27 April 2017

Reviewed Music for Two Flutes. Bach: Trio Sonata in G, BWV 1039, Handel: Sonata op. 2 no. 5, Haydn: London Trio Hob. IV No. 1 , works of Mozart, Drouet, Köhler. Preston’s Pocket: Stephen Preston & Linda Beznosiuk (baroque & classical flutes), Jane Coe (baroque cello), Robert Woolley (Jacob Kirckman two-manual harpsichord, fortepiano by Adlam Burnett 1974 after Mattaeus Heilmann c. 1785, Broadwood pianoforte 1823). Amon Ra CD-SAR 11 (1983) .

The Bach trio-sonata is an alternative version of the Sonata for Keyboard and Viola da Gamba BWV 1027, with flute 1 taking the harpsichord’s right hand and flute 2 the part of the gamba. It is lovely (and played with great liveliness by Preston’s Pocket). Not only do the two flutes lend it a lovely pastoral atmosphere, but the very homogeneity of timbres made me realize how heterogeneous, and even ill-suited, the harpsichord and gamba really were. I thought this CD was going to be a quick listen-quick forget, but in fact it sent me on a new comparative-listening spree of the gamba sonatas. One version solves that problem of timbral heterogeneity: the recording of Anner Bylsma and Bob van Asperen on Sony, because van Asperen substitutes positive organ to harpsichord. It sounds great! Stay tune, then…

14 April 2017

Finally completed my associate Everest page with all the documentation and precise chronology from the contemporary Billboards about the early days of Everest and how Harry Belock got into the record business, then out, how he got in contact with Bernie Solomon and how he ultimately sold it away to him. I had put it aside to work on the Concert Disc discography.

I had sent notice of my Concert Disc discography to The Fine Arts Quartet (they have an excellent website, with their contact info) and the quartet’s first fiddler, Ralph Evans, kindly responded. Thanks!

10 April 2017

Wow. That turned out to be a helluvalotowork. Had I known it would have take so much time, would I have done it? Sure I would!

So, one thing leading to another and Everest to the Fine Arts Quartet and to the Concert Disc label, I decided to go ahead and do a discography of the latter. Concert Disc, first initiated in 1953 as Concertapes, was the label of the Fine Arts Quartet, and they also hosted the New York Woodwind Quintet. But what I didn’t know as I embarked on that discography is that Concert Disc’s classical music flagship series would lead me to chronicling also their popular music series – so ironic that, for sake of fastidiousness and completeness, I spent so much time searching for information on music that is basically muzak-junk and for which I have utterly no interest, if not cringing disgust (One exception though, that I’d like to underline here lest it goes unnoticed while you look at the lengthy discography: Willie Wright, folk singer. See Concert Disc CS 45). And that, from there, I’d go ahead and retrace the history of Concert Disc’s reel-to-reel-tape-only predecessors, Concertapes and, even further back, Webcor. And that was even more painstaking research work, as tapes were, at the time, a very specialized niche market, so that there are far less remnant traces of their releases today. But I think I got through.

And, as a dear friend commented: all this, for what? Who today will have an interest for The Fine Arts Quartet, the New York Woodwind Quintet, and a label that, in the LP era at least, wasn’t particularly noted for its “distinguished” hifi quality?

Well… me, your honor.

Here you go, then, take a look at my mammoth Concert Disc / Concertapes discography.