What may look so traditional at first – here is the musician, there is the audience – almost always develops into something else when we have a lunchtime recital here at First Reformed Church. For the last one of this season, Gavin Black had brought his own harpsichord. “Why would you do that?” a student from Livingston School asked in reference to the church’s harpsichord in the same room.
So we learned that there are differences between harpsichords as there are between people. Gavin’s instrument, for example, is over 7 feet long. This allows for very long strings and, subsequently, very deep tones. In addition, his harpsichord has two manuals. Once coupled, the player has doubled the volume.
Sounds theoretical? The children in the audience did not think so. As usual, they had more questions than we had time to cover them all. And, thanks to Gavin’s wonderful generosity, many a child had a chance of trying out the instrument during the lunch hour. And then he left it with us for the church to use during the following two weeks. Ben played it right the following Sunday during worship.