Tuesday, March 20, 2007
A time of things turning up
First it was a Rachmaninov manuscript in a Co-op bag. Now it's Chopin's piano. His long-lost Pleyel has pitched up, lurking in the Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands (above) in Surrey, identified by the excellent Chopin scholar Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger (editor of Chopin, pianist and teacher as seen by his pupils - a.k.a. my Chopin Bible). The story was in The Times the other day, but [cue my Technotwit signature theme] I couldn't find it on their website, so a magazine-based friend with his finger on the pulse has kindly sent me this link to the article (in English) from Turkey. Time to head for Hatchlands to hear it! In general, their programme of concerts is well worth checking out.
The journalist comments, with accuracy, 'Chopin died long before his own performances could be recorded'. Shades of a sorry occasion when a magazine that shall remain nameless ran a nice little trick on 1 April, declaring that an early cylinder recording of Chopin playing his own Minute Waltz had turned up buried at the bottom of a garden belonging to an unfortunate, unrecognised pioneer of recorded sound. Said mag had included it on their cover CD. Guess who fell straight into the trap...