Denzil Wraight - Italian Keyboard Instruments


Construction of the organo di legno is being finished with the remaining pipes being given their tunable slides and the bellows being built into the lower cabinet.

My recent building project was a Florentine harpsichord as made in the Cristofori workshop, which is now FOR SALE: Further details. This is a harpsichord "pair" to the fortepiano, which was made playable and exhibited at the Bruges exhibition in July-August 2004. This includes the Cristofori double-bentside construction, which yields good structural and tuning stability besides relieving the soundboard of much of the stress to which it is normally subjected. Cristofori described this feature to Maffei in his interview with him (published 1711) as enabling him to build new instruments which would sound as good as old ones. The soundboard is of cypress, a material which imparts a characteristically clear and reedy tone and was always used by Cristofori.

It is clear that the 1785 Antunes harpsichord was based on a Cristofori design and we may infer that the instruments Cristofori supplied to the court of King João V in Portugal provided a model which native Portugese makers then followed. This is an interesting insight into 18th-century Portugese harpsichord construction since until now we had only seen Cristofori's influence in the new fortepiano, which they also adopted. One of the features they incorporated was the appearance of a Cristofori double-bentside construction even though they only used the normal harpsichord bentside design!


5-9 March 2003, Paris, France. A series of concerts for Scarlatti's music played on harpsichord and fortepiano was staged by the Musée de la Musique, Paris with Aline Zylberajch and Enrico Baiano each playing two concerts.

7-9 June 2003, Regensburg, Germany. Exhibition of the Ferrini fortepiano at the musical instrument exhibition, Tage alter Musik, Regensburg.

27 June 2003, Meißen, Germany. Participation in the symposium "Der Clavierbauer Gottfried Silbermann" organised by the Gottfried-Silbermann-Gesellschaft e.V.. I presented a paper entitled "Das Hammerklavier von Bartolomeo Cristofori; Das Vorbild für Gottfried Silbermann?" which will appear in the society's proceedings.

29 June 2003, Meißen, Germany. Concert with Yury Martynov in the 5th Meißen Pianofest series, playing the Ferrini fortepiano.

20 August 2003, Innsbruck. The 1730 Ferrini fortepiano will be at Johann Sonnleitner's course "Italienische und italienisch inspirierte Claviermusik von 1600-1800" in the Sommerakademie alter Musik.

21-29 August 2003, Cortona Italy. The 1730 Ferrini fortepiano will be used at Christopher Stembridge's course of Italian music, fortepiano being taught by Ella Sevskaya.

2 September 2003. Ella Sevskaya, Ferrini fortepiano recital in the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori, via Camaldoli 7/R, Florence.

22-24 September 2003, Strasbourg, France. Aline Zylberajch is recording a Scarlatti CD on the Ferrini fortepiano to be released on the ASSAI label.

12-14 October 2003, Linda Nicholson is recording a programme of Scarlatti sonatas for West Deutscher Rundfunk (WDR3) which will also be released on the Capriccio label.

26 October 2003, London, UK. Recording with Ella Sevskaya and the Ferrini fortepiano for a BBC Radio 3 programme.

27 October 2003, Trinity College. Ella Sevskaya will give a Masterclass at Trinity College of Music with the Ferrini fortepiano and I will be giving a talk on Cristofori's fortepiano.

28 October 2003, London Metropolitan University. I gave a talk on some more technical aspects of Cristofori's fortepiano design to a specialist audience.

30 October 2003, London, UK. In the Royal Academy of Music, Piano Gallery, in the Keyboard Network series at 12.30-2pm. Ella Sevskaya will demonstrate the Ferrini fortepiano and other related instruments. ENTRY FREE.

31 October 2003, London, UK. Royal Academy of Music, Piano Gallery, 1-9pm: ENTRY FREE. Performing on a Florentine-style Fortepiano, Research Workshop with Denzil Wraight, Ella Sevskaya, Carole Cerasi & Chris Willis. Historical Performance Department in conjunction with Keyboard Network. I will be giving a talk entitled "Cristofori's 'Arpicimbalo...che fa il piano e il forte'. What exactly was this instrument?"

15 November 2003. BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show introduced by Catherine Bott broadcast a one-hour feature on the Florentine fortepiano played by Ella Sevskaya (produced by Chris Wines).

12-16 November 2003, Herne, Germany. I will be exhibiting the organo di legno at Herne.


7 March 2004, Matthäuskirche Ockershausen, Marburg at 17.00. A concert played by Friederike Heumann (viola da gamba) and Dirk Börner (Ferrini fortepiano), C.P.E. Bach and C.F.Abel.

21-25 March 2004, Namur, Belgium. Recording for ALPHA with Friederike Heumann, and Dirk Börner of C.P.E. Bach sonatas for viola da gamba using the Ferrini fortepiano.

3. April 2004. Kapelle des Klinikum, 18.00 Rosenheim. Concert with Ella Sevskaya and Michael Steinkühler.

4 April 2004. Musiksaal, Deutsches Museum, Munich, 18.00. "Der erste Hammerflügel diesseits der Alpen" I introduce the Cristofori-Ferrini fortepiano and Ella Sevskaya plays some of the earliest music written for the instrument. A text in German about the instrument is at the museum website click here for the text

8 April 2004. Bayerischer Rundfunk. Ella Sevskaya records a programme of early piano music on the Ferrini fortepiano.

14-19 April 2004, Lausanne, Switzerland. Rencontres Internationales de Lausanne. Exhibition of the Ferrini fortepiano and my two-manual harpsichord after Gräbner.

24-25 April 2004, Berlin. Two concerts with Ella Sevskaya and Christine Schornsheim on the Ferrini and Silbermann fortepianos, in the Musikinstrumenten-Museum, SIMfPK, Berlin and a colloquium on Cristofori's fortepiano.
24 April, 20. Uhr Ella Sevskaya, Der frühe Hammerflügel 1: Cristofori, mit Werken von Scarlatti, Giustini, Händel und Platti.
25 April, 11. Uhr Christine Schornsheim, Der frühe Hammerflügel 2: Cristofori, Silbermann, mit Werken von Billington, Durante, Scarlatti, Fasch, J.S.Bach, W. Fr. und C.P.E. Bach. Weitere Auskunft beim Museum der jetzigen Veranstaltungen:
click here

8 June 2004, Residenzschloß, Schloßkapelle, 20.00, Bad Arolsen. 19. Arolser Barock-Festspiele. Christoph Hammer (Ferrini fortepiano), Kai Wessel (countertenor) "Die erste Berliner Liederschule".

31 July - 4 August 2004, Bruges, Belgium. Exhibiting a Cristofori fortepiano, a Cristofori harpsichord, and a Gräbner two-manual harpsichord at the Flanders Festival.

4 August 2004, 10.00 Auditiezaal Hallen Belfort, Bruges, Belgium. Exhibition of the Ferrini fortepiano. A lecture-recital with Aline Zylberajch "Cristofori's gravecembalo che fa il piano e il forte".

4-8 September 2004, Deutschlandfunk Sendersaal, Cologne. A CD recording of Scarlatti cantatas with Max Cencic (countertenor), Maya Amrein (cello), Yasunori Imamura (theorbo & guitar) and Aline Zylberajch (fortepiano) using the Cristofori piano.

21 and 22 September 2004 at 12.00, Gent, Belgium. Francesco Cera plays two Scarlatti recitals on my Cristofori fortepiano. Further details

28-31 October 2004, Toscana Saal der Residenz, Würzburg. Musikwissenschaftliches Institut der Bayerischen Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg. "Bartolomeo Cristofori und Giovanni Benedetto Platti: Das frühe Fortepiano und seine Musik in der Toscana und in Franken". A symposium on Giovanni Platti including two concerts on my Cristofori fortepiano. Further details (*.rtf file, 13KB)

2 December 2004, Librairie Kléber, Place Kléber, Strasbourg, 18.00. Aline Zylberajch and Denzil Wraight present Cristofori's fortepiano.

5 December 2004, Temple du Porrentruy, Switzerland. Aline Zylberajch plays a concert on the Cristofori fortepiano. This will be transmitted live on Espace2 of Radio Suisse here for details at the RSR site


28 February 2005, Ella Sevskaya's recording using my Cristofori fortepiano of Platti and Galuppi sonatas between 22.05-23.00 in the programme "Bayern 4 Klassik" in the series "Kammermusik - Aus den BR-Studios".

5-7 July 2005, Rauischholzhausen, Germany. Cremilde Rosado Fernandes records a CD for Numérica of music by Carlos Seixas in honour of his 300th birthday (1704-2004) using my Cristofori harpsichord and fortepiano. Cristofori instruments were ordered from Florence by King João V of Portugal for use at his court where Seixas also played.

10 July 2005 at 17.00 in the Refektorium of Kloster Haina, Hessen, Germany. Friederike Heumann and Dirk Börner play sonatas for viola da gamba and basso continuo by C.P.E. Bach.

17 July 2005 in Schärding, Austria. Friederike Heumann and Dirk Börner play sonatas for viola da gamba and basso continuo by C.P.E. Bach.

2 and 3 September 2005, Château Bois-Seigneur-Isaac at 20.00. Aline Zylberajch plays a programme of Giustini, Scarlatti, Soler and CPE Bach on my Cristofori-Ferrini foretpiano.

4 September 2005, Liège, Salle Philharmonique at 20.00, Festival Nuits de Septembre. Aline Zylberajch plays a programme of Giustini, Scarlatti, Soler and CPE Bach on my Cristofori-Ferrini fortepiano. This concert will be transmitted by RTBF on 11 September 2005

18 September 2005, Église de Villette sur Ain, 15.30. Aline Zylberajch plays a programme of Giustini, Scarlatti, Soler and CPE Bach on my Cristofori-Ferrini fortepiano in the Ambronay festival. festival details

21 October 2005, at 20.30, Èglise luthérienne des Billettes, 22 rue des Archives, 75004 Paris (métro: Hôtel de Ville). Aline Zylberajch presents her award winning Scalatti CD, now reissued on the AMBRONAY label "Una nuova inventione per Maria Barbara", in a concert with my reconstruction of the 1730 Cristofori-Ferrini fortepiano. Sale of tickets 1 hour before the concert, price € 12, reduced € 6 (for students, unemployed and carte vermeil)


8 July 2006 at 20.00 Capilla del Palacio real de Aranjuez, Aline Zylberajch, Cristofori fortepiano, plays Domenico Scarlatti. As a result of logistical problems in delivering the fortepiano, this cncert was cancelled.


page updated 13 August 2006