Johannes Secker’s historical keyboard instruments are found on both sides of the Atlantic.
Made in the North Yorkshire coastal village of Lythe, just north of Whitby, these instruments are high-quality faithful copies of historical originals from the 17th and 18th centuries – reproductions of the kind of keyboard instruments that gave voice to the works of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Quite different in kind from modern grand pianos, Johannes’ fortepianos, harpsichords and clavichords allow the music of the baroque and classical masters to sound in a way that the composers themselves would have recognised.
Later keyboard designs were intended for quite different purposes – filling a large public
concert hall with sound for instance (as a modern Steinway concert grand piano does). But the keyboard music of Bach, Haydn and Mozart was intended for rather more intimate spaces and closely reflects the lighter constructional qualities of the harpsichord, clavichord and fortepiano, all of which are substantially made of wood, lacking the cast iron framing found inside modern keyboards.
An inscription inside the lid of a Secker copy of a mid 17th-century harpsichord by one of the finest makers of all time, Ruckers (equivalent in esteem to Stradivarius in terms of the violin) refers eloquently to the fact that while the wood from which it is made was alive, it was mute; but now dead, it sounds sweetly (as a harpsichord)!