Friday, June 17, 2011

Loose ends

As in, “I am at …”

If there’s a Montgomery newspaper on your doorstep this weekend, thank the guys at tech support. Our computers crashed at least five times yesterday while we in the newsroom were trying to lay out our Friday editions. We had a lot of downtime, but the tech people worked tirelessly all day and night to bring us back online. Unfortunately, they could keep us running for only about an hour at a time before the system would crash again. I didn’t get out of there until about twelve-thirty a.m., which is about five hours later than normal. I worked the equivalent of two full shifts. Woke up this morning — this afternoon, actually — with a headache, but I’m home today until the time comes to go out and cover a meeting of the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers.

Enough about my measly little life. I learned last week from WPRB DJ Teri Noel Towe that Friday, June 10, was the 100th birthday of the harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick. Towe devoted most of his June 9 show to Kirkpatrick’s recordings, but, of course, being Teri Noel Towe, he wouldn’t play any repertory later than 1760. We heard a lot of Bach and Scarlatti, which was all very fine, but Kirkpatrick was also a great champion of 20th century music. He commissioned Elliott Carter’s wonderful Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano with Two Chamber Orchestras (1961), and played on the premiere recording with the young Charles Rosen on piano and an unidentified orchestra conducted by Gustav Meier. The performance has never made it to CD (though two good alternatives are available), but I found the LP on eBay awhile ago, and I listened to it last weekend, in homage.

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