Craig Lister is a harpsichordist, musicologist, instrument builder, and golfer.
Trained in the classical tradition of western art music, he acquired graduate degrees in organ performance and music history. He used his research skills in order to write a doctoral dissertation that defined, for the first time, the traditions of keyboard performance used in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries (the curious will find that there are three ongoing traditions).
He has developed the Saint Louis Early Music Ensemble and its related recording studio, GlennAnchor.
The Saint Louis Early Music Ensemble has published modern first editions of music by Buxtehude, J.C. Bach, Pierre Van Maldere, and Niccolo Jommelli. Its editions often show important performing traditions from the past, such as the Ensemble's recreation of an "Old Folk's" concert in 1996 (and accompanying score, Ye Greate Concerte). The purpose of these editions is to showcase valuable music that has, up to now, suffered in silence. In the case of Jommelli's Celebrated Overture the edition also solves a long-standing mystery -- the underlying thematic source for the overture.
This studio has produced two harpsichord recordings to date. These will be offered nationally, for the first time, on the ZHI web site.
As an avid woodworker, Lister adopts a mystical approach towards the craft. Having an interest in organology, he has built a number of historical instruments including four ZHI harpsichords. His last ZHI kit was a copy of the Blanchet French Double that he completed in 1983. He kids people by noting he "finally got one right" and, so, had to build no more.
Lister has used this instrument with orchestras throughout the United States. It can match in sound and speaking qualities any modern or period-sized ensemble. One conductor noted to him that "it's amazing how that instrument reaches all the way to the back of the hall."
He used dimensions supplied to him by David Way in the thinning of his Blanchet soundboard, and these, he believes, have contributed substantially to the resonance of the final result.
Most recently, Lister has been involved in popularizing the works of Johann Nikolaus Tischer. He has edited four of Tischer's Musical Twins; concertos written in major/minor keys. These are perfect for the developing harpsichord player. They provide much of the musicality of Bach's Italian Concerto but with simpler, more galant technique.
The first CD produced at GlennAnchor offers Bach's Italian Concerto followed by Tischer's Musical Twins in F (major and minor concertos). The similarities make one wonder whether Tischer might have known of Bach's popular keyboard work (the Italian Concerto was one of Bach's few compositions to be printed throughout the 18th and 19th centuries). ZHI will make this CD available under the title Concertos for a Single Instrument, mostly...
Lister's second CD provides a complete recording of Michel Corrette's First Book of Harpsichord Pieces. These elegant suites are composed in the galant style and show the young Corrette (1734) a master composer and keyboardist.
Lister's performances serve as a time window and provide a unique chance for the modern listener to travel back in time and be moved by the same aural stimulus that would have delighted audiences of the 18th century.
Saint Louis Early Music Ensemble editions are available directly from the ensemble; contact Steve at ZHI [email@example.com] for a list and ordering information.