Hundon artist instrumental in new addition to Haverhill Choral Society concert

The harpsichord made by Alan Attlesey, pictured left with Nigel Brown, who will be playing it at the Haverhill Choral Society concert on December 12. Contributed picture. ANL-151125-155916001
The harpsichord made by Alan Attlesey, pictured left with Nigel Brown, who will be playing it at the Haverhill Choral Society concert on December 12. Contributed picture. ANL-151125-155916001

A harpsichord built by one of its own members will provide an unusual twist to the next concert being given by Haverhill Choral Society.

The society will be performing Handel’s Messiah at All Saints Church in Hundon at 7.30pm on Saturday, December 12.

Making its first appearance at a Society concert will be a harpsichord, but it is no ordinary harpsichord, as it was made by one of the choir’s own member’s, Alan Attlesey.

Alan, who is an established artist as well as a bass singer in the choir, has now made four harpsichords.

His latest is modelled on the classic Italian version of the instrument that was popular between the 16th and 17th centuries and is thought to be the earliest, simplest and purest of all the five traditions of harpsichord making; English, Italian, Flemish, French and German.

Alan, who lives in Hundon, has added two paintings to the instrument himself.

The smaller lid shows a cottage and land in Great Wilbraham and the larger lid is based on the Pantheon at Stourhead in Wiltshire, designed in the 18th century by Henry Flitcroft.

The use and production of the harpsichord adds an extra special element to the concert, as the society’s chairman, David Rowlinson, explained: “Unusually the work features a harpsichord and the society has been fortunate to have this provided by one of its own members.

“Alan also employed his artistic skills to decorate the instrument and Nigel Brown, who will be playing it, has congratulated Alan on its authentic sound as well as its looks.”

Part of the proceeds from the concert are going towards the provision of new toilet facilities at All Saints Church.

Tickets cost £10, which include a glass of wine and mince pies, are available from Haverhill Arts Centre on 01440 714140 or the Hundon Village Shop.