glass armonica's forerunner, the musical glasses,
were brought to Europe from China and Persia and
became very popular, particularly in the British Isles.
Franklin, the famous American physician and statesman, was very
impressed by the "musical glasses" and in 1761invented
the glass armonica,
technically and musically, is considerably more valuable. The
instrument consists of glass bowls mounted horizontally on an
axis which are set in rotating motion by a pedal.
pressure of the finger on the moist glasses produces an
beauty of pure sound.
a very short space of time, the glass armonica became one of
the most celebrated musical instruments of the eighteenth
century. Beethoven, C.P.E. Bach, Naumann, Reichardt, Röllig
and others were so fascinated by this instrument that they composed
solo pieces as well as chamber music works for it.
meeting with the celebrated glass armonica virtuosa Mariane
Kirchgessner in Vienna impressed him deeply and inspired him
to write an Adagio and Rondo for glass
armonica, flute, oboe, viola and violoncello as well as the Solo
Adagio in C minor
Franklin / Glass Armonica, Germany, Berlin