Jane Chapman : harpsichordist

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NEW DISC: ZOJI released 1/1/21 (MoonJune MJR110)
ZOJI with Mark Wingfield - electric guitar and Adriano Adewale - percussion.


Dizzying constellations of notes netted within the soundboard of the harpsichord, quill-plucked and sent spinning in darting arcs and ascending steps. . . Harmonic fog adrift from which notes slip out in silvery streaks, gleaming with passion, while some, disconsolate, fall into dark silence snuffing out their glow. . .
Cymbals sizzle and resonate, ceding space to the crackle of shells shaken. Wood, skin, clay all brushed, touched and tamped, honed into accents and beats, breathing between the firefly flurries criss-crossing through their time. . .
Sid Smith - music journalist


'The Oriental Miscellany' released April 2015 (SIGD415)
Arranged and adapted by William Hamilton Bird, the Oriental Miscellany is the first published transcription of Indian vocal music in Western notation for harpsichord, taken from live performance. Published in Calcutta in 1789 it was considered an important historical source, reflecting Western fascination with the East, and the vogue for Hindustani Airs.

"This is an intriguing recording…. a fascinating and agreeable collection.
Jane Chapman uses the harpsichord's features - machine stop, lute stop - to full advantage.
Played with flair and panache by flautist Yu-Wei Hu."
Early Music Review ✭✭✭✭✭ (in all categories)

"(Jane Chapman) takes full advantage of the sonic effects and exotic possibilities of the restored 1722 Jacob Kirckman harpsichord she has chosen for the recording. The range of colours and textures is dazzling, and at sometimes wonderfully suggestive of an Indian sitar. She is free with repetitions and ornamentation, and occasionally adapts the simple bass-line for greater dramatic effect.
Delicious improvised additions … The playing is smart, clean, refined and inventive."

"Remarkably colourful performances…ornamental flourishes unlike anything found in European music of the time."

"It's a fascinating collection, and Jane Chapman uses the nasality available from her Kirckman harpsichord to suggest the drones of some of the original to great effect."
Irish Times

"The best CDs (The Oriental Miscellany) - hits for the summer."
Berlin Zeitung

"William Hamilton's rare book, which notated the beguiling melodies created by the nautch girls and camel drivers of the 18th century, finds its way home through a new British Album."
Indian Express

Featured on BBC Radio 3 - Private Passions, Amitav Ghosh
Went to number 16 in the Indian Classical Charts!

'Shadow Journey' 21st Century Music for Harpsichord (PFCD036)
Works by Jung Sun Kang, Jurgen Kraus, Satoru Ikeda, Larry Goves.

Three Windows (Dark Energy Music DEM 07) NEW
Works for harpsichord, electric guitar (Mark Wingfield), saxophone (Iain Ballamy)
'This is a unique and sophisticated musical statement by three of England's most accomplished players, as well as one of the year's most engaging recordings' Guitar Player magazine
'One of the most consistently brilliant and forward thinking collaborations in years' Guitar Player magazine
'Cinematic Eloquence' The Guardian
'Very distinctive' JazzWise


Solo and works with electronics by Paul Dibley,James Dillon, Sam Hayden,Paul Newland, Roger Redgate, Sohrab Uduman, Mike Vaughan, Paul Whitty.

'Wired features a consistently engaging set of performances that are united by Chapman's searching musicality' Musical Criticism.com
'Wonderful new aural pastures' BBC Music Magazine
'In-the-moment responses from an inspired Chapman - ancient keyboard hardware meets state-of-the-art electronica' Gramophone
'vorsicht hochspannung!' (caution, high voltage!) Neuheiten Note 1
'Chapman seems to get straight to the heart of each of these diverse works, forming a conduit for each composer's designs on the instrument' Harpsichord&fortepiano
'Jane Chapman"s playing is excellent throughout, and her work developing new repertoire for her instrument is worthy of recognition'
MusicWeb International

Berio: Sequenzas and solo Works The Complete Sequenzas, Alternate Sequenzas & Works for Solo Instruments (mode 161/3)Rounds for solo harpsichord. Awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplaten Kritik, New York Times Pick of the Year

NMC Song Book (NMC D150)
Works by Colin Matthews, Gary Carpenter, Robert Keeley
Winner of Classic FM Gramophone Award 2009

points and pathways (Sargasso SCD 28060)
Points Of Departure for harpsichord and live electronics by Simon Emmerson
Time-Space for harpsichord, baroque flute and live electronics by Simon Emmerson

frantic mid-atlantic (Sargasso SCD 28026)
Deuce for baroque flute, harpsichord and tape by Evelyn Ficarra

Beyond the Bridge (Sargasso SCD 28023)
Vision for harpsichord and electronics by John Palmer

elegant enigmas Sargasso SCD 28028)
Elegant Enigmas for harpsichord and Fender Rhodes by Daniel Biro

encounter... (Sargasso SCD 28038)
encounter for harpsichord, world percussion and electronics by John Palmer

Klang (NMC D035)
Crosscurrents for harpsichord and tape by Mike Vaughan

good evening ..here is the news? (ARGO 452 099-2)
'City in Euphoria - World in Chaos' (chamber piece) by Django Bates

Blue Clavichord - 20th Century Music for Clavichord, Harpsichord and Recorder by Peter Dickinson (Heritage HTGCD 259)
‘Peter Dickinson’s ‘Variations on a French Folk Song’ (1957) for harpsichord is the most challenging and in many ways the most important work on this CD.  It is based on the well-loved folk song ‘Sur le pont d’Avignon’. The theme is followed by eight diverse variations that explore aspects of the deconstructed theme. There is humour, excitement and reflection present in these variations: the finale is a ‘warhorse’. It is possibly the best ‘contemporary’ work for harpsichord that I have heard. Certainly it is the masterpiece on this CD.’ (MusicWeb International)

La mar amargo (Albany TROY 1223)
‘Playing a round’ for harpsichord and prepared piano (Kate Ryder). Chamber works by Cindy Cox.

The Contemporary Harpsichord - a new revival (Volume 19 part 4) Harwood Academic Publishers
Crosscurrents (version with tape), Tiento by Mike Vaughan
Points of Departure (harpsichord and live electronics by Simon Emmerson
Instrumentum Magnum by Caroline Wilkins

Wittener Tage (WDR)
Yuunohui'tlapoa'se for violin and harpsichord by Julio Estrada

Tage fur neue Musik Zurich
Yuunohui'tlapoa for harpsichord by Julio Estrada
Traumwerk Book II for violin and harpsichord by James Dillon
Yunmu 4 for harpsichord and live electronics by Junghae Lee


New works by British women composers - rethinking the harpsichord….

Shimmering Microcosm - harpsichord - electric guitar (Mark Wingfield) - percussion (DEM Records).

Other recordings are also available of works including harpsichord from the composers - see repertoire list




3 Volumes (Collins Classics)
Beau Genie (14202)
Divers Styles dans L'Eloquence (14212)
La Belle Maniere du Toucher (14222)

As a retrospective source of the rich repertoire of the 17th century French clavenistes, this collection is without equal. Although many of the pieces are also found in other manuscripts, as well as in some handsomely engraved printed editions produced in France at this time, quite a few exist in no other source known to date. Jane Chapman has purposely selected many of these rarely heard pieces by composers such as Dumont, Hardel, La Barre, Monnard, and Richard, as well as those by unsurpassed masters of the repertoire, Chambonnières and his pupil Louis Couperin. The Manuscript contains transcriptions of lute pieces as well as works by Froberger who visited Paris, and his teacher Frescobaldi.

'...Jane Chapman playing a 1614 Ruckers harpsichord that sings gorgeously, proves an eloquent and stylish exponent of its contents' (The Times)

'...the overall standard is impressive and Jane Chapman has obviously identified closely with this repertoire. A fascinating disc' (Musical Opinion)

'...she brings a clear and direct approach towards ornamentation. She makes expressive use of rubato to good effect...and she strikes a balance between rhythmic freedom and harmonic direction' (CD Review)

'Jane Chapman is a stylish and persuasive exponent of the music..Two anonymous Pavannes stood up marvelously to the music by Couperin...points to make this for baroque fans and others' (The Northern Echo)

'Such is Jane Chapman's panache and affinity with this repertoire [Bauyn] that one almost feels the composer in person is improvising at the keyboard' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The music, the playing, the recording, everything is outstanding and very enjoyable. Ms Chapman translates 'Beau genie' as the "innate genius" of these compositions. Exactly' (Cork Examiner)

'An excellent harpsichordist to watch for.. Here she has uncovered a treasure-trove and readers are urged to explore its expressive beauties...' (Classic CD)

Her grasp of the French idiom...is eloquent and attractive' (Gramophone)

'La belle maniere du toucher' is a joyous group of dance suites by Chambonnieres and Dumont' (The Magazine/Classic FM - Critics' Choice)

(Radio 3 - Record Review Broadcast referring to "Belle maniere du toucher")
"Belle maniere du toucher" perfectly describes how she plays. It's beautifully played...it's a wonderful advocacy for this beautiful music'
Roderick Swanston

'In Jane's hands the decoration is used very much to enhance the kind of piece that's being played. A contemporary of Chambonnieres described him as having two styles: a brilliant style and smooth style. I think she emphasizes that contrast brilliantly.'
Tess Knighton

Bauyn Manuscript No. II was selected in the Critics' Choice favourite recordings of 1995 by Gramophone Magazine.

2 Volumes (Collins Classics)
'Aires from the Opera Curiously Set' - Harpsichord (14562)
Lessons for the Mistress - Spinet (14572)

The Lady"s Banquet is a published collection of keyboard works from early 18th century England. The first volume played on a Kirckman harpsichord of 1766 concentrates on operatic transcriptions, and the second volume played on a Hancock spinet dated 1732, provides an invaluable insight into the place of the woman keyboard player in English society.

The Lady's Banquet volume 1 was selected by the BBC Music Magazine in its top recordings of 1995.
'...Jane Chapman plays with brilliance and sensitivity' (Classic CD)

'...altogether admirable is the vitality with which Jane Chapman here sheds light on early 18th century domestic music making' (Gramophone)

'...her virtuosity commands attention' (BBC Music Magazine)

'...Jane Chapman gives an excellent performance within an appealing sound picture, heightening the aura of recollection intended by the genial editor, William Babell' (BBC Music Magazine)

'...the pieces are played with authority and conviction. With Jane Chapman one can count on technique to burn and faithful observance of stylistic conventions' (The Musical Times)

'...attractive tunes and Chapman's vivacious playing do indeed 'delight the ear' (BBC Music Magazine)

'...Jane Chapman plays delightfully without affectation and makes the small quiet voice of the spinet speak most eloquently' (Northern Echo)

'...this recording stands out for its variety and originality' (Diapason)

'Jane Chapman's greatest talent is her fluidity, as shown in her melodic lines...This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spinets ever reproduced on CD' (Repertoire)