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Graham WalkerThis is the website of Graham Walker, Dorset, UK who has had an interest in the early piano for over 30 years. He has undertaken the restoration of instruments for private collection and has also carried out research on early pianos and their makers over this period. This has been done alongside a career in management consultancy and performance management. Early retirement in 2007 enabled him to become more involved and he commissioned a cloth manufacturer to produce an authentic keyboard cloth. This cloth is the nearest match to an early 19th century piano cloth that can be made within modern manufacturing processes. It was initially produced for his requirements but it soon came in demand by others.  Further types of cloth have been replicated by request from makers and restorers.  These cloths can be purchased from the online shop on this website.  He has also undertaken some research into the leather used in early English pianos and is currently working in liaison with the Institute of Creative Leather Technology, Northampton University, UK with the objective of determining specifications. He is involved in supporting interest in the early piano and is passionate about ensuring that our heritage of early pianos collections in the UK can be maintained for the future.

A CD set of interest – Johann Wilhelm Hässler 1747-1822 – keyboard sonatas

This is an excellent performance by Michele Benuzzi on harpsichord, fortepiano, and square piano. He explains that the idea for this comprehensive collection of Hässler’s keyboard sonatas came about through the success of a single CD of his harpsichord music in 2012. Since then, he has gone on to record no less stimulating baroque discoveries, of music by Josep Galles and Christoph Nichelmann.  This 4 CD set of Hässler’s keyboard sonatas was released on Brilliant Classics (95225) in December 2016.  He continues to explore less well-known composers of this period to record on Brilliant Classics.

The instruments used are a harpsichord after Micheal Mietke made in 2014 by Detmar Hungerberg, a fortepiano after Gottfried Silbermann made by Andrea Restelli, a clavichord after Christian Gottfried Frederici also by Andrea Restelli and a Broadwood square piano of 1798.

About the artist

Michele Benuzzi obtained the harpsichord performance Diploma at the Royal College of Music, in London. In 2003, he won the third prize at the seventeenth Yamanashi International Harpsichord Competition in Japan.  All his solo recordings have been acclaimed by international magazines, and the Hässler CD won five stars in Musica. (July, August 2012)   He is lauded for his expressiveness of his playing and for the beautiful quality of his tone production.

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