Rodney N. Myrvaagnes
> Joseph Spencer:
> >familiar with the Pleyel and its role in the harpsichord revival, how
> >many of you are familiar with its particular sound, and how many would
> >be interested in a digital recording of a similar harpsichord, complete
> >with 16', pedals, lightning mid-phrase stop changes, and all the other
> >perks that come with the breed?
> IMHO forget it. Imagine what you would like to think Landowska
> sounded like, and let it go at that.
> I have listened at live recitals in good rooms by Irma Rogell and
> Raphael Puyana on Pleyels. THe sound was ghastly and weak whatever the
> virtuosity of the playing. I later heard one in Weill recital hall
> in NY by a student of Silvia Marlowe, whose name escapes me. He had
> a Pleyel that had belonged to Marlowe. The plectra (originally thick sole
> leather), had been replaced with Delrin. The effect was not as washed out
> as the other Pleyels but in no way was it a reasonable harpsichord.
> Rodney Myrvaagnes [log in to unmask]
This seems somewhat harsh -- of course a Pleyel would not sound like a modern
imitation of a Ruckers -- it's really a different instrument. But "I don't
like" is not the same as "it is bad", nor is it the same as "nobody else would
like". While I love the tonal qualities of a "reasonable" harpsichord, I
might very well be interested in a cd of a Pleyel, well played. In fact,
a very interesting project would be a recording of the same piece of music
on several different instruments -- a modern piano, a fortepiano, a real
harpsichord, a Pleyel, a clavichord, an organ, all performed by players who
had sympathy for the particular instrument.
On a related note -- the only recording I have of Landowska is an old LP of the
Goldberg Variations, and unfortunately the recording quality is such that it is
difficult for me to determine either tonal quality or virtuosity. Are there
any really clean CD reissues of Landowska available at all? She was very
respected in her time...