viernes, 1 de abril de 2016

"Le Concert Royal de la Nuit" - Making of

The King Who Invented Ballet Louis XIV and the Noble Art of Dance BBC Documentary 2015

Danse baroque: Voyage en Europe | Les Folies Françoises

Baroque Dance - Menuet / Il Giardino Armonico

Baroque Dance - Gigue / Il Giardino Armonico

Baroque Dance - Sarabande / Il Giardino Armonico

Ensemble Leonarda Presents "Shall We Dance: The Evolution of the Baroque Dance Suite," Part 1

jueves, 4 de diciembre de 2014

Mary Potts, the forgotten harpsichord Teacher of Hogwood and Tilney.

The forgotten harpsichord teacher of Christopher Hogwood & Colin Tilney [Traductor] Mary Potts and her beloved Shudi harpsichord in about 1950 © Estate of Mary Potts 2012 I didn’t really know that much about Mrs Mary Potts when she was my harpsichord teacher in Cambridge, so I googled her name (in 2005) expecting to find a complete biography. She had, after all, been a student of Arnold Dolmetsch, in Haslemere, back in the 1920s, and had bought this eighteenth-century harpsichord by Burkat Shudi from him in 1929. Dolmetsch had said that this would be all right for her until she could afford one of his own iron-framed instruments! F.J. Haydn – Sonata in F Hob. XVI: 29, Adagio To my surprise, I found very few references to Mary, each of them in the context of one or another of those former students, plus mentions of newly composed music that had been dedicated to her, and that was all. By comparison, Christopher Hogwood had many thousands on Google and the Polish harpsichordist, Wanda Landowska (1879–1959), currently scores 287,000. I then looked for Mary in several musical reference works, including the New Grove, and found nothing. I just couldn’t understand why someone so influential – or so I thought – was simply not remembered. How could she have vanished so completely? She seemed to have been so central to early music circles from the 1950s to the 1970s. At the centre of the Cambridge music world Throughout that period Mary gave countless concerts in and around Cambridge and beyond, played regularly with orchestras, sometimes as a soloist, and taught harpsichord, largely to undergraduates, but also to girls from the Perse School. Although she never made commercial recordings, she gave many broadcast recitals for the BBC. Sadly, however, little remains. Here’s an example: Radio announcement from 1966 Henry Purcell – Suite No. 2 in G minor, Corant (sic) This shows Mary’s typical swagger, a stylistic feature which some of her students inherited. It was only later that I unearthed her obituary in The Times and spoke to its author, the composer Professor Peter Dickinson, who had known Mary since he was organ scholar at Queens’ College in the 1950s. He told me there had been a memorial concert on 16 April 1983 (which would have been Mary’s 78th birthday). It was given by well-known former students, colleagues and friends, and had been attended by some 200 people. The late Trevor Beckerleg, a harpsichord builder who had started making instruments in the basement of Mary’s large house in Bateman Street, subsequently sent me the programme for that concert, which included viola da gamba works by Bach and Marais, a trio sonata by Corelli, Bach’s 2nd orchestral suite and the four-harpsichord concerto. So it sounded as though they had given Mary a good send-off. But I really couldn’t understand why something more lasting, apart from that concert, hadn’t been organized. I knew that Mary had played in many college chapels and during May Week and was well known in the University, particularly at Queens’. Her husband had been a don there, and she was much involved and had taught Elizabethan dance for productions of Shakespeare’s plays; some of these had been directed by her sometime lodger, Charles Parker, who was later to become famous, with Peggy Seeger, for his radio ballads. A good friend to many, and a great appreciator It was Peter Dickinson who described Mary as “a great appreciator” and mentioned a letter she had written to him following a particularly successful organ recital that he’d given. He is one of the composers who wrote harpsichord music specially for her. Often referred to as “the best harpsichord teacher in Cambridge”, Mary certainly helped along many careers, in subtle ways. For instance, she regularly lent out her harpsichords for concerts and recordings. Apart from the Shudi, she had an octavina spinet made by Arnold Dolmetsch and, periodically, other instruments. Radio announcement 1969 J.C. Bach – Sonata Opus 15 No. 6 for four hands (Listen out for the crescendo produced by the use of the Venetian swell.) When Mary wasn’t teaching, playing or entertaining, she always seemed to be going to concerts with the children’s book writer Lucy_Boston, ”both elegant in scarves and wraps, suitable for the season”. These concerts often featured recently exhumed Baroque masterpieces, freshly edited and performed by current or former students; she must have had dozens of such students, and many of them became professionals. During my lessons and practice sessions at Mary’s house, there always seemed to be (often unseen) people rehearsing in other rooms of the house. Mary would kindly leave the keys between bricks by the back door, so that students could come in to practise when she wasn’t there. The traffic at that house in Melbourne Place, a delightful little pedestrian street leading off Parker’s Piece, was much less, I’m told, than when she lived in the much larger house in Bateman Street, where Hogwood lived for 10 years and David Munrow was a regular lodger who would bring the whole Early Music Consort to practise. In fact, as I’ve discovered, Mary knew pretty much everyone in the early music world. For example, I had lunch at her house once with the famous baroque violinist Eduard Melkus, who was staying with her. I remember her speaking fondly of the Kuijkens as “the chicken brothers” (which is what their name means in Flemish). Gustav Leonhardt would come periodically to play her Shudi. Yet, widely loved and appreciated as she was during her lifetime, according to several people I spoke to, Mary was “just not famous enough” outside her own circle. This may well be true, but it doesn’t mean that her life was not well worth remembering. It also raises questions about the fickleness of fame and its relationship to actual achievements. Thanks are due to Mary’s daughter, Margaret, and Gerald Gifford for providing recordings and much information. Please share any memories of Mary [in Comments, below]. Please promote the blog on these social networking sites: Facebook Twitter Google Bookmarks StumbleUpon MySpace Digg Reddit Sphinn Mixx Blogplay Hyves Technorati Slashdot Netvibes Posterous RSS email

miércoles, 3 de diciembre de 2014

G. Leonhardt & M. Skowroneck- Making harpsichord history.

Gustav Leonhardt & Martin Skowroneck – Making harpsichord history [Traductor] Gustav Leonhardt (c. 1965) at the Dulcken made by Martin Skowroneck Martin Skowroneck has joked that if he could have afforded to buy a Dolmetsch recorder in 1948 or 1949, when he was a student flute teacher in Bremen, then perhaps he wouldn’t have started making musical instruments at all. As it was, he was dissatisfied with the German-fingering “chair leg” recorders which were the only ones available to him, and determined to try to make something better, using a lathe cobbled together from US army surplus parts, which came with a stock of wood consisting of a bundle of maple baseball bats. That he was successful is evidenced by the fact that he was asked to make instruments for others, including a Hotteterre transverse flute (from the Berlin Musical Instrument Museum’s collection) for Professor Gustav Scheck, who played in the then-famous trio with harpsichordist Fritz Neumeyer and pioneer gamba-player August Wenzinger, who was also head of Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Skowroneck continued making flutes and recorders – initially from the baseball bats – until the early 1990s. Please subscribe to this blog – in the top right corner – and receive notifications of new posts by e-mail. Skowroneck’s first keyboards In 1952 Skowroneck was asked to restore a Merzdorf clavichord, made in the 1930s, that had been badly damaged in the war; this led him to build two clavichords based on this instrument – one for himself and one for his sister – which he quickly discovered “had never existed in former times” (i.e. the 17th or 18th centuries). After two more clavichords, he built his first harpsichord in 1953. Following a concert by the Scheck–Neumeyer–Wenzinger trio which “stirred me up thoroughly”, he had decided that if he was only ever going to build one harpsichord, then it should be a big one. To get an idea of why they made such an impact on Skowroneck, here’s a sound clip from a recording made in November 1950, at low pitch, of Gustav Scheck, playing a transverse flute made by F.G.A. Kirst in Potsdam c. 1750, with Emil Seiler on a viola d’amore by Lupo, August Wenzinger on a 1657 Stainer viola da gamba and Fritz Neumeyer playing a Neupert harpsichord, “specially constructed to specifications by [Johann] Heinrich Silbermann”, in part of the final Allegro from Telemann’s Sonata a tre in D major. Skowroneck’s first attempt was a two-manual instrument with four sets of strings, including a 16–foot stop, based on the Berlin Musical Instrument Museum’s No. 316 (the so called “Bach-Harpsichord”) with elements of the museum’s No.5, probably by Gottfried Silbermann. This early Skowroneck is now also on display in the museum. The Berlin Musical Instrument Museum was a key resource for Skowroneck in those early years. In his book Cembalobau/ Harpsichord Construction (in German and English), he writes about the kindness of the museum’s curator, Dr Alfred Berner, who gave him unlimited access, throughout the week, to handle and measure instruments, although the museum was then only officially open for two hours on a Saturday, for guided tours. This was effectively where Skowroneck learned the craft of making musical instruments based on historical examples. As Gustav Leonhardt later commented, “it could not be otherwise, because these are the only available teachers.” A fateful weekend In 1956, it was Dutch recorder pioneer Kees Otten who took Leonhardt, in a borrowed car, on a fateful road trip to Germany. In an interview given in 1974, Leonhardt recalled: Hearing antique instruments in Vienna in the museum, and playing them – also in England – those belonging to Raymond Russell, for instance – made me realise that modern harpsichords were impossible. Then one day Kees Otten had heard of a wonderful flute maker named Martin Skowroneck, in Bremen. By chance we both had a free weekend and decided to drive there together to see him. At Skowroneck’s place I noticed there was a harpsichord in the room, as well as all the flutes — it was a revelation to me … The instrument concerned was Skowroneck’s harpsichord No.5, built in 1955, in which he used a Ruckers construction, for the first time, with a correct soundboard layout. He says in his book, “The resulting sound gave me an important impetus [as] in spite of the backpost construction, it resembled an historical instrument.” Although impressed, Leonhardt did not order an instrument for himself. Instead, he recommended Martin Skowroneck to the Harnoncourts, in Vienna, who were trying to find a harpsichord as lightly constructed as the historical stringed instruments they were playing in Concentus Musicus, which had just been founded in 1953. As no plans or drawings were available, and few people had ever seen the inside of an old instrument, Skowroneck had some reservations about making a thin-walled, lightly braced Italian harpsichord, but was persuaded to attempt it by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who agreed to assume any financial risk should the structural integrity of the instrument fail. In 1957 Skowroneck completed his No. 7: a one-manual harpsichord “after an Italian instrument of 1700”. This was his first truly historical harpsichord, and it can be heard in many of the recordings of Concentus Musicus from the 1960s and early 1970s. The initial disposition of 8′ 8′ 4′ was, however, not typical for the style and the 4′ register was later removed. The 1957 Skowroneck, “after an Italian instrument of 1700″ In the course of the next five years, Skowroneck built ten more Italian harpsichords, including a small, easy-to-carry version for Leonhardt in 1960. He also made twelve clavichords of various kinds and a two-manual Flemish harpsichord in 1961 which, although it has been used in recordings, has always stayed in the family. A “quasi-Dulcken” for Leonhardt In 1962, Leonhardt asked Skowroneck to make him an instrument based on two 2-manual harpsichords, by Joannes Daniel Dulcken, both built in 1745, belonging to museums in Washington and Vienna. Skowroneck also referred to the work of Dulcken’s contemporaries, particularly Joannes Petrus Bull, who had been his apprentice. The originals were built very much in the Flemish tradition of the Ruckers family, extended to a fully chromatic five-octave compass, and were 2.60 meters long. Skowroneck describes below the information that he had to work with: I had a few freehand sketches with measurements of the Dulcken harpsichord [in the Smithsonian Institute] in Washington [from Leonhardt] and some measurements of the Dulcken in Vienna [in the Kunsthistoriches Museum]. My little sketch contained some details of the inner construction, but I had no idea about the typical double case of the Dulcken. In Washington the double wall on the inside had erroneously been removed as not being original. This is only an indication of how little we knew at that time … Some details of the original did not convince me, and I altered them. For instance, for my taste, the 8′ bridge was a little too close to the bentside in both the instruments. So I altered the form of the case somewhat. The result was, as I had to repeat far too often, an instrument close to Dulcken, but far from a copy. Leonhardt’s “quasi-Dulcken” followed the original disposition of 8′ 8′ 4′ Nasal 8′, plus a buff stop, but was lighter, and had a completely different inner construction from the original (the photo on p. 139 of Cembalobau shows just how different it was). In total, Skowroneck made four Dulckens and it went on to become one of the most famous, and most copied, instruments in recent harpsichord history. Leonhardt on the Dulcken in Böhm’s Keyboard Suite No. 8 The theme of re-creating historically plausible instruments, but not producing faithful copies, is very important to Skowroneck, and it permeates all the design and building principles outlined in his Cembalobau. The single exception to his normal way of working is the 1755 fake Lefebvre harpsichord – which Skowroneck made for a bet with Leonhardt. Actually, this is his best documented instrument, as he himself wrote a very detailed article about its construction in the 2002 Galpin Society Journal. Other opinions Given that the first harpsichord kits made by piano-technician-turned-harpsichord-maker, Wolfgang Zuckermann, had no bentsides and were made of plywood, it’s curious that in his book, The Modern Harpsichord, written in 1969, he reveals his taste for authenticity. He writes warmly about Skowroneck’s instruments which “have flute-like (not silvery) trebles, reedy (not rustling) tenors, and sonorous (not booming) basses [as compared with German factory-made instruments of the time].” According to Zuckermann, a Skowroneck harpsichord “does what the player, the listener and the music want it to do … it neither resists nor encourages its user, but mirrors precisely his own strengths and weaknesses … a characteristic which was also found in the Ruckers instruments of old.” Much more recently, in September 2013, the eminent American harpsichord builder, John Phillips, said in an interview that “Skowroneck [was] one of my idols … I encountered some of his instruments early on, and they were different from anything I had heard before. They never overwhelmed you with sheer beauty of sound. They were players’ instruments, a tool for genuine music-making …” Acknowledgments Thanks are due to Tilman Skowroneck, and to his parents, for permission to use their copyright material and also for assembling information specially for this blog post. Sad news, received since this blog post was published Martin Skowroneck passed away on 14 May 2014, at the age of 87. Martin Skowroneck was making harpsichords till the very end of his life. He always worked alone, and no doubt subscribed to the view of Johann Ludwig Dulcken (J.D.D.’s grandson) – which he once mentioned in a sleeve-note – that “the completing of an instrument must remain in one pair of hands”. © Semibrevity 2014 – All rights reserved Also of interest: The Leonhardt Consort: the early days – with recorder pioneer Kees Otten REQUEST FOR INFORMATION Leonhardt’s instruments and the Leonhardt Consort For future blog posts, I’m trying to discover when Leonhardt owned which instruments (antique or otherwise) and also to re-construct the concert performing history of the Leonhardt Consort. If you know anything about either, or could suggest other people or possible sources, please get in touch by using the Comments Box below. Your reply will not appear on the blog. Please promote the blog on these social networking sites: Facebook Twitter Google Bookmarks StumbleUpon MySpace Digg Reddit Sphinn Mixx Blogplay Hyves Technorati Slashdot Netvibes Posterous RSS email

viernes, 21 de noviembre de 2014

Geminiani, F. concerts Grossi after Corelli

Jane Chapman Rocks The Harpsichord. Feb 2009

Jane Chapman is one of Britain's most distinguished classical harpsichordists, with a repertoire that stretches from early music to contemporary avant-garde. Her work is rapidly bringing the harpsichord into the 21st century and establishing her reputation as a rule-breaker.
In her performances Ms. Chapman uses electronic effects and techniques that make the harpsichord sound like a synthesizer by connecting the keyboard to a computer. She also places objects inside the instrument and plucks the strings or uses an EBow, a handheld device normally used by rock guitarists that makes the strings vibrate continuously. At times she uses distortion, sounding more like Jimi Hendrix than J.S. Bach. She has also performed with video projections on the harpsichord's lid.
Jane Chapman's repertoire ranges from Baroque to avant-garde. Ilpo Musto
Ms. Chapman's new CD of contemporary British harpsichord music, "Wired," features a number of young composers -- including Roger Redgate, Paul Whitty and James Dillon -- and showcases her use of unusual techniques and electronics.
As a more traditional performer, she studied early music (a category that covers the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Baroque periods) with Ton Koopman in Amsterdam. She has recorded with jazz groups, including electric guitarist Mark Wingfield and saxophonist Iain Ballamy. She also teaches harpsichord performance at London's prestigious Royal College of Music.
In her study, books on classical music theory are stacked side-by side with others on bebop jazz and Charlie Parker; an Indian sitar sits alongside a framed facsimile of the original hand-written score of György Ligeti's "Continuum," one of the most famous contemporary harpsichord pieces.
We spoke to Ms. Chapman at her home in Ealing, West London, in the living room near a harpsichord and a 1920s square piano.
Q: The harpsichord is seen as antiquated and quaint, and is normally heard playing early music. How have you managed to make it cutting-edge?
The harpsichord has always been an instrument where I've enjoyed the quality of the sound and the physicality and the sheer rawness of it. But I've also enjoyed the beautiful nature of the sound. I'm always keen to look at the energy behind the sound and the potential for it to go a number of different ways. So it's not just using the plucked sound of the strings but also using the instrument as a kind of physical being and an actual object.
Q: You started as an early music and Baroque harpsichordist and then expanded your repertoire to include contemporary, avant-garde music. But at the beginning of the early music revival in the 1960s and 1970s, wasn't there also a bit of a stigma among traditional classical musicians against playing early music?
As a musician my own background was a diverse one. I came from a family of musicians in Cambridge, England, as my father and grandfather were professional clarinetists. When I did early music in the first place it was kind of pushing the boundaries at that time, even though I didn't realize it. At the same time I was very interested in jazz as I was singing and playing the cello as well. But for me really it was playing Bach on the harpsichord and particularly the Goldberg Variations with [early music harpsichord specialist] Mary Potts that I really enjoyed. Coming to contemporary music wasn't a big deal really after that.
Q: Many people think of the classical and romantic period as the strange music sandwiched between early music and today's contemporary classical music.
Yes, that's very true. Many early music people are interested in contemporary music, too, and many composers are also interested in early music instruments because they don't have the baggage of the [classical and romantic periods]. Increasingly, younger generation composers are finding that the whole weight of the past just isn't there and look at it afresh, and I'm really interested in how they use the instrument. I like composers to know how Bach uses the instrument but not the tonal language. My ideal, if I'm teaching or performing, is to do some Baroque and some contemporary music because I see it as one continuum. Many of the same techniques [in early music] are employed in contemporary music.
Q: You stretch the sound of the instrument, not just with electronics but also by using objects on the strings and plucking them.
I love that way of extending the sound and using the physicality of not just plucking the strings by putting the keys down, but actually getting inside the instrument. At the Royal College of Music I'm involved in a project called "Intimate Handling" where we're exploring the innards of the harpsichord. We can get in there, stroke the strings and pluck the inside of the instrument as well as playing the keyboard -- which is wonderful.
Q: Describe your use of the EBow, a tool for sustaining notes indefinitely. It's normally associated with rock guitarists.
With the EBow we have to find the best place to put it and we used that as a sound we could detune to other notes. During performance we've made a theatrical moment by getting the composer to place the EBows on the strings, with artwork and video clips running that made it look like there was a surgical operation going on inside the instrument. On the sleeve notes to the CD "Wired" I talk about the harpsichord being this kind of magic box, which, when opened up, has all these things come out of it.
Q: Are you not worried about damaging the harpsichord by doing things to it that were never thought of when it was designed in the late Middle Ages?
I've made a wonderful short film with Ian Winters ["Rendition," with music by Evelyn Ficarra] where we actually filmed little objects inside the instrument, including small dolls with little ladies at the harpsichord, and ran little mechanical trains up and down inside. We could move the dolls very exactly so we could create a film out of it. I've had a whole microcosm inside the harpsichord.
Q: Video projections and images are adding a multimedia experience to performing modern classical music. How does that square with your early music roots?
I'm really keen to develop the whole visual aspect. I see that as a continuation of the whole baroque thing where people would have beautiful, decorated harpsichords, which would say something about the society and culture where they were from and their aspirations and the things that they liked. I thought, why not have a moving version of this and have videos or some kind of live manipulation of images on the lid and the wall behind. Again, a magic box of tricks.

jueves, 27 de febrero de 2014

Canto Medieval: Paloma Gutiérrez del Arroyo en RNE ( la Dársena)

{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252 {\fonttbl\f0\fnil\fcharset0 ArialMT;} {\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;\red102\green102\blue102;\red255\green255\blue255;} \deftab720 \pard\pardeftab720\sl280\partightenfactor0 \f0\fs20 \cf2 \cb3 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0 \outl0\strokewidth0 \strokec2
\ \ }

Paloma Gutiérrez del Arroyo impartirá un curso los días 1 y 2 de marzo de 2014 en el RCSMM, dentro de las actividades del Departamento de Música Antigua.
El curso, en el que se leerá y cantará música de Machaut y Fufay, lleva por título "Les Deuxieme Guillaumes".