Author Topic: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!  (Read 106714 times)

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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #40 on: May 20, 2009, 04:07:32 PM »
Pedal Harpsichord - another 'new' discovery for me!  :D

Basically, two harpsichords combined, one on top (played w/ the hands) and the other on the bottom (played w/ the feet) - my introduction is the 2-CD set of the Bach WTC, Bk. 1 played by Peter Watchorn, an Australian keyboardist w/ his own label, Musica Omnia:)

Below pics of the cover art for the WTC recordings & one of Watchorn; below that, Watchorn himself playing the 'pedal harpsichord' - noticed that he had only socks on his feet (not sure 'what' Papa Bach would have worn?); further below are some more pics of this instrument - these are all 'modern' reconstructions based on historic data.

The sound of this instrument is just wonderful - fuller & deeper, more resonant tones from the 'foot' strings - I will definitely plan to purchased the WTC, Bk. 2, when released!  :D

 





« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 06:51:59 PM by Que »

Offline Que

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #41 on: May 20, 2009, 04:49:35 PM »
Dave, note this Bach CD on a pedal-harpsichord by Yves Rechsteiner. I commented on it on the Bach on the harpsichord etc. thread earlier (HERE)



Samples HERE.

Q
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 06:50:32 PM by Que »

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #42 on: May 21, 2009, 04:49:25 AM »
Dave, note this Bach CD on a pedal-harpsichord by Yves Rechsteiner. I commented on it on the Bach on the harpsichord etc. thread earlier (HERE)




Q - thanks for the link(s); I've paid close attention to the other threads w/ these older instruments which have stimulated me to purchase quite a few pre-modern piano discs recently - will certainly add that suggestion to my list!  Dave  :)

Antoine Marchand

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #43 on: May 21, 2009, 02:20:41 PM »
I am enjoying the beauty of the pedal-harpsichord too, Dave.

BTW, these days I am waiting impatiently for a disc of Schumann's music on a pedalflügel (or pedal pianoforte) played by Martin Schmeding. The instrument is an hybrid between a Pleyel-flügel (ca. 1847) and a Pleyel-Pédalier (ca. 1890).

The works included are 6 Studies for Pedalflügel Op. 56, 4 Sketches for Pedalflügel Op. 58, 6 Fugen über B-A-C-H Op. 60, Canon Op. 124 No. 2.

The pedal pianoforte is an instrument forgotten today and the few pieces devoted to it are usually played on organ.

According to the Grove Dictionary of Music, the pedal pianoforte (Fr. piano à pédalier, clavier de pédales; Ger. Pedalflügel, Pedalklavier; It. pianoforte organistico) is "a piano equipped with a pedal-board like that of an organ. Four types are known: those in which the pedals operate separate hammers to strike the same strings as the keys; those in which a separate set of strings with its own soundboard is installed below the main soundboard; those with a separate box containing pedals, action and strings, on which the piano itself is set; and uprights, where wire pull-downs on the keys are activated by the pedals. The pedal notes usually sound at the 16' pitch over a two-octave range. Some 18th-century instruments have a Short octave arrangement, such as the Johann Schmidt piano of the first type, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The third type was also known in the 18th century; Mozart had such an instrument, made probably by Anton Walter, and his father reported to Nannerl that the box was extremely heavy". I adds that "Schumann persuaded Mendelssohn to institute classes in pedal piano playing at the Leipzig Conservatory and wrote two works for the instrument: the Studien op.56 and Skizzen op.58. Other 19th-century composers who wrote music specially for the instrument include Alkan (Benedictus op.54, 11 grands préludes et une transcription op.66, Impromptu sur le choral de Luther op.69 and some études and fugues) and Gounod (Fantaisie sur l'hymne national russe and Suite concertante, both with orchestra)".

Here something found on YouTube (from the forementioned disc):

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/lGur8JaPbfo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/lGur8JaPbfo</a>
« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 02:33:03 PM by Antoine Marchand »

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #44 on: May 22, 2009, 02:19:27 AM »
John Khouri recorded a Mozart recital on a pedal piano (Entr'acte ESCD 6501), with a programme that is generally chosen from Mozart's organ works (often left unfinished).  The pedal bass sounds boomy (and somewhat intrusive in the overall texture) and the music, honestly, isn't among the composer's best creations.



Other than using a pedal pf, another option to play/record Schumann's organ works is to have a third hand on the keyboard.  Lorenzo Ghielmi and Frederica Valli did this for their Schumann discc (plus Piano Quintet with Gaia Scienza) on Winter & Winter.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 02:21:52 AM by traverso »
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Antoine Marchand

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2009, 07:33:51 AM »
Other than using a pedal pf, another option to play/record Schumann's organ works is to have a third hand on the keyboard.  Lorenzo Ghielmi and Frederica Valli did this for their Schumann discc (plus Piano Quintet with Gaia Scienza) on Winter & Winter.

Yes, I have that disc: Für meine Clara. My only complaint about it, if any, is that the works joined there are so different that I believe to be listening to two different discs.

You probably know a set on Nuova Era (13 CDs) that includes all the solo piano works by Schumann. There Jörg Demus performs, for example, the exquisite Etüden für den Pedalflügel Op. 56 (CD11) with a second pianist (Norman Shetler), but the name of the latter has been deleted from the credits.  ???

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #46 on: May 22, 2009, 01:47:22 PM »
I am enjoying the beauty of the pedal-harpsichord too, Dave.

BTW, these days I am waiting impatiently for a disc of Schumann's music on a pedalflügel (or pedal pianoforte) played by Martin Schmeding. The instrument is an hybrid between a Pleyel-flügel (ca. 1847) and a Pleyel-Pédalier (ca. 1890).

The works included are 6 Studies for Pedalflügel Op. 56, 4 Sketches for Pedalflügel Op. 58, 6 Fugen über B-A-C-H Op. 60, Canon Op. 124 No. 2.

The pedal pianoforte is an instrument forgotten today and the few pieces devoted to it are usually played on organ........

Antoine - well, yet another instrument that has 'escaped' my attention!  ::)

Thanks for your excellent & detailed description of the various types (or mechanisms) used for the pedal pianoforte - will anxiously await your comments on the disc mentioned!  Dave  :)

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2009, 06:56:26 AM »

You probably know a set on Nuova Era (13 CDs) that includes all the solo piano works by Schumann. There Jörg Demus performs, for example, the exquisite Etüden für den Pedalflügel Op. 56 (CD11) with a second pianist (Norman Shetler), but the name of the latter has been deleted from the credits.  ???


Well Demus chose to use modern instruments there - that is enough to put me off the set.  I also heard (from trustworthy reviewers) that the interpretations are rather lacklustre as well.  So I am glad to have the "meine Klara" disc, whether it actually sounds like two projects or not -- two rather different-sounding fp's were used anyway.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2009, 07:05:08 AM by traverso »
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Antoine Marchand

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2009, 03:11:55 PM »
Well Demus chose to use modern instruments there - that is enough to put me off the set.  I also heard (from trustworthy reviewers) that the interpretations are rather lacklustre as well.  So I am glad to have the "meine Klara" disc, whether it actually sounds like two projects or not -- two rather different-sounding fp's were used anyway.

I like several recordings on Winter & Winter (Schumann, Brahms, Schubert) and, in general, the work of Lorenzo Ghielmi in that label.

But my opinions are slightly different about other issues.

I clearly prefer music on period instruments, but they are mandatory for me just in Baroque music or earlier.

I too can enjoy music of the Classical and Romantic periods on modern instruments, especially when that repertory has been covered very partially for HIP performers and ensembles. I would prefer a good HIP recording in Schumann's piano works, but who has recorded those discs? If I don't hear that music on modern instruments, I would not hear it at all (with the exception of the Staier’s disc A tribute to Bach and something more).

And, as you know, period instruments don't guarantee artistic quality or pleasure. For example, I dislike Beethoven piano sonatas by Brautigam, although I like his Haydn. And I like his Haydn as much as I love the Haydn recordings by Brendel.   

On the other hand, when I buy a box set (as the Schumann set on Nuova Era) I don't assess it as a complete thing, but every disc in particular. And the aforementioned set has four o five very recommendable discs and its general level is rather good, giving the opportunity to know some obscure pieces. IMO, Demus (a renowned performer and collector of old keyboard instruments) is a serious artist, who knows very deeply his Schumann. I would not recommend his complete set just for one reason: It is an excessively “qualified” recommendation in many aspects: sound, approach, instrument, etc. It is the typical matter of personal taste.

Finally, if I mentioned the Nuova Era set was only because the fortepiano pedal pieces are played by two pianists and the name of Shetler was omitted in the credits.  :)

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2009, 07:21:55 PM »
But who's talking about artistic qualities and pleasure in this thread?  As your choices in Brautigam performances show, they are very much a subjective issue anyway and will vary from person to person.  The topic at hand is "old musical instruments and modern reproductions" and that in itself probably doesn't need any qualification.  
« Last Edit: May 23, 2009, 07:23:37 PM by traverso »
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Antoine Marchand

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #50 on: May 23, 2009, 08:54:34 PM »
But who's talking about artistic qualities and pleasure in this thread?  As your choices in Brautigam performances show, they are very much a subjective issue anyway and will vary from person to person.  The topic at hand is "old musical instruments and modern reproductions" and that in itself probably doesn't need any qualification.  

I'm sorry, Traverso, but I don't understand exactly your point.

My interest in old instruments and modern copies is all about artistic qualities and pleasure. I am interested in old instruments just as a way in order to reach certain “original beauty” of the music. IMO, this thread is not about antique furniture, although the beauty of the instruments is sometimes part of the pleasure.

BTW, your use of the words "objective" and "subjective" is a little bit disconcerting because an opinion is always a subjective thing. When the personal point of view is suppressed then we have knowledges not opinions. 
 

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #51 on: May 24, 2009, 12:06:20 AM »


My interest in old instruments and modern copies is all about artistic qualities and pleasure. I am interested in old instruments just as a way in order to reach certain “original beauty” of the music. IMO, this thread is not about antique furniture, although the beauty of the instruments is sometimes part of the pleasure.


To be brief, when not playing a fp Demus has nothing to do with "old musical instruments and modern reproductions" so I assume your opinion alone qualifies his presence in this thread.  But why?  Even if what he does in his Nuovo Era Schumann set affords artistic quality or pleasure to you, it wouldn't be the same to me without the antique "furniture" and the reason isn't just a matter of different opinions.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 12:34:38 AM by traverso »
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Antoine Marchand

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #52 on: May 24, 2009, 05:24:42 AM »
To be brief, when not playing a fp Demus has nothing to do with "old musical instruments and modern reproductions" so I assume your opinion alone qualifies his presence in this thread.  But why?  Even if what he does in his Nuovo Era Schumann set affords artistic quality or pleasure to you, it wouldn't be the same to me without the antique "furniture" and the reason isn't just a matter of different opinions.

IMO, all of this is a misunderstanding: My comment about Demus was anecdotal. When you mentioned the disc entitled Für Meine Clara (with fortepiano pedal pieces performed on one instrument with three hands), I recalled the Nuova Era set because there two pianists play the same pieces (replacing so the lack of a fortepiano pedal), but the name of one of them was deleted from the credits: That was the meaning of the icon  ???, only an anecdotal commentary. And that was the reason why I included the covers, to show how the Shetler’s name is not included there. I never have thought Demus or Shetler are playing period instruments, actually I don't know at all what instruments were used by them (and the issue is rather enigmatic).
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 05:26:45 AM by Antoine Marchand »

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #53 on: May 24, 2009, 06:42:01 AM »
Well, yet another 'discovery' for me from that fascinating period of 'evolving' string instruments, i.e. 17th into the mid-18th centuries:

Violoncello da spalla or 'shoulder-cello' - my first listening to one of these instruments is the 2-CD set below w/ Sigiswald Kuijken performing the Bach 'Cello Suites' - further pics of the particular instrument used at the bottom of the post; the 'shoulder-cello' was built by the violinist/luthier Dmitry Badiarov - his Website HERE - finished in 2004.

The instrument indeed sounds like a 'lighter' version of a regular cello, but I've not compared my other standard sets of these works w/ this new one; but, I'd like to check out Amazon to view possible other recordings, possibly w/ Badiarov (who has some videos on the the web of him playing the instrument) -  :)


 


Offline jochanaan

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2009, 06:56:29 AM »
I'm sorry, Traverso, but I don't understand exactly your point.

My interest in old instruments and modern copies is all about artistic qualities and pleasure. I am interested in old instruments just as a way in order to reach certain “original beauty” of the music. IMO, this thread is not about antique furniture, although the beauty of the instruments is sometimes part of the pleasure.
Of course we're all talking about artistic qualities and pleasure.  But there are many elements that go into these qualities: the performers' technical skills, how closely their reading matches our ideals (or how convincing it is if it doesn't), the room's acoustics, the recording engineer's skills, and so on.  My admiration, or lack of it, for a certain player is different from the pleasure I feel in hearing these wondeful old instruments--and it's mostly the old instruments and their sound we're talking about here.  Whether you like the performer(s) is a separate question.  That was traverso's point. :)
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Antoine Marchand

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #55 on: May 24, 2009, 08:16:09 AM »
Of course we're all talking about artistic qualities and pleasure.  But there are many elements that go into these qualities: the performers' technical skills, how closely their reading matches our ideals (or how convincing it is if it doesn't), the room's acoustics, the recording engineer's skills, and so on.  My admiration, or lack of it, for a certain player is different from the pleasure I feel in hearing these wondeful old instruments--and it's mostly the old instruments and their sound we're talking about here.  Whether you like the performer(s) is a separate question.  That was traverso's point. :)

Well, my answer is the same on the Reply #52, jochanaan.  :)

P.S.: My opinions about the quality of Demus recordings (not originally discussed by me on this thread) were just an answer to Traverso's statements on that matter: "I also heard (from trustworthy reviewers) that the interpretations are rather lacklustre as well". That's all.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 09:02:21 AM by Antoine Marchand »

Antoine Marchand

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #56 on: May 24, 2009, 08:46:14 AM »
Well, yet another 'discovery' for me from that fascinating period of 'evolving' string instruments, i.e. 17th into the mid-18th centuries:

Violoncello da spalla or 'shoulder-cello' - my first listening to one of these instruments is the 2-CD set below w/ Sigiswald Kuijken performing the Bach 'Cello Suites' - further pics of the particular instrument used at the bottom of the post; the 'shoulder-cello' was built by the violinist/luthier Dmitry Badiarov - his Website HERE - finished in 2004.

The instrument indeed sounds like a 'lighter' version of a regular cello, but I've not compared my other standard sets of these works w/ this new one; but, I'd like to check out Amazon to view possible other recordings, possibly w/ Badiarov (who has some videos on the the web of him playing the instrument) -  :)


 



Badiarov has written an enlightening article about baroque strings, based on his experience together with the string maker Mimmo Peruffo. It is entitled “Early Gut Strings: their quality from within baroque perspective” and contains important information related to the reconstruction of violoncello da spalla.

Highly recommended: http://violadabraccio.com/index.php/content/view/18/70/lang,en/

BTW, I think Badiarov developed his reconstruction in 2003-2004, but the violoncello da spalla currently played by Sigiswald Kuijken was finished in 2005 (so is indicated in your images). Although I can be wrong because Kuijken has reintroduced the instrument on stage since 2004. 

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #57 on: May 24, 2009, 02:02:10 PM »
Badiarov has written an enlightening article about baroque strings................

BTW, I think Badiarov developed his reconstruction in 2003-2004, but the violoncello da spalla currently played by Sigiswald Kuijken was finished in 2005 (so is indicated in your images). Although I can be wrong because Kuijken has reintroduced the instrument on stage since 2004. 


Antoine - thanks for the link - I did not explore Badiarov's website, but will do later!

Concerning the dates & pics posted; in the liner notes Kuijken states that 'his' instrument was completed in 2004; the recordings on this 2-CD set were made in 2006-7 - I'm assuming that the picture of him holding his 'shoulder-cello' is the one used for these recordings, but not sure if the instrument in various views (and labelled as made in 2005) is the same one?  Dave  :)

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #58 on: May 26, 2009, 03:27:11 PM »
Well, my answer is the same on the Reply #52, jochanaan.  :)
Oh, so it is!  For some reason I didn't see that particular reply before I wrote my own. :-[ Sorry for "putting words in your mouth." :-\
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Antoine Marchand

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Re: Old Musical Instruments & Modern Reproductions!
« Reply #59 on: May 26, 2009, 05:53:38 PM »
Oh, so it is!  For some reason I didn't see that particular reply before I wrote my own. :-[ Sorry for "putting words in your mouth." :-\

No problem at all, jochanaan:)