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Wanda Landowska

This forum is for discussing Gothic and Industrial music, as well as other kinds of music popular in the scene (deathrock, etc).
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Nephele
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Wanda Landowska

Postby Nephele » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:13 pm

Harpsichord music is my kind of goth music -- particularly when played in a melancholic, minor key.

Perhaps of interest to others here who thrill to the gothic sounds of the harpsichord, this month's BBC Music magazine has an outstanding article on Wanda Landowska (1879-1959), who may be the world's most renown harpsichordist.

The BBC Music magazine article is timed to mark the 100th anniversary of a "duel" in the music world that was to determine which instrument was the most suitable for playing Bach -- the piano or the harpsichord. At the time (1911), the harpsichord was viewed as an archaic instrument, having been replaced by the more respected piano. In the words of article author Paul Riley:

"When Wanda Landowska reintroduced the harpsichord into concert halls a century ago, she was viewed as a crackpot, and her instrument roundly mocked. She was to have the last laugh, however..."

Wanda and her harpsichord won. And now here is a little Wanda to listen to as you sip your glass of absinthe: Wanda Landowska plays Bach's "Chromatic Fantasia"

-- Nephele
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Re: Wanda Landowska

Postby demon17 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:10 am

First I had to smile, harpsichord - which funny instrument that might be. Then I found out it's called cembalo in German. For a short moment I had to search in my retention and found some memories of slow, fragile and romantic sounds from the 18th and 19th centuries and now I hear this overwhelming cascades and fountains of a driving sound which seems very modern to me. I wished there would be less synthesizers and more harpsichords in current goth music. Thank you for that link Nephele. A good start with hearing music on a sunday morning.
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In diesen Nächten tanzen kalte Sterne starre Reigen.
Am Grab der Träume suchen Schatten nach Vergangenheit,
verloren, längst zerrissen von der Hysterie der Zeit.
Die Stille herrscht am Grab und selbst die Eulen schweigen.
Ein Traum zerbricht ...
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Re: Wanda Landowska

Postby Nephele » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:12 am

Thank you, Demon, for enlightening me on the cembalo! I didn't know the instrument was known by that name in Germany! I like it!

And I agree with your sentiment about more harpsichords and fewer synthesizers.

-- Nephele
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Re: Wanda Landowska

Postby Wolfmammy » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:30 am

Another vote over here for harpsichords! I thoroughly enjoyed that link, Elphie.
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Re: Wanda Landowska

Postby Harpy Senium » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:50 pm

Thanks so much! Go figure, people calling one instrument archaic and not wanting to hear it just because something new comes along. They're two different instruments, and some works sound better on one than the other, and vice versa. Harpsichord strings get plucked as opposed to being hammered in a piano.
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Re: Wanda Landowska

Postby Lachrymose » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:46 pm

Ahhhh...we should have more of these. Harpy is quite right about the plucked sound, just like how a lute is played; plucked with the fingers (mostly).

Back in the days when people traveled by horse/coach, a Carman was a man who drove a coach, and so here's my contribution to the thread's music.

And, if you're ambitious enough, here's a handy kit to occupy your time and fingers.
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