Sussex Chorus visit to Finchcocks, Sunday 9 June 2013
11 Jul 2013
Members of Sussex Chorus, with their guests, recently had a most enjoyable visit to Finchcocks. The splendid Georgian house, set in extensive parkland, houses the very rare collection of historical keyboard instruments, in fact it is the biggest collection in the country, if not the world, of working historical instruments. The owners Katrina and Richard Burnett gave us a most warm welcome and after a good lunch in the cellar, Katrina introduced us to the history of the building and how they started the collection over 40 years ago. This was followed by a tour of the house with such a variety of period instruments, harpsichords, clavichords, fortepianos, and many more – all so beautiful to look at with exquisite inlay woods . We were even invited to play the instruments, if we had the nerve. On the walls are fascinating musical prints depicting 18th Century pleasure gardens such as Vauxhall and Ranelagh. We were treated to a demonstration/recital (sometimes most amusingly) by Richard Burnett and Gary Branch on a few of the instruments. We were also given a demonstration of a two hundred year old barrel organ with the original barrel - playing “God save the King“. Our own Neil Jenkins added an extra pleasure for us by singing beautifully three lovely songs in keeping with the style of the accompanying instrument, played by Barry, finishing with “Come into the Garden Maud”. The visit concluded with the group singing Ave Verum, bringing to a close a memorable and uplifting visit.