Domenico Scarlatti 8 Essercizi per gravicembalo
(‘Christophori’ model harpsichord by Neupert)
Archiv 13 001 (rec. 22 & 23 October 1953)
Apologies, I’ve had this on the stocks for some time, but I’ve been grumpier than usual. Also, I’ve become self-defeatingly perfectionist about my transfers; I’ve done several interesting LPs that I just don’t feel are good enough to inflict on you. What I’d have been quite happy with, some months ago, now sounds hummy, crackly, distorted or dull.
No danger of that here, though – what a sparkling gem of a disc! I was walking to our little Lidl this morning (their trout fillets smoked with juniper berries are the best) when I passed one of our other locals – the sewing supplies shop, where I buy embroidering wool for Ma Grumpy. A wonderful time-warp.
It reminded me to post this disc – as a counter-example. All right, the Neupert. A little metronomic rigidity, perhaps, yes. I see Lionel Salter called it stolid; I think that’s going too far. It’s not auto-pilot, sewing-machine playing. I get the strong feeling Hansen is seeing through the notes to the gestures – and relishing the fabulous, free-wheeling writing.
I’d never heard Hansen before – do read the short biog on wikipedia.de (link above), she’s obviously an important and interesting figure. I’m on the hunt for her other Archiv disc – annoyingly, I bought a copy recently but on receiving it found it was mono. That’s the trouble with those ARC-prefixed US pressings – you can’t tell from the number which mode it’s in (or have I missed something?). Though the dealer should have said, frankly.
8 mono, fully-tagged FLACs, in a .rar file, here.
P.S.: Please all visit Jolyon’s new blog, Fluff on the Needle!