Showing posts from June 3, 2012

Carey Beebe and a 1978 copy by David Rubio of the 1745 Joannes Daniel Dulcken harpsichord now in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington - a challenge to maintain in Warsaw, Poland

Click on photos to enlarge - far superior  My copy of a two manual Flemish eighteenth century instrument by the esteemed original maker and inheritor of the Ruckers tradition, Joannes Daniel Dulcken (1736-1769). The instrument is based on the 1745 original in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The instrument was made for me in 1978 in the Oxfordshire village of Duns Tew by the late great luthier and supreme maker of classical guitars, viola de gambas, chests of viols and violins David Rubio (1934 - 2000). He also made the Taskin copy much beloved by Gustav Leonhardt for his  recordings by the French composers Duphly and Forqueray The soundboard of my instrument decorated by Pauline Whitehouse for David Rubio. I had all the known species of Norfolk Island butterflies depicted on the soundboard. Norfolk Island was the Pacific Island I lived on for some years in my twenties among the descendants of the Mutiny on the Bounty  One reason I failed to attend the Dia

Diamond Jubilee - a few last thoughts

I feel no compelling need to express my thoughts on this event and add to the vast number of column inches, television and radio time already devoted to the event.  However I do think the capricious BBC coverage of the event indicates a great deal about the values of the society we live in. And judging from the newspaper commentaries it seems we do not like what we see in the mirror. After all the producers are only reflecting what they consider or perceive to be the general Zeitgeist of the nation . I have had my say concerning the river pageant in an earlier post. The Jubilee concert on Monday evening was clearly a wonderful event for all those who are nostalgic for a period when popular music was composed by authentically talented musicians and also performed well by them. Good to see Lang Lang, despite his undoubted uncanny virtuosity, being accurately and deservedly placed among popular musicians and entertainers rather than taking an undeserved place in the pantheon of serio

Diamond Jubilee River Pageant - the view from Warsaw

Living as I do in a variety of self-imposed exile, I had originally planned to go to London for these few days of celebration of the Diamond Jubilee. A few months ago I was already unable to obtain accommodation at the wonderful time-warp  Royal Overseas League in St James's where I usually stay and was placed on a waiting list. Finally deciding not to go (any London break always ends up costing me at least 1000 pounds) I arranged other pressing personal matters and then was suddenly offered accommodation - too late - but how nice of the ROSL to offer. When I lived in Marylebone I used to carry my aluminium ladder down to the Mall early in the morning on every Royal occasion for 30 years until 2004 when I moved to Warsaw. At the wedding of Charles and Diana I asked a little girl standing with her mother nearby who she would like to be after the glittering procession had passed. 'I would like to be a horse!' she replied with great concentration. You have to actual