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Roman Chlada playing the Clavichord

René Clemencic described the clavichord as the most quiet, expressive and delicate of all keyboard instruments. Its subtle sound and the intensity in expressiveness is due to its simple mechanics: The sound is created by a simple touch of the chord.

My clavichord was built by Thomas Glück. It was modeled after different instruments of the 15th and 16th century, giving special attention to the one shown in wooden inlays of the Studiolo of Federigo da Montefeltro in Urbino (ca. 1470).

Music samples:

Paul Hofhaymer (1459-1537), Ain frewlich wesenn in re
Antonio de Cabezon (1510-1566), Pisne me Pulvenir (nach Tomas Criquillion)
Claudio Merulo (1533-1604), Toccata del Terzo Tuono

At the Clavichord Symposium at Magnano, ItalyNote: The clavichord truly is very quiet. If you turn up the volume on your speakers, the sound will be incorrect.

Previously played arrangements on this instrument:

Paul und die Paulomimen - Paul Hofhaymer (1459-1537) & seine Schule
Johann Jacob Froberger (1616-1667) - Libro secondo di Toccate &c.
Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) - Toccate, Ricercari & Canzone
Francisco Correa de Arauxo (1584-1654) - VII Tientos aus der Faculdad Organica
Antonio de Cabezon (1510-1566) - Tientos, Versos, Glosadas & Diferencias


at the organ of S. Frediano in Lucca, Italy

Part of what makes playing the organ so interesting, are the varieties of individual instruments. Out of all the different regional types of historic organs, I focused on the Austrian, Italian, and Spanish organ. On the one hand I try to play the appropriate literature for each of these regions. On the other hand my goal is use my knowledge to choose the correct stops on a modern instrument in order to create an authentic sound. I see the organ as a liturgical instrument rather than a concert instrument.

Music sample:

Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) Toccata terza (Libro primo)

played on the organ by Johann Freundt (1620), at the Ardagger chapter church, Lower Austria


Roman Chlada playing the harpsichord

I prefer using the harpsichord as an accompaniment for singers or for ensemble music, rather than as a solo instrument.

Music Samples:

Luzzasco Luzzaschi (1545-1607), Aura soave
Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643), Aria di Passacaglia

Vocals: Karoline Pilcz, soprano

arrangement for soprano and harpsichord:

Luzzasco, Gesualdo, Frescobaldi - Musik aus und rund um Ferrara


Portative Organ

Portativ 2

The portative organ is the smallest type of organ – small enough to have it on your lap. The left hand pumps the bellow, while the right hand plays the keyboard. The earliest traces of the portative organ go back to late Roman times. By the early 16th century it completely disappears. It is therefore a truly medieval instrument. In the 15th century the portative organ seemed to hit its peak. We can see it on many paintings, murals, and sculptures.

My portative organ, which was built in 2005 by Walter Chinaglia, is a 3’ instrument, which makes it the biggest version of its type.

Music Samples:

Taken from the Buxheimer Orgelbuch (ca. 1460):
Vierhundert jare, nach Oswald von Wolkenstein (~1377-1445)
Tant apart, nach Walter Frye (fl. 1443-1466)

I have put together the following arrangement using it as a solo instrument:

Paumanns Gotik - Musik rund um den süddeutschen Orgelmeister Conrad Paumann (*1409/1415 Nürnberg, +1473 München)