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For his recording of Frescobaldi’s Twelve Toccatas, a two manual (8’, 4’/ 8’) harpsichord by Celini, tuned to meantone temperament, was Christopher Stembridge’s instrument of choice. Stembridge, an authority currently involved in editing the new Frescobaldi edition for Bärenreiter, is meticulous in his approach to the ornamentation, which he carries off with great finesse.
Although the instrument’s jacks return loudly (most notably at the end of works), this is, to a certain extent, inevitable in the recording process of a solo harpsichord, and can readily be ignored. The recording otherwise enjoys a brilliant, ringing tone, and, as is typical with releases by the ‘sfz’ label, the sleeve notes make for interesting reading.
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The Twelve Toccatas from Toccate e Partite (Rome 1615)
Music by Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583 - 1643)
Christopher Stembridge, harpsichord

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