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News 2016: (NL) Semibrevity Blog: "Raymond Russell, collector, harpsichordist, author, and the man behind the famous instrument collection" (Guest blogger: Kate Hawnt, 19 July 2016)

Contributed by admin on Sep 29, 2016

"Shortly after moving in to her new home, Mottisfont Abbey, the indomitable Maud Russell noted in her engagement book:

April 4 1935. Take boys to Londonderry House to hear Mrs Woodhouse.

Maud, a wealthy heiress, was married to Major Gilbert Russell, a banker and cousin of the Duke of Bedford.  They purchased the entire estate of Mottisfont in 1934.  They also maintained a London address, as was traditional for the upper classes at the time, enabling them to partake fully in fashionable artistic and political circles.

Raymond Russell (1922-1964), their youngest son, was 13 at the time of this entry and just about to start at Eton College, Windsor.  A trip to hear Violet Gordon-Woodhouse, Britain’s foremost exponent of the harpsichord and clavichord at the time, would have undoubtedly been a memorable and inspirational experience for this musical and intense child. ...

Within 4 years he had already bought his first “special instrument” – a term he uses later in his book, The Harpsichord and Clavichord.

A talented pianist and organist, Raymond showed interest in the history of instruments from a young age.  By 1941 he had already written two exhaustively researched articles on the organs of Christchurch, Spitalfields and Wells Cathedral, published in The Organ in 1940 and ‘41 respectively.
In 1940 he had also managed to track down a clavichord.  He wrote to his brother" ...

Visit the Semibrevity blogsite to read the complete blog post as well as other interesting blogs.