My 2-cents worth on the f#minor, for what little it may be worth.
First-off, may I ask Paul to try disagreeing with someone without making
his tone ALWAYS contentious and a tad insulting? Save it for the real
That said, I'm not convinced about the transposition to accommodate this
piece. Oddly, unlike many of our members, I find the f# minor tocatta
the coolest of the lot, and I like it the best. I haven't learned it,
because it would require some serious buckling down and wood-shedding,
and I've been postponing the committment, but the fugal section is one
of my very favorite pieces ever.
And, perhaps oddly, I've always played it in a temperament which is
pretty ripe - actually something like my own "ordinaire," and I've
always liked it just fine.
Does anyone out there have Colin Tilney's rendering of this? He plays it
on his own antique Italian harpsichord (a false I/O, I believe) and I
like it a lot. Dunno what the temperament was.
And one last thing: before we mislead listeners trying to expand the
temperament repertoire of their ears, let me repeat that what I heard in
the opening sample of the B.V. Chromatic Fantasy was a harpsichord that
sounded out-of-tune, and lacking a solid pitch-center (as I wrote
earlier, it had that wavery "Parkinson's disease"-like quality heard on
recordings of some revival harpsichords on vinyl LPs), NOT an
assertively-colorful temperament. This is important, because I don't
think we should give the impression that Kirk's ears were wrong and
defend what he heard and make him believe that colorful temperaments
will make a harpsichord sound as - well, hell, I'll say it - dreadful
as what was on the opening flourish of that sample clip. It would make
for great confusion in the future when any of us rhapsodizes over the
beauties of meantone.