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The Hernando Public Library is usually a quiet place but Tuesday night it will ring with music as classical keyboardists Shawn Leopard and John Paul deliver a concert featuring an obscure baroque instrument, the lautenwerck.
Leopard and Paul are two of the world's most accomplished performers on the lautenwerck, or lute harpsichord.
By the 20th century, however, the lautenwerck had literally disappeared; not a single specimen existed.
Similar to a regular, piano-like harpsichord, the lautenwerck is strung with gut instead of metal strings, giving it a warm timbre that made it a favorite of Johann Sebastian Bach, who owned two of them at his death.
Leopard, a Gulfport native who graduated with a master's from the University of Indiana, and Paul, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and the University of London, began collaborating on duo keyboard pieces in 1996 and were soon attracted to the lautenwerck through the work of one such builder, Tuscaloosa-based instrument maker Anden Houben.
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