Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Project Update: A Visit to Casa de Cates

Last week, the day job took me to the Bay Area for the week. While I was there, Owen Daly was kind enough to formally introduce me to David Cates, a harpsichord performer who maintains an impressive collection of instruments in his home in North Berkeley. David and I have been Facebook Friends for a while now and this visit blossomed what I hope will be a long friendship. David is a talented and sensitive performer who understands not only the various literatures available to performers, he relates to each of his instruments as individuals.

One thing I did not do while David gave me a quick tour of a few of his instruments was take very good notes. I took some photos, yet it was quite overwhelming to see so many stunning instruments at one time. His collection consists of several harpsichords, a fortepiano, a virginal, and a muselaar, among others, and he offers a nice set of recordings, as well. I did not see the entire collection, as the hour grew late and, well, we needed to eat. Fortunately, David is an excellent cook and was kind enough to whip up a really delicious chicken (thigh) dish with peanut sauce, rice, and bok choy. It was really, really tasty.

A man of many talents. But, I digress.

David owns two of Owen Daly's instruments, a French double after Goujon and a small Italian single (it's very possible I'm not correct on the French instrument - both Owen and David will correct me on this, I'm sure).

I do like the soundhole rosettes, so you will see a few photos of those below, as well.

I was fascinated by both the design and sound of the muselaar; it's just a wonderful instrument.

And I believe this is a photo of the rosette of the virginal he showed me.

And...a couple more harpsichords and the fortepiano.

Thank you, David, for a relaxing, enjoyable evening at Casa de Cates, I hope to see more of you and your instruments in the near future.

Until next time...

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