A seminal account of the
plucking keyboard by David Kinsela heard in Renaissance dances (Memmo, Attaingnant,
Newman, Byrd, Facoli, Gardane) and Baroque favourites (Bachs Italian Concerto,
Rameaus Les Tendres Plaintes, Handels The Harmonious Blacksmith
Suite), using an Italian virginal of 1629 (the oldest instrument in Australia)
and an English harpsichord of 1763, both from the Powerhouse Museum. Five of
the sixteen tracks feature percussion by Michael Atherton (spoons, tabor, tambourine,
bells, wood block, bodhran).
David Kinsela, harpsichord, virginal
Michael Atherton, percussion
Digital Dance presents 25 years work in reconstructing
early keyboard techniques, particularly the skill of running across the keys
in paired fingering which creates a distinctive energy and eloquence.
The technique is described in the accompanying booklet. The rhythmic discipline
of the dance requires specific tempi, strong pulse and suppression of Romantic
habits such as cadential ritenuti. By way of compensation, paired fingering
leads to habits of spontaneity and of controlled irregularity (inégale),
and results in an organic manner of swinging the beat.
The program opens with the famous but anonymous piece My Lady
Careys Dompe which the annotations show to have been dedicated to the distinguished
courtesan Mary Boleyn, sister of Ann Boleyn. That may well have been composed
by the Venetian organist Dionisio Memmo during his chaplaincy to King Henry