Gwendolyn Toth

Gwendolyn Toth is the director of the New York City-based early music ensemble, ARTEK, and a soloist on early keyboards (organ, harpsichord, fortepiano). She is married to harpsichordist Dongsok Shin, and they have three children.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A rest, and a folding harpsichord

July 27, 2010

Saying goodbye to Giuseppe, we arrived by train in Rimini, the ultimate Italian resort town, I fear. After checking in to our hotel, our friend Enrico Gatti picked us up and we traveled to the hills outside of Rimini, where he and his wife Elena are renovating a historic farmhouse for their family. It seems the Italian authorities have so far taken three years to approve their architectural designs! My builder father would be appalled. Enrico cooked us a magnificent 3 course lunch, after which we played with the children, took a walk in the fields, and – oh yes! – played Enrico’s folding harpsichord. That’s a harpsichord that packs up for travel by breaking into three pieces rather like a jigsaw puzzle and ends up in a compact travel case with wheels. One of the best of this type that I’ve ever played! Enrico was also very happy about his new eighteenth-century violin, which he says means he can stop looking for the perfect violin, at least for now.

In the evening, we took a walk on the beach (amid thousands of empty beach chairs, very rigidly assigned during the day to your particular hotel), ate pizza, and drank Italian wine.

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