While there was a cassette and black disc distillation that was available on
a limited basis about 20 years ago, it is indeed a pity that none of Arnold
Dolmetsch's recordings, which are fascinating and moving, has ever appeared
on compact disc.
In addition to some viol and other consort records, and a recording of the
Chromatic Fantasia and some Preludes and Fugues from the WTC played on the
clavichord, there is a first movement from the Beethoven "Moonlight Sonata",
played on a fortepiano.
Dolmetsch also made 11 sides for HMV in 1920, on a variety of instruments.
None of these, alas, was ever published. Margaret Campbell alludes to these
in her wonderful book (deficient only in its casual attitude towards the
recordings; there is no discography, sadly) but provides no details of the
repertory or the instruments that he plays, but it appears that at least one
of these sides documents his recorder playing.
I do know that one of the eleven sides documents AD's harpsichord playing,
which none of the later, published records does. This disc is now in the
care of a collector in New York. I had the opportunity to hear it some years
ago. It is a movement out of the Bach Toccata in G, BWV 916. It is a
remarkable and charismatic performance.
I assume that the Dolmetsch family must have a set of the test pressings, and
perhaps the matrices and/or library copies still survive in the EMI archives.
Let us hope that there is sufficient interest to make a CD release a reality.
In a message dated 6/27/01 10:09:25 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
> > Time for a new thread........I'm curious to know what people know of extant
> > Dolmetsch instruments as well as good sources of information on him.
> "Dolmetsch -- the Man and His Work" by Margaret Campbell (U. of Washington
> Press, 1975) is a substantial and interesting book (over 300 pages) with a
> six-page bibliography.
> "Personal Recollections of Arnold Dolmetsch" by Mabel Dolmetsch (Macmillan,
> New York, 1958) is also fascinating (about 200 pages). It has more than
> thirty photographs, many of which show his instruments (harpsichords,
> clavichords,gambas, recorders, lutes, etc.)
> Dolmetsch certainly was a true "original"!
> Dan Lindblom
> [log in to unmask]