CD Hotlist

I confess that I’m a sucker for the clavichord. I love it the way you might love a three-legged dog or a mangy but charming cat. The clavichord was too small and quiet for use outside of small rooms or in ensembles, and although it utilized a hammer action it sounded more like a harpsichord than a fortepiano–though a harpsichord with much less sustain. Its sound is limited and idiosyncratic but definitely charming, and on this collection of keyboard works by the likes of Antoine de Févin, Louis Couperin, and Nicolas Gigault clavichordist Terence Charlston uses the instrument’s radically limited expressive range to full effect. Keyboard programs in particular will greatly benefit from access to this disc.

—Rick Anderson