Mozart on the Hass Clavichord


Mozart on the Hass Clavichord is a two-year research project in which JOHN IRVING explores the sound of Mozart’s solo keyboard music on a historic 1763 clavichord by Johann Adolph Hass in the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical instruments. It is supported by The British Academy’s Small Research Grants scheme, 2010-12.

Outputs: a CD and this website

Also: YouTube videos and lecture-recitals

This project has been an exploration of the ways in which the player – me, in this case – creates an aesthetically pleasing and practically workable alignment between Mozart’s notation (and its unnotated, but implicit expectations of further creative embellishment by the performer), and the precise the shaping of phrases; the attack on the front of notes (and the succession of those attacks within a melodic phrase, or contrapuntal texture); the length and modes of connection of pitches within a melodic line, or harmonic bass,;and most especially in this project the application of all this to the mechanics of a particular and very wonderful and idiosyncratic historical instrument by one of the very best makers of his age.


JOHN IRVING is Associate Fellow of The Institute of Musical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London.


Mozart on the Hass Clavichord