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Re: GG: Harpsichord Playing

At 10:27 24/4/1996 -0400, PHILIP.GARON@hq.doe.gov wrote:

>     Wasn't it Sir Thomas Beecham who said that the sound of the 
>     harpsichord reminded him of two skeletons copulating on a tin 
>     roof?

It's attributed to Sir Thomas; but such attributions tend to be less than
reliable. It sounds like something the icon would say... whether the man
would is another question.

The more serious point is that the quote (if accurate) really refers to a
specific kind of harpsichord: the beast less than affectionately known as a
Pleyel "monster". The odd thing is that a number of 20th century composers
(including Poulenc & de Falla) were inspired by this musical creature from
the black lagoon to write their harsichord concertos - which are now almost
impossible to play; because modern harpischords while less clangorous are a
lot less powerful... & therefore can't balance over the orchestra without
artificial amplification (or on disc, very careful miking).

A case for the original instruments brigade?

Robert Clements
reply to: clemensr@mailhost.world.net