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The Modern Harpsichord

Since the revival of early and baroque music in the second half of the twentieth century, the harpsichord has increased in visibility and prominence: it can now be found in conservatories and classrooms across the globe. Familiar repertoire is prolific and celebrated, but the harpsichord isn't a mere historical relic. Since Ligeti's celebrated 1968 work for the instrument, Continuum, modernists and post-modernists alike have used the harpsichord for its inherent qualities: intensity of attack, quickness of decay, depth of tone.

We're excited to have two contemporary works for this instrument available from PSNY, and a number of other works available from Schott music. Besides Ligeti's compositions for the instrument-- including Continuum, Hungarian Rock, and Passacaglia Ungherese-- take a look at Alvin Singleton's hypnotic, minimal Le Tombeau du Petit Prince, and Lei Liang's Some Empty Thoughts of a Person from Edo, in whch the instrument's resonance with East Asian stringed instruments, raw emotion, and hints of the baroque come together in a virtuosic, powerful composition. 

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