Artist: Jovanka Marville
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Bach’s first biographer Forkel, writing 50 years after his death links Bach and the clavichord in categorical terms: “He liked best to play upon the clavichord; the harpsichord, though certainly susceptible of a very great variety of expression, had not soul enough for him, and the piano was in his lifetime too much in its infancy and still much too coarse to satisfy him. He therefore considered the clavichord as the best instrument for study, and, in general, for private musical entertainment. He found it the most convenient for the expression of his most refined thoughts, and did not believe it possible to produce from any harpsichord or pianoforte such a variety in the gradations of tone as on this instrument, which has, indeed, a soft tone, but is on a small scale extremely flexible.”
The overwhelming evidence of sound, touch and emotion obtained when playing or listening to many of Bach’s keyboard works on the clavichord is sufficient to validate Forkel’s account. It confirms that the clavichord is fully able to express refined thoughts, and that it has quite enough soul to go around.
Booklet: EN, FR, DE