Friday, July 27, 2012

Georges Bizet : Ronde Turque

As far as can be gathered from my far from perfect reading of the Italian,  this piece is played on a harmonium that also was a celeste.   The large array of stops shown on the video gives some idea of how the reed organ in the late 19th and early 20th century seems to have been a predecessor of the synthesizer,  giving the player a large number of sounds to work, or play, within a package that could be moved  around and which fit in the home.   Maybe that has something to do with why it declined as the focus of serious composers as much as the changing aesthetics of the time.  Maybe it became too much of a good thing?   Later today I'll post a piece from a composer who did more with those possibilities than just about any other composer who wrote for harmonium.

These and many of the other pieces I'm posting this week are available in the IMSLP music library online.

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