Some things you might have missed while double-checking your Joyce Hatto CDs against your Liberace albums....
Anyone for a left-handed piano? Christopher Seed, the Jimi Hendrix of fortepianists, had a Dutch instrument maker build him a mirror-image piano, with the treble on the left side of the keyboard, in order to take advantage of his sinister inclinations. Admission: I'm a southpaw myself, but my main gauche still lags behind its more popular sibling in terms of technique, so I'm not sure how much this would help me. I would love to hear how the bulk of the repertoire sounds inverted around middle C, though. (courtesy of Bart at The Well-Tempered Blog).
Grammys? Boomer nostalgia trips. Oscars? Please. Pulitzers? Until they give one to Lukas Foss, I'll keep raising an eyebrow. No, the real honors come from Andy of The Black Torrent Guard, who's dishing out the hardware in his inaugural Most Annoying Song tournament. The winner? The legendary James Tenney, whose classic earworm "For Ann (rising)" beat out a Rachael Ray mixtape. Something to shoot for next year, although be forewarned: these are the big leagues. How tough is the competition? "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" didn't even get an invite. Yikes.
Think you know Purcell's Come, Ye Sons of Art? No, you don't. According to Dr. Rebecca Herissone of the University of Manchester, Purcell's beloved piece fell victim to a less-than-diligent copyist in the mid-1700s, who "used different instruments, and changed repeats, notation and words and may even have replaced a whole movement with another Purcell piece." Herissone has attempted to restore Purcell's original intentions, although, lacking the ability to pop both CDs into the computer and compare their waveforms, she's had to resort to certain amount of well-informed conjecture.
OK, OK, I couldn't stay away from the Hatto thing. The latest: Hatto's husband finally speaks, and his non-denial denials show a certain flair and appreciation for the art. (Jessica and Lisa are good sources for updates.)