Hi - earlier this morning you wrote ...
>> Why is it that several harpsichord builders have deliberately
>> vanished into the sunset at a relatively early age? Wm. Post Ross,
>> Wolfgang Zuckermann, Hugh Gough (I think -- if I have the right name
>> from Zuckermann's book -- he claimed to have been purified by giving
>> up harpsichords). There may be others I dont know about.
>In the case of Hugh Gough, he gave up harpsichords for clavichords. Wm.
>Post Ross is, alas, not mentally stable (I have this information from one
>of his relatives).
Some of the story of Wolfgang's withdrawal from the harpsichord world
was told by David Way in an interview with Hal Haney in _Harpsichord
Magazine_ Vol. VIII, #4, from 1976.
It was while Wally was in England, doing research for the
book, that he fell in love with an old English country house ...
Finally, he asked me to take over the company, or else he
would close it up. He couldn't go on making the kind of instruments
he had been making after he had written that book.
Actually, from his English base, Wolfgang designed and made an "Italian"
harpsichord, of which the example I saw was not very successful. He
lived on the American eastern seaboard for a while, restoring an old
house or three there. He wasn't all _that_ young when he escaped the
harpsichord world, but is still alive and well, running an English
language bookshop in Avignon.
Hugh Gough was joking (in part, at least) in his comment on harp-
sichords; he was consultant to David Way when he took over the
firm, and Way credited him with sending him to William Hyman, whom
Way referred to as his "master." In response to a recent inquiry, I
was told that Gough is still living, but suffering from advanced
Altzheimers Disease, being cared for by his wife.
I posted earlier about Wm.Post Ross' withdrawal.
You didn't mention Thomas and Rhodes, who I believe objected with
some vigor to Wolfgang's comment in his book, "They are said to have
faded out into a position of god-like inaccessibility." They deserve
much if not most of the credit (blame?) for the return of brass
stringing to Italian harpsichords.
I'm sometimes accused of the same inaccesibility myself. But people
seem to find me despite my best efforts ... especially this time of
Who picks up three instruments after concerts tonight - all
simultaneously, of course - and that's IT for this year!
6220 Latona Avenue Northeast, Seattle, WAshington 98115-6553
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A Northwest Workshop affiliated with Zuckermann Harpsichords Inc.