Reflections of an American Harpsichordist
Title Details

226 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

13 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Reflections of an American Harpsichordist

Unpublished Memoirs, Essays, and Lectures of Ralph Kirkpatrick

Edited by Meredith Kirkpatrick

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Presents previously unpublished memoirs (1933-77), lectures, and essays by the eminent harpsichordist and scholar Ralph Kirkpatrick.
This collection of unpublished writings by the eminent harpsichordist and scholar Ralph Kirkpatrick contains his memoirs for the period 1933-77 as well as essays on a variety of topics, including his preparation for the first performance of Elliott Carter's Double Concerto, thoughts on editing Bach's Goldberg Variations, and reflections on recording, chamber music, performance, and harpsichords and their transport. The volume also contains five lectures from a Yale University lecture series presented between 1969 and 1971, a bibliography of publications by and about Kirkpatrick, a discography of his recordings, and a foreword by former Kirkpatrick student and renowned organist William Porter.

Meredith Kirkpatrick, the niece of Ralph Kirkpatrick, is a librarian and bibliographer at Boston University and the editor of Ralph Kirkpatrick: Letters of the American Harpsichordist and Scholar (University of Rochester Press, 2014).
Introduction
Memoirs, 1933-77
On Performing
On Recording
On Chamber Music
On Harpsichords and Their Transport
Elliott Carter's Double Concerto (ca. 1973)
On Editing Bach's Goldberg Variations: For Arthur Mendel (March 31, 1973)
RK and Music at JE (1983)
The Equipment and Education of a Musician (1971)
Bach and Mozart for Violin and Harpsichord (ca. 1944)
The Early Piano (Broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Music Weekly, September 23, 1973)
Bach and Keyboard Instruments
In Search of Scarlatti's Harpsichord
Style in Performance
The Performer's Pilgrimage to the Sources
Private Virtue and Public Vice in the Performance of "Early Music"
Appendix A: Personal Names in the Text
Appendix B: Publications by and about Ralph Kirkpatrick
Appendix C: Ralph Kirkpatrick Discography
"The career of [harpsichordist] Kirkpatrick took place during a major developmental stage in the history of the harpsichord. Extremely enjoyable to read. Excellently produced and laid out on the page." REVUE BELGE DE MUSICOLOGIE
"[A]n exciting read not only for harpsichordists, but also for anyone interested in early music and the history of old keyboard instruments." SZABÓ ERVIN LIBRARY MUSIC COLLECTION
"His depth of thought, and skill in articulating his musical philosophy never disappoints, and I would buy the book if only for his outstandingly good essay, entitled 'The Performer's Pilgrimage to the Sources'...A writer who could evoke time and place with memorable clarity." SOUNDING BOARD
"Offers valuable insight into... the [early music] movement as well as considerable enjoyment along the way." THE CONSORT
"The writing style is elegant and captivating, often sprinkled with touches of humor. The pages...devoted to Scarlatti are particularly rich." REVUE DE MUSICOLOGIE
"[A] new and rich collection of writings by . . . Ralph Kirkpatrick (1911-1984). . . one of the principal shapers of the twentieth-century movement to return historical instruments to the practical uses of musical life." AD PARNASSUM
"[P]resents another pathway to understanding the stellar contributions of the most influential American harpsichordist of the mid-20th century after . Here is a book to treasure, and to share with fellow lovers of the harpsichord and its history." DIAPASON
"This special book is well made, beautiful to hold and captures this later period in the lifetime and place in history of this very eminent American musician and scholar. . . . Kirkpatrick's own Memoirs in this book have an elegant and engaging style of writing, displaying his erudite intelligence and charisma. . . . [His] Reflections . . . display the author's immense contribution and role in shaping music history." FONTES ARTIS MUSICAE
"Brilliant observations that apply to all fields of music. The fascinating writing itself is so elegant and polished. . . that the reader constantly wants to turn the pages. . . . Should be of interest to all lovers of keyboard instruments and the music written for them." AMERICAN ORGANIST
"Kirkpatrick's playing, at its best, is magnificent ... [This] entertaining and wittily written book ... [is] a beautiful complement to [Ralph Kirkpatrick: Letters of the American Harpsichordist and Scholar], which came out a few years ago." OPUSKLASSIEK
"Offers a fascinating view into the personality and worldview of Ralph Kirkpatrick. . . . The writing reveals scrupulous musical standards and a crunchy personality." AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"Meredith Kirkpatrick has selected wisely and edited meticulously. We are offered many insights into the life of a concert harpsichordist at a time when such individuals were rare indeed. [Kirkpatrick's] prose style is always elegant, but he expresses himself directly and vigorously." EARLY MUSIC PERFORMER
"Opens a window onto much of 20th-century cultural history. . . . Essential reading for anyone interested in the harpsichord, scholarship, and musical style." EARLY MUSIC AMERICA
"[From] a musician who was widely admired as one of the finest harpsichordists of his day [comes] this collection of memoirs, essays and lectures, all previously unpublished and edited sensitively by Kirkpatrick's niece...[The memoirs are] pleasingly anecdotal." GRAMOPHONE
"[A welcome new book of writings by] the trailblazing American harpsichordist...Humour and waspish observations gild memoir and polemic alike. Many of the issues pondered with characteristic clarity are no less relevant fifty years on...(Four stars, and Editor's Choice)" BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

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Title Details

226 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

13 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press