Early Music

Photo taken by Glen Shannon before the 2004 EBRS members concert with my Perticis. During the program I would accompany Phil Robbins (A Cheerfull Noyse) on Chedeville's Il Pasto Fido Sonata #2, while later I would play recorder solo unaccompanied on Daniel Demoivre's suite in F

Click the above picture to listen to my recording of "Qan vei la laudeta mover" by Bernart de Ventadorn (fl.1147-1180). The instrument is an Ensoniq SD1, with tracks imitating nakers, tambourine, portativ, harp, and shawm.

As an early music lover my favorite composers are all from the first half of the middle Baroque era. Luigi Rossi, Carrissimi, Cesti, Poglietti, etc.

I am primarily an early keyboard player, although I do play all sorts of early instruments, from shawm to double harp. I studied with harpsichordist James Darling of Colonial Williamsburg for five years, then studied two years with organist Sandra Soderlund (mostly on figured bass) here in San Francisco during which I also received the masters in music history.

My keyboard instrument is a Matthew Redsell Virginal. My favorite early keyboard music composers are Jean de Macque, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Bernado Storace, Bernado Pasquini, Pancrace Royer, and J-P Rameau. I had given an all Rameau graduation concert in Williamsburg many years ago. My masters thesis was on seventeenth century Italian keyboard music, so to no surprise I prefer Italianate instruments. You might want to go to UCLA or San Francisco State University to obtain copies of it. Here is a little section in my thesis about Fra Giovanni Battista Fasolo's Annuale che contiene tutto quello, che deve far un organista per risponder al choro tutto l'anno (1645).

Among my woodwind instruments, the Boudreau Denner baroque pitch alto recorder in my favorite. My favorite composer for this instrument is Hotteterre. I am a member of the Rio Grande Recorder Society and the American Reocrder Society, and my teacher was David Barnett, who also taught me how to play the chalumeau.

I had a medieval group named Sex Saecula that once performed in the SCA but since had disbanded. I am not an SCA member, and never had been. I performed on harp, gemshorns, recorder, shawm, portative, and hurdy gurdy, etc. While I sold my instrument collections used in the group, today I still have a couple of Renaissance instruments which I made.

I am always looking for fellow musicians to play together. If you are interested, please email me at hbv at tsoft dot com and see if we can come up with something fun to play or perform!

I am both a member of the Early Music America and the San Francisco Early Music Society.

My teacher Jock Darling, organist of Colonial Williamsburg, playing on the William Dowd double in the Bruton Parish Church. Yes, I was spoiled to learn my craft on such a fine instrument and from a great teacher

Original Longman & Broderip 1782 copy of a Haydn Overture for piano or harpsichord that I own. This is actually the keyboard score of Haydn's symphony 53 "L'imperiale"(1775). In addition to the actual full and part scores, Haydn's symphonies were also published in versions of different orchestrations, with keyboard arrangments being the most popular one. This is one of seven different keyboard scores of this symphony. It's publisher put an advertisement on December 30th, 1782 on the Morning Herald.

Directing from my Petricis in the 2001 Davis early music mixer advance baroque workshop. I spent a week to prepare the materials for the class. I prefer conducting never-been-performed works, or in facsimiles. These provide maximum challenge for performance and musicological interpretations for both the players and the scholars. In this case my musicological background came in handy, including writing out figure basses for other players.

My early musical instruments collection

This is my early music instruments collection. Bring mouse over will explain name and model. Some of them have recordings of me playing. Even though the quality of the recordings and my playing is less than perfect, but they do give you some idea of how these instruments sound. Click on the instrument picture will bring you to the webpage explaining about the instrument, and clicking on the accompanying soundfile picture will you be able to hear the music.

Instrument Soundfile
1980 Matthew James Redsell Virginal after Johannes de Perticis (Florence, 1684), Ralph Richey collection Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643): Verso di G.F. (Ravenna, Biblioteca Communale Classense, Ms. 545 g.64v)
2004 Jean-Luc Boudreau Alto Recorder after Jacob Denner (Musikhistoriskmuseum Copenhagen) Synopsis Musicae (1693): Slow Ayre


In addition to being proficient of playing a myriad of European instruments, I am also a beginning student of the Chinese seven string zither, the Guqin, king of all Chinese musical instruments. Unfortunately I have to stop my lessons because of personal reasons right now.


The Ottavino Homepage: A Website dedicated to the Ottavino Spinet Harpsichord

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