Christmas music trivia
New music for an old instrument: 20th century composers who wrote works using a harpsichord included Ernst Krenek, Carl Orff, Rudolf Moser, Bohuslav Martinů, Wolfgang Fortner, Darius Milhaud, Hugo Distler, Lou Harrison, Vittoro Rieti, Florent Schmitt, Iannis Xenakis (Komboi), György Ligeti (Continuum) Elliott Carter, Milton Babbitt, and of course Francis Poulenc, and Manuel de Falla. Additions to this list please using the comments facility.
Old music in the New World: John Frederick Wolle conducted the first American performance of Bach's B minor Mass in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1900, one hundred and fifty-one years after the composer's death
Music to be terrorised by: In the 1936 'Hitler' Olympics young gymnasts in the opening ceremony performed to music by Carl Orff scored for a large ensemble of recorders and percussion. At the 1972 Olympics, which were overshadowed by a terrorist attack, Orff arranged the medieval canon 'Sumer is icumen' for choir and a mixture of early and modern instruments.
Strange but true: Edgar Varèse (above) studied at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, and conducted performances of early music for many years. In New York in 1947 he conducted a programme titled 'Modern Music of the 16th and 17th century' which comprised works by Grigny, Couperin, Monteverdi, Charpentier, Frescobaldi, Schütz and Grandi. Other students at the influential Schola Cantorum, which was a leading force in the 20th century early music revival, included Albert Roussel, Erik Satie, Isaac Albéniz, Joaquín Turina, Bohuslav Martinů, Georges Auric, Arthur Honegger, and Quincy Porter.
Image credits: Header - Pliable, taken on Nikon F50 SLR on 200 ASA film using built-in flash. Berlin Christmas 2005. Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk.
If you enjoyed this post take An Overgrown Path to Diary for evening of 12th May 2005
The more the merrier, it's Christmas!
A virtual bottle of champagne to you for setting the mark with fourteen virtual harpsichords.
Any higher bids?
Also worth noting in the New Music for Old Instruments catagory, but senza harpsichord, is Mauricio Kagel's "Music for Renaissance Instruments"
It is interesting that almost forty years before Stravinsky composed 'The Rake's Progress' Richard Strauss apparently contemplated using a harpsichord in the divertissement he wrote for Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, but finally opted for a piano.
If that sounds unlikely follow this link.
And in the rock field Mannheim Steamroller
use a harpsichord somewhere in the mix.