A very interesting thread. Would be nice if such material, sources, and demonstrations made it to an ARSC conference. I noticed only Bluegrass, Disco, Rap, and the discovery that Baltimore is referred to as “Charm City” in a quick scan of the program for our annual event. Despite many years spent in the DC area, Baltimore’s nickname was a discovery. Sort of an oxymoron from my experiences outside the tourist areas.
“Wellington’s Victory” is a great reminder of the old Mercury recording with Antal Dorati and the LSO. I bought it for the “1812” on the other side. The one with the “authentic” cannons and bells. Being something of a Tchaikovsky nut in my youth, the recording allowed me a first experience of a thoroughly mediocre work by Beethoven. Of course there are others and had I not already placed all the “great composers” on such an exalted altar, I would have realized that LvB had subpar days just like everyone else.
Haydn’s pieces for Flötenuhr—the word is best translated as mechanical organ—are a minor, but interesting group in the larger body of his work. The still on-going, first complete edition of Haydn’s work considers 17 of these pieces to be genuine. Fifteen others, included in the relevant JHW volume, are published in an appendix, but cannot be sourced to Haydn. The editorial work which resulted in these divisions was done by Sonja Gerlach and George Hill in the early 1980s. Gerlach is near irreproachable in her scholarly work on Haydn.
The princes Esterházy—particularly Nicholas II—were huge fans of mechanical organs, and they most certainly featured their “personal” composer’s works. A few of these devices have survived and they have revealed some significant information to researchers regarding other Haydn works, which we would not have known except for these wound up mechanicals. Given their cost, they must have been the audiophile status equipment of their day. Haydn was intimately involved in the transcription of his music for them. He worked together with a very talented builder— Catholic priest, Father Primitivus Niemecz, also on the Esterházy payroll. Haydn’s autograph manuscript for the music in one of these organs requires 32 tones over a three octave range. Unfortunately, because mainsprings wear out and get replaced, we cannot rely on the devices for unquestioned authority in matters of tempo. Given the pre-metronome times, that would have been good information to have.
If your eyes have not completely glazed over by this point, I would strongly recommend tracking down Arthur Ord-Hume’s, Joseph Haydn and the Mechanical Organ. The text is in English and the book features absolutely terrific photographs of three of the clocks—still in playable condition, inside and out diagrams of how they were constructed, and facsimiles of a few surviving Haydn manuscripts for the works. I checked Abebooks.com <http://abebooks.com/> (like half the bookselling world, now owned by Amazon) and found it still available for under $20.
Incidentally, the first known public hearing of any of Haydn’s Flötenuhr music took place on June 14, 1926 as part of a Vienna radio broadcast.
> On Apr 25, 2018, at 7:40 PM, Paul Jackson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> The Stanford Piano Roll project may be able to help with this.
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> On 4/25/2018 2:13 PM, Frank Forman wrote:
>> Does anyone have a piano roll listing? Schnabel punched 051n2 (Rondo in G)
>> on Ampico 60613, in 1922, making it the first, since Kempff's disc recording, P.66040 mx1721as, 1722� as, came in 1924.