Season after Pentecost, 2023
Howells considered himself "a reincarnation of one of the lesser Tudor luminaries." Many organists are familiar with his Master Tallis's Testament (1940) from the Six Pieces, but he also wrote two collections of neo-Tudor pieces (not for the organ): Lambert's Clavichord (1926-7) and Howells' Clavichord (1941-1961).
Each one of these pieces is a little jewel.
They're performed brilliantly by John Paul on a Centaur CD (CRC 2536). John Paul performs them on a lautenwerck:
Like many aficianados of the harpsichord, I intially acquired a score of Lambert's Clavichord as part of a search for twentieth century repertoire. I used small groups of these pieces in recitals for many years in addition to playing them on the organ as pre-service and recital music. Howells' Clavichord with its expansive and rich textures, became a great source of joy to play on the piano. In 1995 I acquired an Anden Houben single manual lautenwerck (a lute-harpsichord strung in natural gut) and Lambert's Clavichord took on a new richness. In 1998 Houben made a double manual lautenwerck for me which incorporated a peau de buffle, a set of jacks voiced in soft leather. the sound is delicate and flexible with the capacity of some dynamic change from finger touch, and also uses a shove coupler to progressively adjust the degree of tone decay through changes in the damper position. Here at last it seemed to me was the perfect instrument to produce effectively the wide range of texture, style, and mood called for in the pieces from both the 1928 and 1931 sets.
from the liner notes
I would love to hear anyone, especially John Paul, play these on a lautenwerck live.
Read more: The LUTE HARPSICHORD: A Forgotten Instrument by Anden Houben
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