Petra tuned the instrument. I was imagining it would require lots of heavy equipment but it just required a small tuning adjuster.

In the following video, you can see Petra tuning the harpsichord at 1’50”. This is a lively Louis Couperin piece that Petra performed for us at the end of the masterclass:

The harpsichord is surprisingly easy to dismantle!

More photos and videos from the masterclass:

Alanna’s Bach Invention:

Rumbie playing one of her Grade 2 pieces by Daquin

Alanna just couldn't get enough of the harpsichord!

Trying out a new Rameau piece on the instrument for which it was originally written.

Lorraine’s Bach Sarabande:

Petra and Peter discussing his Grade 8 Bach Prelude

Peter’s Bach prelude:


Students registered for the Masterclass:

Safiya
Hannah
Boo
Alice
Alanna (tbc)

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