Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"For Heaven's Sake! We fixed the fortepiano"\The Frederick Beck/Francis Barwick Fortepiano

In the spring of 2010 I was rummaging through Studio A, Carleton University Music's main storage room and lecture hall, and stumbled upon an old piano wrapped in a particularly dusty blue rug. After managing to negotiate the removal of the rug (the legs on the instrument were quite flimsy), I opened the keyboard to find the inscription "Fredericus Beck Londini fecit 1777". The instrument was in poor condition, the strings had all lost their tension or had broken, and the sound board had three very large cracks in them. I continued to look for another maker's mark through the dust, figuring it was an exact copy, but, to my surprise, I couldn't locate one.

Friday, July 15, 2011

TBSI and Festival Montreal Baroque, part 2

Playing with Bande Montreal Baroque was an incredible experience for me. My first rehearsal was the pinch I needed to wake me from the dream-like daze I was in. Everyone around me in Susie's living room has been featured on at least one CD in my library - and I don't have a large collection - and were all ready to take on the new Brandenburgs. Although I had some time to look at the music while in Toronto, I was certainly not ready to pick up on the time-bending and extraordinary articulations so commonly found in the music of Susie and Eric, our director for the Brandenburgs. To everyone else these, what seemed to me, outlandish ideas were expected.

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