Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Harpsichord: Burning Part 2

Yep, he burned it alright.
(image hosted on Bill Thompson's website)

According to the press release following the burning/performance, Bill Thompson said, "It was very beautiful to see and surpassed all my expectations." He recorded the instrument burning, attaching mikes to it so that he could record the sound of the flames consuming the instrument, which he rescued from a scrap heap. It's hard to tell what kind of an instrument he used (A slabside Zuckerman? An old Neupert?). Perhaps I'll email him and ask.

Bill Thompson is going to make a DVD of the event from the video footage, audio recordings, and photos friends took.


Tia O'Connor said...

May be if Bill was mainly a harpsichord player he would have thought twice? :-) I hope he will post the video on his site, Romania will never find out about this, selling his dvd's here would be a total failure.
I know that the instruments are crap here because I have a harpsichordist friend (I've made her website - http://www.alina-rotaru.de). Fortunately, she lives no for good in Germany and owns two instruments (I don't know which kind). There must be maximum 5 harpsichords in Romania. Sad! Baroque music concerts? Every two year there is a "Enescu Festival", were the Romanian gouvernment invites lots of classical music celebrities and one orchestra like "OAE" or "King's Consort". How do I survive? CD's. I bought most of them in Ireland, while visiting my ;parents in law.
Now you know the whole story. :-)
I have found your blog while looking for musician's blogs.

megc said...

Yes, I doubt Bill is a harpsichordist. Not really sure what his instrument is.

Thanks for the info about Romania and early music. For some reason I thought there'd be more of a harpsichord presence in Central Europe. Perhaps I need to come and play a concert there! Bring a harpsichord from Hungary or something (I have a musician friend Budapest). I should ask your friend about instruments and ask the builders I know about instruments, too. My understanding is that there is an antique in the National Museum of Art in Bucharest. Have you seen it?

Yay for CDs! They do make a difference.

Thanks for contributing to the blog's comments. It makes a difference, Tia!

Tia O'Connor said...

We go to the Art Museum every now and again but I have never seen a harpsichord there. May be there is one in one of the Art Museum's branches. Or at the Peles Castle (ex-royal castle). I don't know where my friend bought her harpsichord from. Her ex-husband is a clavicord builder, so he might know some people... you know, the mafiosi of the harpsichords. :-)))
I think that Hungary and the Czech Republic have a good tradition in early/baroque music, the situation is different from Romania (Eastern Europe...).
Have you read Saramago's "The memorial of Mafra Monastery"? It features a harpsichord and Scarlatti.
I have never been to US, but I imagine about NY what everybody imagines - it's cool, like in Woody Allen's movies. (?)

megc said...

Tia, check this website:

According to the preface, the list "documents all extant harpsichords presently known to have been built or rebuilt in France during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Also included are a few instruments that survived into the twentieth century but have since been lost or destroyed."

There are two instruments in Romania listed. Very interesting!