The Convict Harpsichordist
John Grant, frustrated in love, shot a London lawyer in the buttock and was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey. Granted a reprieve, he arrived at Sydney Cove in 1804, bringing with him Australia's first harpsichord. But what music did he play? Harpsichordist Elizabeth Anderson answers the question.
With a bonus CD-ROM video section (over 18 minutes) featuring the John Grant story told in words and music, a comprehensive illustrated historical booklet and a newly commissioned work, Ron Nagorcka's This Beauteous Wicked Place (a work symbilosing the reconciliation of two cultures) this recording is for early music and Australian history buffs alike.
MBS 'CD of the Week', 15th March 2004
Elizabeth Anderson has performed in no less than eleven international concert tours to Europe, Japan and Singapore. She is a regular guest lecturer and performer at universities and music schools throughout Australia.
“entertaining ... Elizabeth Anderson engagingly performs a selection of music Grant may well have played on his harpsichord” ★★★★
— Tony Way, The Age - Green Guide
“There is much to like in this release ... recorded very well ... magnificent playing ... excellent balance of works ...”
— Barnaby Ralph, Early Music, UK
“a welcome mix ... a pleasing change from the usual single-composer discs ... a fascinating disc.”
— Clifford Bartlett, Early Music Review, UK
“Anderson is in top form ... her playing calls that of Wanda Landowska to mind - and praise doesn't get much higher than this ...”
— The West Australian
“an innovative idea and presentation ... Elizabeth Anderson's playing is energetic and sprightly: in both the flavour and spirit of the story as portrayed ... An ideal Christmas gift, even for yourself.”
— Neville Olliffe, Early Music News
“This attractive keyboard performance ... brings to life a marvellous episode in early Australian history ... The true-life anti-hero was convict John Grant, and Elizabeth Anderson's CD does his memory proud.”
— Philip Gore, Good Medicine / Your Destiny
“playing is superb ... a highlight of the  year.”
— Michael Easton, Herald Sun
“accomplished and clearly voiced.”
— Clive O'Connell, The Age
“[Anderson's] deft fingerwork, wonderful control of the rhythms, dynamics and nuances of this lovely music are models of refinement and elegance ... a most agreeable sound ... splendidly recorded.”
— John Barns, 3MBS FM Libretto
“In years of reviewing compact discs, many of the highest quality, I have never encountered so satisfying a product as this MOVE CD. For quality of content, fullness of liner notes with accompanying illustrations as well as a fascinating CD-ROM visual component. This is a product that ought to be recognised as the model it is; it deserves the very highest praise.”
— Neville Cohn, OzArts Review
- Sonata in F minor, K 386 Presto Domenico Scarlatti
- Sonata in F minor, K 387 Veloce e fugato Domenico Scarlatti
- Prelude and Fugue No. 24 in D major, BWV 893 Johann Sebastian Bach
- Prelude and Fugue No. 15 in G major, BWV 884 Johann Sebastian Bach
- Allegro Moderato
- Air con Variozioni
- Sonata in E major, K 380 Andante commodo Domenico Scarlatti
- Sonata in E major, K 381 Allegro Domenico Scarlatti
- Sonata in D major, K 32 Aria Domenico Scarlatti
- Sonata in D major, K 33 Domenico Scarlatti
- Sonata in C minor, R 18 Cantabile Padre Antonio Soler
- Sonata in C minor, R 19 Allegro moderato Padre Antonio Soler
- Variations on Ah vous dirai-je Maman (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star), KV 265 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- This Beauteous Wicked Place Ron Nagorcka
Sonata No. 10 in D major Pietro Domenico Paradies
Suite No. 5 in E major George Frideric Handel
Pietro Domenico Paradisi Paradies (originally named Paradisi), Pietro Domenico was an Italian composer and Harpsichordist born in Naples 1707 (died Venice 1791).
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity.
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, and concertos. Handel's music was well known to such later composers as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
Antonio Soler (1729-83) was a monk of Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial and also the choir master. He composed much church music, mainly for choir, and for the Royal Court.
Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (1685–1757) was an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.
Ron Nagorcka has a long-held interest in the sounds of the Australian bush (in particular its birds), the use of electronics in music and the system of tuning known as just intonation. His recordings of nature in Tasmania and in the arid zones of mainland Australia provide the basis for many of his compositions.
Where to buy
Recorded at the Move Records Studio, Melbourne Australia.
This recording project has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.