Handwashers’ Newsletter 21st February 2021

EDITOR’S APOLOGY Sorry last week’s Newsletter came out a day early. I became over-excited at the prospect of the England XV scoring a try at last and pressed the wrong button. Ed.

ZOOM ‘MEET AND SING’ with Carleton

Further to the announcement in last week’s newsletter, the first session has been arranged for the evening of Tuesday 2nd March starting at 7.30. The link to join the Zoom session plus links to (or pdfs of) musical scores will be e-mailed in the coming week to those who’ve expressed an interest in participating.  Please e-mail Bob at robertwt.merrill@googlemail.com if you’d like to take part but haven’t yet contacted him.


Last week’s mention of Mozart has made me think about his choral music in general and, in particular, some of the works performed by CCS over the years.

The Mass in C major K 317, more commonly known as the ‘Coronation Mass,’ is arguably the most popular of Mozart mass settings. Whilst it is frequently programmed as a concert item by professional and amateur choirs alike, it was, of course, originally intended for liturgical use. CCS last performed the work in 2006 – no doubt many of you will remember.

Salzburg Cathedral

Written in 1779, it was first performed in Salzburg Cathedral on Easter Day of that year. At this stage, Mozart was employed by the cathedral as court organist and composer. The mass appears to have acquired its nickname ‘Coronation Mass’ in the nineteenth century at the Imperial Court in Vienna after becoming the preferred music for royal coronations and services of thanksgiving. The Agnus Dei, with its expansive, soprano solo, has become a famous aria in its own right and is sometimes heard out of context.

Here is a complete performance with a full score for you to follow! Alternatively, just sit back for half an hour and immerse yourself in this glorious music.


*‘A BEAUTIFUL INSTRUMENT’ which impressed Tim and Lorna:

Some years ago, Lorna and I visited Dutch friends. One of them, Leni van Maanen, lives in Utrecht and is a retired professional harpsichordist and teacher. In her music room she showed us two of her harpsichords, reproductions of Flemish and French instruments.

We then turned round to be introduced to her prized possession: a beautiful instrument in what I guessed was mahogany with intricate lighter wood inlays. We were amazed to read the date here:

Burkat   Shudi   et   Johannes   Broadwood    Patent

No 750                   Londini Facerunt            1775

When Leni lifted the lid, we expected to see the strings but there were only mahogany slats. She then pressed a pedal and the slats turned to reveal the works beneath. This, we were told, was a Venetian Swell which is also used in organs to control volume.

Leni explained that she had read in 1958 of the Shudi-Broadwood being for sale in London and she and her then fiancé had rushed over to buy it. It was crated up to be shipped but the London dockers were on strike and it languished on the dockside for months. This illustrates the state it was in when it eventually arrived in Utrecht:

Leni had no funds left to have it professionally restored so, having taken some carpentry lessons and with advice from her tuner, repaired the worst damage herself. Eventually she was able to have it restored professionally to its present immaculate condition.

And then, as though to prove that her lovely piece of furniture had another purpose, Leni delighted us by playing some Couperin and Bach:

Couperin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RQ-jZJ6CNg

and, a former associate of Leni’s, Ton Koopman, plays Bach:


Sadly, Leni’s fingers no longer work their magic, and she has now sold the Shudi-Broadwood.

Here is a brief description of this instrument taken from its own website:


George Malcolm CBE KSG (1917 – 1997) pianist, organist, composer, harpsichordist, and conductor.

Burkat Shudi (1702-1773), born in Switzerland, came to London in 1718 where, initially, he practised as a joiner learning about harpsichords from Flemish instruments imported from Ruckers in Holland. After Shudi set up his business at 32 Great Pulteney Street, John Broadwood joined him and became a business partner when he married Shudi’s daughter. On Shudi’s death Broadwood took over the business though Shudi’s son continued to work there. Broadwood pianos are still made today.

(It’s interesting to note that, when Joseph Haydn was in London in 1991, he worked in a room owned by Broadwood at 18 Great Pulteney Street. Is that when he acquired his Shudi-Broadwood No. 762?)

Just 27 harpsichords survive from the Shudi-Broadwood partnership.

Burkat Shudi and family

*FOOTNOTE When I discovered that Michael Cole (father of Warwick) is a significant authority on harpsichords and square pianos (and indeed made the one that we’ve sung behind), I sent him my pictures of Leni’s Shudi-Broadwood and his response was, ‘A beautiful instrument’. Subsequently, Leni was able to assist Michael in tracking down the Dutch owner of a similar though even earlier Shudi instrument.

Michael has kindly directed me to the website of Shudi number 750, now in the Edwin Beunk Collection in Enschede. If you scroll down and click, you can hear Riko Fukuda playing Haydn’s Fantasia in C major on it: https://www.fortepiano.nl/shudi-broadwood-1775/#mr-info

You can ‘meet’ Michael here: https://www.squarepianos.com/aboutus.html


Try as I can, I can find no musical connection in this enclosed video. However, it sends an excellent message and is beautiful to look at. Also I’m sure quite a few of our choir spend holidays in France – well not this year: https://youtu.be/iog9JVtbMS8


Ginny’s neighbours decide to miss out on their daily outing: https://youtu.be/kjbrrqvkNMs

and Jane’s personal travel library grows as she makes her holiday plans for 2021: