Hear it Live! at Horniman Museum: a review

On Tues 29 Dec, Masumi Yamamoto and Daniela Braun performed in the Music Gallery as part of Horniman Museum‘s Hear it Live! event series.

Hear it Live! takes place on the last Tuesday of every month and is a chance for people to enjoy live music performances in an intimate setting. The performances are held right in the Music Gallery amongst the rows of displays.

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Yamamoto played the museum’s 1772 Kirckman harpsichord, and Braun played a viola d’amore. The harpsichord had two keyboards, three sets of strings, and two pedals. The sound was clean and was played with the precision necessary for an instrument that produces sound from plucked strings. The viola d’amore had a very sweet sound. This instrument typically has six or seven strings that are played and an additional set of sympathetic strings underneath. The sympathetic strings vibrate with harmonic frequencies, enhancing the sonority and richness of the sound.

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The performance lasted around half an hour and there were pieces for both instruments as well as pieces for just the harpsichord. Pieces were mostly sonatas from various composers, including Lenzi and Scarlatti as well as a couple of anonymous composers.

Masumi Yamamoto teaches harpsichord at St. Paul’s Girls’ School and has performed at the Purcell Room, the Royal Albert Hall, St. John’s Smith Square and Cadogan Hall as well as abroad in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Japan, among others. She was a prize winner at the International Harpsichord Competition in Bruges in 2007 and is the Artistic Director of the concert series ‘Sydenham Concerts’ at St. Bartholomew’s Church.

Daniela Braun performs and records with period-instrument ensembles in the UK and in Europe such as Sweelinck Ensemble and Gabrieli Players.  She is principal viola of capella vitalis berlin. Her special interest is the viola d’amore, on which she performs as well as researches music for and history of.  She has performed at the Oslo Chamber Music Festival and Haugesund Fartein Valen Festival.

ADDRESS: 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ


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  1. This Year’s December Hear It Live! is on the afternoon of Wednesday 28th December. Join us for a family-friendly talk on 3,000 years of round flutes plus the opportunity to learn to play the English Ocarina yourself in a 45 minute long workshop. Full details here: http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/hear-it-live-ocarina-workshop

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