Hear the recording now!
Winner of the 2018 Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society for outstanding contributions to historical performance
The harpsichord-fortepiano duo on the recording In Sara Levy's Salon has been called "as ravishing as it is fascinating" (Classical Music) and "enchanting" (Fanfare). We are now pleased to share a full-length recording devoted to the harpsichord-fortepiano medium!
Rebecca Cypess and Yi-heng Yang started playing fortepiano-harpsichord duos in 2014, when they were trying to revive performance practices of the late 18th-century salon hostess Sara Levy, who studied keyboard with Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. (The first piece that they recorded in this instrumentation can be heard on the album "In Sara Levy's Salon.") They were drawn into a vortex of research, musical experimentation, and concertizing in this combination of instruments, and they emerged ready to make a full-length recording.
Keyboard duos in general--including fortepiano-harpsichord duos--were most often played by members of a single family, very often by women, who were associated with keyboard instruments above all others. In playing duos on two similar (but not necessarily identical) instruments, players learned to imitate each other technically even as they created a sympathetic emotional bond. Recreating those experiences has been such a joy! It's that joy that Rebecca and Yi-heng hope to share with listeners.
Rebecca and Yi-heng had the opportunity in the summer of 2017 to record a program of keyboard duos by members of the Bach family in the beautiful concert hall at Drew University in collaboration with recording engineer Loren Stata, producer Erin Banholzer, and keyboard builder and technician Willard Martin.