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The Ord-Tempered Harpsichord

Mark Swinton (harpsichord)

This album creates a unique opportunity to hear the rare 1785 Longman & Broderip Venetian Swell harpsichord in a program of music that explores all the tonal colors of the instrument. The harpsichord used for this album came into the possession of the Alexander Mackenzie of Ord in 1965. After a considerable period of thought, the owner finally decided to restore it to it's original single-manual state, hand-crafting the new keyboard and Machine Stop mechanism. Mark Swinton took it upon himself to restore this rare instrument's sound to it's original glory.


George Frederic Handel: Voluntary No.1 in C major I. Largo II. Allegro

George Frederic Handel: Voluntary No.4 in G minor I. Slow II. Allegro

George Frederic Handel: Voluntary No.8 in C major I. Grave II. Allegro

Domenico Scarlatti Keyboard Sonata in F major, K.274 Keyboard Sonata in C minor, K.254

Giles Farnaby Giles Farnaby's Dreame His Rest His Humour

William Tisdale: Pavana Chromatica (Mrs. Ketherin Tregians Paven)

Domenico Cimarosa Keyboard Sonata in C major Keyboard Sonata in G minor Keyboard Sonata in B flat major

John Stanley: Voluntary in C major, Op.5 No.1 I. Adagio II. Andante III. Slow IV. Allegro

John Stanley: Voluntary in E minor, Op.5 No.4 I. Adagio II. Allegro

John Stanley: Voluntary in G minor, Op.5 No.9 I. Largo - Adagio II. Fugue: Allegro

Johann Christian Bach: Harpsichord Sonata in B flat major, Op.5 No.1: II. Tempo di minuetto George Frederic Handel: Keyboard Suite in C major, HWV 443: IV. Sarabande


Recorded in Kingsdown Parade, Bristol, UK on 28th & 29th March 2016 (Tracks 1-23), 2000 (Tracks 24-25)
Booklet design: Willowhayne Records
Recording Engineers: Mark Hartt-Palmer & John Balsdon
Recording Production: John Balsdon & Mark Hartt-Palmer
Total Time: 60.12
Release Date: December 2016

Mark Swinton was educated at the King's School, Chester, and at the University of York, graduating with BA in Music in 2002 and MA in Music two years later. He has studied with David Briggs, Roger Fisher, Dr Francis Jackson and John Scott Whiteley, amongst others, and has participated in masterclasses with Johannes Geffert and Dame Gillian Weir. A Fellow of the Royal College of Organists since 2006, he has given numerous recitals at venues throughout the UK. He has also performed, as both a soloist and accompanist, in France, Germany, Holland and Spain. His first solo recording, Colours of the Klais (Cloister Records) marked the 10th anniversary in 2007 of the Klais organ in Bath Abbey; 2016 saw the release of A Bach Family Album (Willowhayne Records). He has an occasional duo partnership with violinist Lucy Phillips; they have given concerts together in Bath, Chester, Warwick and Worksop, and recorded a CD.

Since 2011, Mark has been Assistant Director at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, having previously held positions at Kendal Parish Church, Bath Abbey and Royal High School, and Clifton College, Bristol. At Warwick, he accompanies the St Mary's Choirs of Boys, Girls and Men in four choral services every week whilst assisting with their training and direction. He has appeared with them in concert, including the premières of choral works by Naji Hakim and David Briggs, on tours throughout the UK and abroad, on radio and television broadcasts, and on two recent CD recordings to date: Christmas from Warwick and Gaudeamus omnes: celebrating Warwick 1100 (Regent Records). He also directs St Mary's Scholars, an adult chamber choir that sings occasional services in St Mary's whilst undertaking its own programme of concerts and tours.

Although primarily an organist, Mark has performed as a harpsichordist since student days in York, often appearing as a continuo player with the University Baroque Ensemble and even venturing into the world of contemporary music for the instrument via what is now known as the Chimera Ensemble. He has also accompanied the soprano Yvonne Seymour and provided continuo for the Yorkshire Youth Orchestra and EU Chamber Orchestra.

WHR040     View Booklet

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