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
... Ewald Demeyere plays on a wonderful copy of a harpsichord by Henri Hemsch (Paris, 17(5)6), made by Augusto Bonza (Milano, 2003).
...Paola Erdas plays on a superb copy of a 1756 french harpsichord (Augusto Bonza 1988), after the well-known maker Jean Henri Hemsch
... 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.
... 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.
... 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.
... 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.
... 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.
... 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
...Demeyere plays an instrument [Augusto Bonza 2003] on which his intentions are ideally realized...
... 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...
...it 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
... 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.
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.
...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
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.
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.
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.
Harpsichord Augusto Bonza 1991, after Henri Hemsch. Very nice copy of a great eighteenth century instrument signed Hemsch, whose sound is particularly convincing
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.
...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.
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 (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 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.
... 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.
... 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).
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Last changed: June 2013