Friday, June 24, 2011

Life before purists...

There was a time when the name of Bach was hyphenated. No, he didn't take his wife's name, but Bach music was arranged for us so we could hear it on the instruments we are used to - big orchestras and concert grand pianos. Those interested in playing Bach only on organs he would be familiar with moved on to the rest of the instrumental families and soon there was a new reason to record all of Bach, Haydn and Mozart again, this time with authentic instruments. I'm lucky, I like it all. Falling in love with the harpsichord was easy with Paul Mauriat's Love is Blue back in the 1960's. I wanted to learn to play on such an instrument, but that was a real challenge to a broke thirteen year old living in a small town in Texas, so I had to make do with pictures in reference books.

Now in an age with historic instruments rebuilt to play and the thousands of new harpsichords that are assembled as if it was 1640, we listeners and performers have a choice. KPAC's own Gerald Self makes the most beautiful sounding and looking harpsichords I know of and if I had the room I'd have one in my house. Its funny when you are young it is the lack of money holding you back and when you have the money, it's something else.

On the Piano this Sunday, baroque music on a concert grand and I'm not thinking about Bach's music here, but from the golden age of French music; Couperin and Rameau. Does this music so closely associated with the sound and timbre of the harpsichord even work on a piano?

Find out this Sunday afternoon at 5 on the Piano, heard on KPAC & KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

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