LISTSERV 16.0

Help for HPSCHD-L Archives


HPSCHD-L Archives

HPSCHD-L Archives


HPSCHD-L@LIST.UIOWA.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

HPSCHD-L Home

HPSCHD-L Home

HPSCHD-L  May 1998

HPSCHD-L May 1998

Subject:

VOLUME OF PLEYEL HARPSICHORDS

From:

HAL L HANEY <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Harpsichords and Related Topics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 13 May 1998 09:55:27 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (64 lines)

        I must apologize for writing about Pleyel because my experiences
with that instrument are so few.  Especially when there are many people
on this list who have worked with Pleyel harpsichords for years both as
performing artists  and as maintenance professionals.
 
        I have only played two Pleyels in my life, but they were both
rather  famous instruments and both have been heard by many people.  The
first belonged to Mme. Alice Ehlers and I played it in her home in
California.  She loved the instrument and having purchased it in 1927 or
28 carried it with her all over the world.  In 1938 she used it on a Bing
Crosby radio show that was heard throughout North America.  Shortly after
that she was asked to use the instrument in a film called "Wuthering
Heights" that starred Sir Lawrence Oliver.  As I recall she played
Mozart's Turkish March, or some such, at an impossible speed.  The sound
was fine, but they had to have used a shotgun microphone because it was
recorded at a high volume.  Thirty five years later when I played that
same instrument in a very "live" room, it seemed but a whisper. Mme.
Ehlers played for me and while the Pleyel was very large physically, the
sound was not clear or clean and seemed almost shy.
 
        The second Pleyel I played belonged to Wanda Landowska and was
used by her for all her recordings.  She had other Pleyels but this one
instrument was the one she preferred.  It was in her home in Lakeville,
Connecticut.  I was there at the invitation of Denise Restout who had
lived with Landowska for many, many years and was with her when she died.
 When I arrived, the instrument was covered over with a pile of blankets
and coverlets stacked about a foot high.  As Denise slowly removed each
blanket with great pride,  it was like watching a magic act, until "The
Instrument" was finally revealed.  It seemed almost like a shrine.  In
fact, when Landowska lie in state, her coffin was next to the bent side
of her beloved Pleyel.  While I was not permitted to play this instrument
at any length, the arpeggios I did play did not produce the full rich
sounds I was accustomed to.  Denise was very protective of the instrument
(students never played it) because she wanted to preserve it in the
condition that Landowska left it.  "Landowska did her own voicing" Denise
told me, "and her own quilling so I want those jacks to be available for
study for future harpsichordists."
 
        I don't think we should be too down on the Pleyel company, any
more than we should be down on Henry Ford for making a car without an
automatic starter, or air conditioning, or stereophonic sound.  The first
harpsichords that Pleyel made were after study of the Taskin design and
in 1889 they exhibited at the Paris Exposition.  Early Pleyels had no
metal bracing, the jacks were wooden with traditional dampers.
It was Landowska, in 1912, the encouraged Pleyel to use an iron frame
holding thick strings at high tension.  The barring was almost identical
to our modern grand piano.  Even the touch depth and the dimensions of
the five-octave keyboard were those of the piano.
 
        Since Pleyel (later to have several name changes) continued to
make harps, chromatic timpani, chimes, practice keyboards and two-manual
pianos, we can't blame them for experimenting with "improving" the
harpsichord, especially since this suggestion (read order)  came from the
world's most famous harpsichordist, Wanda Landowska.
 
        Cordially,
 
        Hal Haney
        Denver, Colorado
 
_____________________________________________________________________
You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com
Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996
March 1996
February 1996
January 1996
December 1995
November 1995
October 1995
September 1995
August 1995
July 1995
June 1995
May 1995
April 1995
March 1995
February 1995
January 1995
December 1994
November 1994
October 1994
September 1994

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UIOWA.EDU

UI LISTSERV Documentation | Questions? Contact the ITS Help Desk - (319) 384.HELP (4357) - its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu