Guest Cynic Posted April 12, 2007 Share Posted April 12, 2007 Needless to say, I have read all about George Thalben Ball and have one or two of his recordings. He didn't make many (I wonder why). One I have readily to hand is a boot-leg copy (incidentally, I'm quite happy to purchase a legal copy if any are available) but because of the nature of this copy I'm not sure where the original was made or when. I suspect that it might be the LP he made at All Souls' Langham Place when he was already 70+. The playing is virtually clean throughout, very limber, and (especially) very polished. The programme runs: Garth Edmundson - Toccata on 'Vom Himmel hoch' (extremely swift and fractionally re-written) Thalben-Ball - Elegy (a bit fast) Walford Davies - Interlude (quite splendid track, this one) C.S.Lang - Tuba Tune (fair performance only) Thalben-Ball - Paganini Variations (splendid, of course) Thalben-Ball - Two Birmingham Pieces (very derivative, some virtually direct quotes from other composers) Schumann - Sketch in C (very grand) Bach - Ein' Feste Burg (Quite splendid - I would love to know where the arrangement comes from!) Karg-Elert - Chorale Prelude [sarabande] (slick, and on the fast side!) Guy Weitz - Toccata 'Stella Maris' (a bit laboured) 1. Information sought! 2. Those of you who had the privilege of hearing him 'live', how did his live recitals compare with today's fare? He is recounted as having 'got used' to a new organ in a matter of a few minutes and apparently sometimes he took no run-through rehearsal at all. It is a shame that the recording (above) must, inevitably, show him some way past his best. The ancient recording he made of The Ride of the Valkyries from (shh.) A.P. is, of course, just stunning. I remember Howells telling me (in awe) of the evening when he (HH) took his new Sonata round to GTB (the dedicatee) for the first time. Thalben Ball had never seen it previously, but promptly sight-read the thing right through on the Temple Church organ - fully up to speed and in front of the composer! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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