A 1718 bass viol, a viola d’amore and a Kirkman harpsichord in regular concert use in 1906, and not a Dolmetsch in sight!

A Kirkman harpsichord from 1755, similar to that used by Nellie Chaplin. By courtesy of Musical Instrument Museums, Edinburgh (MIMEd 4330).

By Guest Blogger: Mandy Macdonald The fascination of old instruments

The use of historical instruments contributed greatly to the charm of the concerts given by the Chaplin sisters and drew in audiences. […]

A nineteenth-century harpsichord promoter, with a famous music collection, who had dealings with Arnold Dolmetsch, Part 1

The library of T.W. Taphouse was very famous during his lifetime and his harpsichords were often used for concerts and exhibitions. His name is now forgotten, and it’s a tragedy that everything was sold off after his death. […]

Desmond Dupré, lutenist to Alfred Deller, and much more besides.

Desmond Dupré taught himself to play the lute and viola da gamba at a time when players of both were scarce. He worked with i.a. Thurston Dart, Raymond Leppard, David Munrow and, from 1947 until his death, Alfred Deller. He played in more than a dozen groups, such as Musica Reservata, the Jaye Consort and the London Consort of Viols, took part in many ad hoc ensembles, and regularly playing obligato parts in Bach’s Passions. […]

Arnold Dolmetsch’s competitors in 1904

“Indefatigable propagandists of ancient music” likened to Arnold Dolmetsch. Their hugely popular early music entertainments began in 1904, and continued for 25 years. […]

Nellie Chaplin and her sisters: forgotten pioneers of early music & dance with authentic instruments. Part 1

“Indefatigable propagandists of ancient music” likened to Arnold Dolmetsch. Their hugely popular early music entertainments began in 1904, and continued for 25 years. […]

David Munrow (of the Early Music Consort) and Folk Music

David Munrow (1942-1976) was one of the most widely-known early music ‘personalities’ of the 1960s and 70s. This post describes how his interest in folk music and folk instruments started, and how this influenced his performances of medieval music. […]

Ina Lohr (1903 – 1983), a forgotten Dutch/Swiss zealot of early music

In 1933, with Paul Sacher and others, Ina Lohr founded the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, creating the first teaching and research institute for early music in the world. She was responsible for the curriculum, taught most of the theoretical subjects and, during her 30 years at the SCB, influenced many musicians, most notably Gustav Leonhardt. […]

Syntagma Musicum, the internationally famous Dutch early music group founded by Kees Otten

Syntagma Musicum, with a youthful René Jacobs

Following the demise of Muziekkring Obrecht, in 1961, and a brief return into his jazz roots, Dutch recorder pioneer Kees Otten was soon active in early music again, making a series of radio programmes, with his old friends, the Collettes, with vocal compositions from the […]

Farewell to Christopher Hogwood (1941–2014), harpsichordist, conductor and early music pioneer

Christopher Hogwood, conducting in 1976

I was very sad, and also quite surprised, to hear that Christopher Hogwood CBE had passed away on 24 September 2014. His own website says he had been suffering from a brain tumour for several months. I interviewed him on the phone in March 2006, primarily about Mary […]

Farewell to Frans Brüggen (1934 – 2014), the most famous recorder player in the world

An appreciation of Frans Brüggen (1934 – 2014), the conductor and the most famous recorder player in the world, who died in August 2014. […]