Geminiani - Pièces de clavecin, Hank Knox

GEMINIANI – Pièces de clavecin


Hank Knox, harpsichord

2011, EMCCD7772

Highly regarded in England by the likes of Charles Avison and Charles Burney for his contribution to instrumental music there, particularly in the field of violin music and the concerto grosso, Italian-born Francesco Geminiani often published reworked versions of his earlier successful opuses. The harpsichord arrangements heard on this recording of excerpts mostly from his violin sonatas offer a fascinating view into the manner in which Geminiani may have extemporized ornaments in his own works, as well as showing his surprisingly masterful command of idiomatic writing for the harpsichord. The instrument used here, currently housed in the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montreal, was made in London by Jacob and Abraham Kirckmann in 1772. It is the earliest known instrument signed by the two builders.

“… colourful, kinetic performances.”   – James Manheim,, 2009


Product Description

Hank Knox, harpsichord
Francesco Geminiani (1687-1763)

See program notes

or open booklet as PDF in new window (5 Mb.)

Pièces de clavecin,
Tirées des différents Ouvrages
de Mr. F. Geminiani
adaptées par luy même à cet instrument.
(London, 1743)

1 Prelude, lentement (From: Opus 4, no. 1, London, 1739) 3:26
2 Gayment (Op.4, no.1) 6:10
3 Vivement (Op.4, no.1) 3:22
4 Tendrement (Op.4, no.5) 4:17
5 Vivement (Op.4, no.5) 4:59
6 Gracieusement / Tendrement (Op.4, no.5) 4:23
7 Minuet (Op.2, no.1, London, 1732) 6:12
8 Amoureusement (Op.4, no.8) 4:52
9 Vivement (Op.4, no.4) 3:39
10 Moderement (Op.4, no.6) 4:26
11 Minuet (source unknown) 9:52
12 Tendrement (Op.1, no.6, revised edition of 1739) 3:46
13 Vivement (Op.1, no.6) 3:15

The Instrument :
Harpsichord by “Jacobus et Abraham Kirckmann Londini Fecerunt 1772”, Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur de Montréal.

HANK KNOX, harpsichord

Hank Knox studied harpsichord with John Grew at McGill University in Montreal and with Kenneth Gilbert in Paris. He has given numerous harpsichord recitals, and is a founding member of Ensemble Arion, with whom he has toured Canada, the United States, Europe, Japan, South America and Mexico. He has performed, recorded and toured with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and le Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal; he plays regularly with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. He has recorded for Radio Canada and the CBC, and appears on recordings with Arion on the , Atma, Analekta, CBC, Titanic and Collegium labels. His has released a recording of Frescobaldi’s keyboard works performed on an Italian harpsichord of 1677 on the Atma label, and a recording of works by D’Anglebert performed on an upright harpsichord for A second recording of harpsichord works of Frescobaldi on the 1677 Italian harpsichord, Affetti cantabile, was released on the label in the fall of 2008. A recording of Handel opera arias and overtures in transcriptions for harpsichord by Babell and Handel on instruments from the Benton Fletcher collection at Fenton House in London appeared in the spring of 2009, also on the label.

Hank Knox directs the Early Music program at McGill University, where he teaches harpsichord and figured bass accompaniment, coaches chamber music ensembles, and conducts the McGill Baroque Orchestra. He has been a William Dawson Scholar in recognition of his work in Early Music since 2003, and was awarded the Thomas Binkley prize for an outstanding university collegium director by Early Music America in 2008. In collaboration with Opera McGill, he has directed productions of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, Lully’s Thésée, Handel’s Agrippina, Giulio Cesare, Alcina, Semele and Radamisto, Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Telemann’s Don Quichotte,  Les sauvages from Rameau’s Les indes galantes, and Peri’s Euridice.

Recorded May 26-28, 2010, at the Chapelle historique  du Bon-Pasteur de Montréal.

Producer : Hank Knox, all rights reserved

Production assistants: Devon Wilkinson & Jonathan Patterson, AssembleEnsemble.
Recording Producer and sound engineer : Brad Michel, Clarion Productions
Harpsichord tuning and preparation : Yves Beaupré
Visual artistic director : André Guimond
Graphic Design : Lucie Arsenault de Luz Design
Cover photo :  André Guimond
Back cover photo : Pierre Charbonneau

This recording is made possible in part with the aid of a William Dawson Scholar award from McGill University.

EMCCD 7772

Made in Canada.