“The charming 'Harpsichord Diaries' merits applause from music lovers of all ages. Homespun haikus form the text of this imaginative, engaging treat. Found in Grandma's attic, the diary magically introduces a centuries-wide range of repertoire and exquisite instruments while pleasing our eyes with delightful images. Altogether a lovable publication, worth reading aloud."
Laurence Libin is emeritus curator of musical instruments at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, honorary curator of Steinway & Sons, past president of the Organ Historical Society, and editor-in-chief of the Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. He lectures internationally and has taught in the graduate schools of Columbia and New York University.
“The Harpsichord Diaries whisks you along on a child's whimsical journey through time. Rivers of sprightly harpsichord music carry you through a fantastical world of enchanting drawings and crisp text that leaves you, at times, thinking in rhymes. Though always entertaining, the message comes through that there are musical treasures waiting for you to re-discover and experience.”
John R. Watson is an independent conservator and maker of early keyboard instruments. He retired in 2016 from The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation where he served as conservator of instruments and curator of musical instruments
“The collaborative effort of harpsichordist Elaine Funaro and her twin children Eric and Andrea, The Harpsichord Diaries is a love story—the love of a little girl for the harpsichord and its music. Skillfully written in unobtrusive haikus by Funaro, illustrated by Andrea in a simple, colorful, cartoonish style reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, and narrated by Eric in an appropriately pixieish manner, it tells the story of little Elena and her repeated attempts to master Bach's C Major Prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier. Discouraged, she takes to the attic, where she discovers the Diaries. Elena opens the book and falls under its spell, descending into the world of the harpsichord like Alice descending into Wonderland. Elena's adventures unfold leisurely, accompanied by the impeccable playing of Funaro. To say more would give it all away, but suffice to say, Elena finally returns to Bach with renewed purpose.”
It is a lovely story, beautifully drawn, lovingly told, appropriately paced, with a message few of us would disagree with: "Constant companion, Cross countries and centuries, Music is timeless"
To which one might add: "Particularly if it's harpsichord Music!"
To which I might add: "And what's wrong with that!"
Ed Kottick is professor emeritus of musicology at The University of Iowa. His fields of scholarly expertise are early keyboard instruments, performance practice, and musical acoustics, and he has published more than 50 articles and reviews on these subjects. He has written three books on the harpsichord and received the Curt Sachs award for his "distinguished work as a scholar, author, lecturer, builder, and designer.