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for <[log in to unmask]>); Wed, 23 Nov 1994 15:53:44 -0800
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 1994 15:53:43 -0800 (PST)
From: Glen Frank <[log in to unmask]>
To: Joseph Spencer <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Hpschd & Fpno Magazine - Reborn!
In-Reply-To: <[log in to unmask]>
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Hi Joseph --
>> Out of my mailbox this morning comes the new, (much)
>> improved _Harpsichord & Fortepiano_ Magazine, in its
>> new iteration under editor David Bray.
>Do you know how much a subscription is -- I'd like to get a copy of the
>current issue and perhaps subscribe.
I do not. Surely someone on the list has the information, either now or
real soon, and can post it.
> Most exciting is an important article on a *third* Mietke
> harpsichord in Hudiksvall, Sweden at the Halsinglands
I'd also like to get more information about Mietke instruments. I
recently returned from visiting my friend John Barr in Berlin, and I ran
across a large double there which I believe I was told was a copy of a
All I know about Mietkes is that there are two, a single and a double,
in the Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin. In 1980 I attended the annual
meeting of the American Musical Instrument Society (AMIS), where I heard
a paper by Sheridan Germann in which she described in detail two German
harpsichords she had inspected in Schloss Charlottenburg. She proceeded
to pin down their date of construction with convincing musicological
detective work. I was sitting with Bill Dowd at that meeting, and
everyone was quite excited about this instrument (we were all still
looking for the perfect "Bach harpsichord", having had to give up on
some hopeless frauds that had been foisted upon the world for
A year later I was in Bill's room at BEMF when his guys carried in the
first of his copies of the Mietke, hot off the bench, with the bottom
riddled with holes through which he had poked and wheedled various minor
corrections. It was a remarkable sounding instrument, as even in
timbre,top to bottom, as any I've ever heard. It was strung all in
brass, but had a remarkable steady, clear tone, with a very convincing
bass. The tone was nothing like a French or a Flemish, and not much
like an Italian. In sheer evenness, it resembled a piano more than most
harpsichords, which characteristically have great tonal shifts from
register to register.
A short while later Leonhardt entered the room, the door was closed and
locked, and he sat down to try the instrument. He played for about 40
minutes- one of the nicest recitals in my experience. He had already
put his name on the first Mietke copy from the Paris Dowd workshop,
already under construction. He expressed great pleasure with this
My friend Linda Burman-Hall of Santa Cruz bought that Mietke, Dowd's
first, and it's still one of my favorite harpsichords of all. I've
played other Dowd copies, plus the one by Skowroneck, and none has its
truly extraordinary tone.
Andreas Kilstrom, summing up his article on the Swedish Mietke, says of
his own copy that some of his favorite music to play on it is 17th
century French music. Linda has, in fact, a CD of music of Jacques
Hardel and Etienne Richard, lesser-known contemporaries of Louis
Couperin, coming out in the near future on Wildboar. It also
contains a bit of Richard's organ music, played on the great
meantone Fisk organ at Stanford. Don't ask when- I'll post it as soon
as it happens.
>...I'm wanting a German double built and am looking around for examples
>of historical instruments as well as current builders.
Listen up, builders! -Joseph Spencer- <[log in to unmask]>
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