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Recordings which Demonstrate the Communication Techniques

Click here for a Musical Example*

This example was performed by ROBERT HILL, Professor of Harpsichord and Fortepiano at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany. The recording was made recently of a live performance on the performer's Keith Hill "Cristofori" Pianoforte. The piece is a Bach Three Part Invention.

Click here for a Musical Example*

MARIANNE PLOGER plays this BERCEUSE she wrote for piano in 1996. The instrument she uses for this recording is a Keith Hill Fortepiano in the Viennese Manner. You will notice that she has composed the third section of this piece using the Sans Souci technique in a 2 against 3 against 4 movement between the voices.

Click here for a Musical Example*

This is the Sarabande from the Bach D Minor Violin Partita arranged for the harpsichord and performed by ROBERT HILL. The instrument is a Hill Harpsichord built after the 1769 Taskin orginal which lives in the Russell Collection in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is Robert Hill's personal harpsichord.

Click here for a Musical Example*

This is an extremely interesting and important performance of a reduction of Mozart's Coronation Concerto. The performer is CARL REINEKE. The recording is not even of a person playing!! It is a player piano!! This marvelous recording was made in 1905 and finally put on CD by the Welte Mignon Museum in Frieburg, Germany a few years ago.

Carl Reineke was born in 1824!!!!!! Three years before Beethoven died. His way of playing was very likely learned by the time he was 13 years old as he was a child prodigy and a mature pianist on a level with Liszt, Thalberg, and Clara Schumann. He was a lifelong personal friend of the Schumanns. So he knew exactly what he was doing when he recorded this piece at the Welte Factory on their recording Steinway (the same one restored and used on this recording). Interestingly, he left off a career as a concert pianist to conduct Gewandhous Orchestra and compose.

This recording is not merely an historical curiosity. It is one of the most communicative and musical performances in existance. Reineke sings through his instrument like a great artist singer...a way of playing that Bach was described as using by his great grand student, Griepenkerl. (See the Craft of Musical Communication)

This recording, titled: 19th Century Pianists on Welte-Mignon, is available from Archiphon (ARC-106) label. You can call the folks at the Verein für musicalische Archiv-Forschung e.V., Großherzog-Friedrich-Straße 62, D-7640 Kehl/Rhein tel: 49-07851-2306.

Click here for a Musical Example*

LUISA TETRAZZINI, the great 19th and early 20th century prima donna, sings this aria with stunning artistry. She does everything in her power to create affect. When it means using her voice to make sounds, that would give her a failing grade in practically every conservatory in the world today because they are not consistently beautiful, which suggest earthiness or carelessness, she doesn't hesitate. This way of singing was clearly what inspired many an Italian aria as well as Chopin, who spent countless hours listening to opera singers in rehearsal when he lived in Paris.

The orchestra is fascinating too because all the voices are independent and performing highly affectively. The modern tendency to turn its nose up at the manner of performing in this recording and others like it is the reason why concerts and opera performances are boring and tedious to listen to for most people. This recording represents an extremely high level or artistry even if the sound engineering is primitive. Listeners who have heard this recording and others like it say that if opera singers sang like that today, they would love to hear opera...alas, they don't, so they don't.

What is even more compelling about this woman's voice is that sounds almost exactly like a Guarneri "del Jesu" violin. Yet, chronologically, Guarneri was building violins prior to 1747 and this recording was made around 1920.

This historical recording is available on the Pearl label as a collection of Tetrazzini's recordings.

Click here for a Sound Sample*

LUDMILLA GINSBERG is the pianist on this recording as well as on the wonderful recording of the Example at the end of the article on Affect. She was 82 years old when she performed these pieces on a concert she played at the Hochschule für Musik about 10 years ago as part of a series sponsored by the Early Music department as a living model representative of the performance practices of the great pianists of the 19th century and early 20th century. Like Reineke and Tetrazzini, Ms. Ginsberg is a great artist and an inspiring model of consumate musicianship. At last report, she was still teaching in Moscow.

*(Here's a trick to hear the sound sample and view the site at the same time. 1.Click on the sound sample to download it. 2.Then, download one of my other sites on your browser, in effect, opening a new window. 3.Click on the SITE button, at that site, relating to this site. 4. Once you have this site accessed from the new page and window, you can to view the site and listen to the downloading sound sample for it.)

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