David Pinnegar Posted May 5, 2020 Share Posted May 5, 2020 Please forgive me for what is likely to be a very rough introduction to a thread which could probably be introduced more elegantly. As some know, I have an interest in tuning pianos, indeed an obsession, and this leads me into discussions beyond the confines of organs. Another tuner pointed a piano group to a curiosity of tuning - https://toposmedia.bandcamp.com/album/niels-lyhne-l-kkegaard-a-major-third-consists-of-9-different-notes-for-30-saxophones which personally I have found excruciating. I used to find Messiaen likewise but perhaps when we hear we can appreciate him more. Some time ago I was asked to talk to the friends of the London Mozart players and https://www.academia.edu/37951978/THE_COLOUR_OF_MUSIC_IN_MOZARTS_TIME_A_journey_from_Couperin_to_Chopin_Examination_of_reconstruction_of_Mozart_Fantasias_K594_and_K608_for_Mechanical_Clock resulted, which I hope that members might find interesting. My interest in Meantone then led into an investigation into an 18th century barrel organ formerly at the Colt Collection. is a recording of some Handel, and at some stage I'll put on YT the recordings of the two recorded Handel Organ Concertos. This gave clues as to what Mozart was writing for in terms of his organ fantasias for mechanical clock. Modern performances are so very different to the instrument and context for which Mozart was writing. Contemporary accounts refer to the mechanical clock giving the impression of a couple of flutes and a bassoon. Obviously a short-resonator reed would have been necessary for the bass and at the Colt Collection was a piano-organ, the organ using stopped pipes to save space. So I decided to simulate the Mozart Fantasias as if to be pinned on the Holland Barrel Organ with the addition of extra reeds in the bass. In the 18th century inter-European communication was more widespread than we give credit for, as exemplified by Dr Burney's travels. Looking at barrel organs on YouTube has given opportunities for armchair comparison unavailable to previous generations. As a result I surmise that reproducing mechanisms had elements of standardisation, and as such I assumed that the barrel diameter, surface rotation speed and time of 10 or so revolutions in the Austrian clock might not be very different to that of the barrels of the Holland instrument. And in the 1930s Scholes asked the question of how Dr Burney's piano, in meantone, might have performed the Bach 48. The secret might well be in the use of stopped ranks for the far keys. And interestingly, an 1859 Broadwood piano demonstrates surprising tonal resilience to tuning in Kirnberger III So in the resulting lecture a friend demonstrated what should have been the worst of Bach 48 And the trouble with meantone is in choosing the wrong stops but when used with the right stops can be particularly expressive of emotion - Thanks to all the performers who have gone through years of experimentation with me. Best wishes David P Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Please sign in to comment
You will be able to leave a comment after signing in
Sign In Now