On Mon, 7 Nov 1994, SCN User wrote:
> I've been implicated in "requilling" a Pleyel with plastic
> recently. I was aware that I was despoiling an historic instrument,
Didn't you forget a :-) ??? Actually, of course, this IS the correct
historical instrument for the Poulenc and a number of other works from
the first half of this century. My friend Willard Martin is looking for
one to dissect, rebuild, and study. I think it would be neat to own
one--they do *look* impressive! (Remember that album cover with Puyana
playing on the lawn in front of some big European manor?)
> This all began with discussion of the favorite WTC recordings. I
> seem to have the Landowska and, next to it on the Bad Joke shelf,
> the Tony Newman sets (transfer this from recent discussions on the
> Organ Net.) You can get through both books before teatime!
Well, talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous! I guess one's
"bad joke" is another's silk purse, to mix metaphors. I would certainly
put these two recordings in different leagues, altogether. (Bet you have
fun parties, though! ;-)
> Book II is recorded on harpsichord and clavichord from Eric Herz,
> and on a 6 stop _kistenorgel_ from Rieger of Austria. In some
> cases there is a change of instrument between prelude and fugue.
> Book I is on the closest instrument I know to the giant aesthetic
> of Pleyel - the _Magnum Opus_, a three - manual project from a
> Midwest builder, the only harpsichord I know of with a clutch
> for gear changes.
This was actually Tony's *2nd* recording of Bk I, and doesn't "go" with
the Columbia recording of Bk. II. He did record Bk I for CBS as well,
and if memory serves used three different harpsichords (too lazy to go to
the other room and check it out...)
> The jacket reads: "Anthony Newman ... announces to the listener
> in the first measures of Prelude No.1 that this recording is
> going to be unlike any that has been done before. Each
> repetition of the familiar broken chords is done on a contrasting
> sound as Newman launches an exploration of fresh coloristic
> and tonal combinations often resembling what an organist might
> do with this music..."
Does this mean Newman "resembles" an organist? ;-)
> To my ears, not only is the prelude monochromatic, but in the
> antepenultimate measure there are only 15 sixteenth notes.
OK, but listen to Landowska again. Even this simple prelude is
poetic--albeit with lots of changes of registration!