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About me and my instruments... (quotations and reviews)

... The Lebègue CD is recorded on a copy by Augusto Bonza of the 1756 Jean Henri Hemsch that is ravishing - it is at least the equal of Anthony Sidey’s Hemsch/Ruckers that is so popular with many French performers. While the academic side of me would have liked to hear this music on a 17th century French instrument, Bonza’s instrument is so rich and compelling that one can hardly think of a better instrument when listening to the recording. (Kemer Thomson. Editor's Pick. Nicholas Antoine LEBEGUE: Pièces de Clavessin. Paola Erdas. From the Newsletter Archives of The San Diego Harpsichord Society)

...The "discovery harpsichord" has been meticulously restored by Augusto Bonza, one of the most skilful organologists and restorers in this field, that had already worked on a twin harpsichord (perhaps coming from the same workshop) owned by the Museum of musical instruments at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan
Il "clavicembalo ritrovato" è stato restaurato in maniera meticolosa da Augusto Bonza, uno dei più preparati organologi e restauratori del settore, che aveva già lavorato su un clavicembalo gemello (forse proveniente dalla stessa bottega) conservato presso il Museo degli strumenti musicali del Castello Sforzesco di Milano.
(Musica Ritrovata. Bari, settembre ottobre 2002)

... Ewald Demeyere plays on a wonderful copy of a harpsichord by Henri Hemsch (Paris, 17(5)6), made by Augusto Bonza (Milano, 2003).
... Ewald Demeyere speelt op een schitterend klavecimbel gebouwd door Augusto Bonza (Milaan, 2003) naar een origineel van Henri Hemsch ...
(E. Demeyere curriculum)

...Paola Erdas plays on a superb copy of a 1756 french harpsichord (Augusto Bonza 1988), after the well-known maker Jean Henri Hemsch
...Paola Erdas joue sur une superbe copie d’un clavecin français de 1756 (Augusto Bonza 1988), du célèbre facteur Jean Henri Hemsch.
(Abeille Musique, 2004)

... we have performed three tombeaux at a moment of the day which suits best for a profound musical experience, the late evening, also a moment during which the splendid instrument of Ewald Demeyere, a copy of Hemsch (Augusto Bonza Milan, 2003 after Henri Hemsch, Paris, 1756), will unimpededly commit its wealth of sound.
... om drie tombeaus samen te bundelen en te laten horen op een moment van de dag dat zich het best tot een diepe muzikale beleving leent, de late avond, een tijdstip ook waar in het prachtige instrument van Ewald Demeyere, een kopie van een klavecimbel naar Hemsch (Augusto Bonza Milaan, 2003 naar Henri Hemsch, Parijs, 1756), al zijn klankrijkdom onbelemmerd prijs kan geven.
(Festival van Vlaanderen - Musica Antiqua Brugge, 2004)

... the reconstruction by Augusto Bonza in Milan of a wonderful harpsichord of the 16th century, stringed with gut, enables us to begin now very inciting musical researches.
... la reconstruction, par Augusto Bonza, à Milan d’un magnifique clavecin du 16e siècle, cordé en boyau, nous permet désormais d’entreprendre des recherches musicales autrement stimulantes. (Frédérick Haas. Festival Musical de Namur, Juillet 2005)

... The restoration of an extraordinary 1699 Neapolitan harpsichord by Nicolò de Quoco by the Italian maker Augusto Bonza has been the occasion for her newest solo CD Il Cembalo intorno a Gesualdo, which has been internationally acclaimed by the critics... (Goldberg Magazine, Paola Erdas Biography, 2005)

… gravity is the spirit of this century, it is also the personality of the musician like that of the harpsichord in its bass sounds, a copy of a Jean Henri Hemsch (1700-1769) by Augusto Bonza, picked up with much presence in this recording.
... gravité et c’est tout l’esprit de ce siècle, c’est aussi toute la personnalité de la musicienne ainsi que celle du clavecin aux sons graves, une copie de Jean Henri Hemsch (1700-1769) par Augusto Bonza, capté avec beaucoup de présence dans cet enregistrement. (Cédric Costantino. Nicolas Antoine Lebègue par Paola Erdas, De la Gravité dans la musique française. Res Musica, 26/05/2005)

... The harpsichord used was a copy of the 1770 Taskin by Ivan de Halleux. Again, this seems like an appropriate choice of instrument for Haydn’s music, and Wataya uses its registration to maximum effect. The sound is quite good, but this harpsichord doesn’t have the depth that we have come to expect from instruments by [other] builders like Sidey or Bonza. (Kemer Thomson. Rewiev of: Franz Joseph Haydn, Early Keyboard Sonatas, Yuko Wataya. From the Newsletter Archives of The San Diego Harpsichord Society)

... The album devoted to Nicolas-Antoine Lebègue was my only CD recorded on a copy, a Hemsch built by Augusto Bonza that is the eldest of my harpsichords, so beautiful that I did not regret not having played on an early instrument.
... L'album consacré à Nicolas-Antoine Lebègue fut mon seul CD enregistré sur une copie, un Hemsch construit par Augusto Bonza qui est l'aîné de mes clavecins, si beau que je n'ai pas regretté de ne pas avoir joué sur un instrument ancien. (Paola Erdas: "Le clavecin est une chose vivante, qui bouge, qui ressent le temps et les émotions!" [Abeille music 17/10/2006] Propos recueillis par Marc Zisman)

... Scholar of the executive practice on ancient keyboard instruments, he plays his interpretation on a genuine renaissance harpsichord of the Neapolitan school, skillfully restored by Augusto Bonza with the respect of its structural integrity so that it is one of the most valuable surviving instruments of the so-called "Maple group", for the beauty of its sound and its philological originality.
Studioso della prassi esecutiva sugli antichi strumenti a tastiera, ha modo di proporre le proprie interpretazioni anche su un clavicembalo rinascimentale autentico di scuola napoletana, sapientemente restaurato da Augusto Bonza, nel pieno rispetto dell’integrità strutturale, tale da renderlo uno degli strumenti più pregevoli sopravvissuti della cosiddetta “Scuola dell’acero”, per la bellezza del suono e l’originalità filologica.. Michele Visaggi. Curriculum

... Augusto Bonza has written a fine chapter on string keyboard instruments... (John Henry van der Meer. The Galpin Society Journal, Vol. 51, Jul. 1998. "Musei e Gallerie di Milano. Museo degli Strumenti Musicali". Review)

... Playing a beautiful copy of a Hemsch harpsichord [Augusto Bonza, 2003], Ewald Demeyere assumes all the challenges of this writing...
...Jouant une belle copie d'un clavecin Hemsch [Augusto Bonza, 2003] Ewald Demeyere assume tous les enjeux de cette écriture...

Frank Langlois, Le Monde de la musique nr. 321 juni 2007 p. 78

...Demeyere plays an instrument [Augusto Bonza 2003] on which his intentions are ideally realized...
...Demeyere spielt ein Instrument [Augusto Bonza 2003], auf dem er seine Intentionen ideal umsetzen kann...

Bernhard Morbach, RBB Kulturradio am Mittag, 08.11.2007

... My thanks to Augusto Bonza for teaching me so much about how harpsichords, particularly Italian harpsichords are built and work. Acknowledgements in: Giulia Nuti. The Performance of Italian Basso Continuo. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot, 2007

What instrument do you use for this recording? "I have my own instrument, a magnificent harpsichord by Augusto Bonza (Milan, 2003), after an instrument by Henri Hemsch (Paris, 1736). Of course, nothing Hemsch and Haydn have in common, but the quality of the Bonza Instrument is so high that I preferred to play this instrument, instead of a "correct" but qualitatively less satisfactory instrument...
... Was für ein Instrument verwenden Sie für diese Aufnahme? „Ich habe mein eigenes Instrument verwendet, ein großartiges Cembalo von Augusto Bonza (Mailand, 2003), nach einem Instrument von Henri Hemsch (Paris, 1736). Natürlich haben Hemsch und Haydn nichts miteinander gemein, doch die Qualität von Bonzas Instrument ist so hoch, dass ich es vorzog dieses Instrument zu spielen, anstatt eines vielleicht „korrekteren“, doch qualitativ weniger befriedigenden Instruments... Note 1 tonangebend, Mitteilungen im Januar 2008 - Interview with Ewald Demeyere is a very fine harpsichord. Augusto Bonza that is a wonderful maker had chosen this instrument rather than another one because of its particularly convenient proportions, a sort of charming equilibrium of materials.
...est un clavecin trés beau, trés fin. Augusto Bonza qui est un merveilleux facteur avais choisit cet instrument plutôt qu'un autre parce que il a des proportions particulièrement heureuses, un espèce d'équilibre magique de matière.

Frédérick Haas, interview at "Les Matin des Musiciens" Radio France, 2 April 2008

... a beautiful 1683 harpsichord made by Nicolas de Quoco just restored by Augusto Bonza.This will be the instrument that I shall play for part of my future recordings.
... un bellissimo clavicembalo Nicolas de Quoco del 1683 appena restaurato da Augusto Bonza. Sarà questo lo strumento su cui realizzerò parte delle prossime incisioni.

Interwiev to Roberto Loreggian. Marco Bizzarini, Falstaff (September 2008)

The harpsichord used is a beautiful copy of a 1729 French instrument by Bellot le Pére kept in the Museum of the Archbishop of Chartres, seat of a famous abbey. The peculiar tone of this instrument is valued just as in the original Bellot, which has a full-bodied voice similar to Flemish instruments.
Il clavicembalo impiegato è una stupenda copia di uno strumento francese del 1729 di Bellot le Pére custodito nel museo dell'Arcivescovo di Chartres, sede di una famosa Abbazia. La particolarità timbrica di questo strumento è valorizzata esattamente come nel Bellot autentico, il quale possiede una voce corposa simile a quella degli strumenti fiamminghi
Giuseppe Nalin. Recensione del CD: Bach JS - Invenzioni, Sinfonie, Sei piccoli preludi- Smarandescu - Aliusmodum Records, clavicembalo A. Bonza 2000, su Audiophile Sound n° 87 - Giugno 2009

...In modern times, portability continues to be an issue for harpsichordists, and the Italian builder Augusto Bonza has produced new instruments modeled after an original built ca. 1700 by Carlo Grimaldi
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Folding Harpsichord

I am indebted to the harpsichord-maker Augusto Bonza (Milan)...for testing my experiments about Bach’s temperament and for the fruitful exchange of ideas on the matter.
Luigi Swich . Further thoughts on Bach's 1722 temperament. Early Music, Oxford University Press. August 2011

Cercai un bravo restauratore. Mi rispose, cordialissimo Augusto Bonza, da Milano. Venne a trovarci a Terlizzi. Si avvicinò allo strumento con un incedere ieraticoe lo carezzò come seguisse una liturgia antica. Sentenziò sommessamente: "Posso provarci". Sollievo. Poi nove mesi di attesa fino a quando percepimmo, nell'atelier di Turbigo, il primo vagito, un suono mai udito da me, né da amici e musicisti che hanno frequentato la mia casa.
Michele Mirabella. Una sinfonia da Pugliesi. La Repubblica, 2 ottobre 2011

Friday, April 27 the French harpsichordist Frederick Haas plays 1741 Bach's Goldberg Variations. He plays - as unequivocally prescribed by Bach - on a double-manual harpsichord. Not on his legendary original Hemsch of 1751, which is too costly to transport, but on a copy made by Augusto Bonza after a Hemsch harpsichord of 1736: an excellent alternative.
Vrijdag 27 april speelt de Franse klavecinist Frédérick Haas Bach's Goldbergvariaties uit 1741. Hij speelt die - zoals door Bach ondubbelzinnig voorgeschreven - op een tweeklaviersklavecimbel. Niet op zijn legendarische originele Hemsch uit 1751, die is te kostbaar om te transporteren, maar op een door Augusto Bonza vervaardigde kopie naar een Hemsch-klavecimbel uit 1736: een uitstekend alternatief. - Facebook- Aprile 2012

Harpsichord Augusto Bonza 1991, after Henri Hemsch. Very nice copy of a great eighteenth century instrument signed Hemsch, whose sound is particularly convincing
Clavecin Augusto Bonza 1991, d'après Henri Hemsch. Très belle copie d'après de grands instruments du dix-huitième siècle signés Hemsch, à la sonorité particulièrement convaincante. - Website of Frédérick Haas 2012

Korneel Bernolet treats you to a surprising tour through the European landscape of the harpsichord of the 17th and 18th century . Four different personalities, reflected on the sublime Hemsch harpsichord that master luthier Augusto Bonza has built for Korneel last year.
Korneel Bernolet trakteert u op een verrassende tocht door het Europese klavecimbellandschap van de 17de en 18de eeuw. Vier uiteenlopende persoonlijkheden, verklankt op het sublieme Hemsch-klavecimbel dat meesterbouwer Augusto Bonza vorig jaar voor Korneel bouwde.

Klanken uit de barokmuziek, Cultuurcentrum Mechelen 07 jan 2013

...The resulting instrument is a double manual... giving a very unusual level of colour diversity within each register - a quality that only very few modern builders are capable of reproducing... The 1736 instrument, rarely copied because of its complexity, is currently in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (USA). The instrument used on this recording is an internationally acclaimed replica built by the harpsichord-maker Augusto Bonza (Turbigo 2011) and belonging to the collection of Korneel Bernolet.
Het resultaat is een dubbelmanualig instrument met een ongehoorde kleurdiversiteit binnen de tessituur van elk register - een kwaliteit die slecht weinig moderne bouwers kunnen evenaren... Het instrument uit 1736 bevindt zich momenteel in het Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (VSA) en wordt omwille van Zijn complexiteit slechts zelden succesvol gekopieerd. Het instrument dat u op deze opnamekunt beluisteren is een internationaal bejubelde replica van het origineel, gebouwd door meesterbouwer Augusto Bonza (Turbigo 2011) en behorend tot de collectie van Korneel Bernolet.

CD booklet: Balbastre. Pièces de clavecin. Korneel Bernolet. 2013

Korneel Bernolet is not lost with this debut solo album. On the contrary. He is blazing and lets his young instrument, built by Augusto Bonza (Turbigo 2011 after a 1736 harpsichord by Jean-Henri Hemsch, Paris), sounds sumptuously.
Korneel Bernolet loopt met deze debuut solo-cd niet verloren. Integendeel. Hij schiet in vuur en vlam en laat zijn jonge instrument, gebouwd door Augusto Bonza (Turbigo 2011 naar een klavecimbel uit 1736 van Jean-Henri Hemsch, Parijs), in weelde klinken.

Ludwig Van Mechelen (Klassiek Centraal) - 1 June 2013. CD Review: Balbastre. Pièces de clavecin. Korneel Bernolet.

Korneel Bernolet (1989) interprets the pieces with gusto on a extraordinary instrument with two manuals. The diversity of colors which it is capable, coupled with the musical understanding of Bernolet, makes listening to this course of seventeen tracks a wonderful experience.
Korneel Bernolet (1989) vertolkt de werkjes met verve op een bijzonder instrument met twee manualen. De diversiteit aan kleuren waartoe het in staat is, gekoppeld aan het muzikale inzicht van Bernolet, maakt het beluisteren van dit parcours van zeventien nummers tot een heerlijke belevenis.

Rudolf Nammensma (Leeuwarder Courant) - 3 May 2013

Korneel Bernolet plays this recording with a beautiful copy of a 1736 harpsichord by Jean-Henri Hemsch, that was excellently included in the Academiezaal of Sint-Truiden.
Korneel Bernolet bespeelt op deze opname een fraaie kopie van een klavecimbel uit 1736 van Jean-Henri Hemsch, dat uitstekend werd opgenomen in de Academiezaal van Sint-Truiden.

Bart Tijskens. Review Klara (Belgium Classical Radio) for Pièces de clavecin, 1759 by Korneel Bernolet. 10-05-2013

... Bernolet's instrument is a recent copy of an instrument by Jean-Henry Hemsch from 1736 [Augusto Bonza 2011], and it is the co-star of this recording ... this double-manual instrument with two 8' and one 4' disposition has a very unusually high level of colour within each register, as superbly demonstrated in this SA-CD ... I normally find harpsichord music fatiguing to listen to in red book format. But here we have one of the most natural and affecting portrayals of this wonderful Hemsch instrument.
John Miller and, 2013. CD review: Balbastre. Pièces de clavecin. Korneel Bernolet.

... Balbastre : Pieces de Clavecin, Premier Livre, 1759 with K. Bernolet, in a superbly recorded SACD, on Aliud. He performs, with immaculate style, on a great double manual harpsichord by Augusto Bonza, copy of a Jean-Henri Hemsch of 1736 (from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston).
User "Parla" on Gramophone's Forum (The world's authority on classical music since 1923)

Harpsichord after Henri Hemsch

Augusto Bonza

Harpsichord after Henri Hemsch

Soundboard decoration

Harpsichord after Michael Mietke

Dettaglio della decorazione sul coperchio di un clavicembalo copia da Mietke

Harpsichord after Neapolitan Anonymous century XVI

Harpsichord after Bellot le Pére

Tavola armonica di un clavicembalo copia da Couchet


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Augusto Bonza
Antichi Strumenti a Tastiera
Via Kennedy 9 - 20029 Turbigo (MI) - Italy
Tel/Fax +39 0331899251

Last changed: June 2013

Maker and restorer of harpsichords and other early keyboard instruments. High quality instruments built according to historical principles.
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