Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Debussy Children's Corner Suite/ Barrère, Salzedo, Britt

Carlos Salzedo was one of the very greatest harpists of the first half of the twentieth century. He composed, transcribed as here, had works written for him and his trio ( the Trio de Lutèce, with the same personel except for Paul Kéfer on cello), and performed around the world, with a career centered in France and the U.S., where he met his wife. He created a method for playing the harp and created the Maine Harp Colony, which trained harpists into the new millennium.

The transcription posted here fits Debussy's piano score well and is idiomatic to the instruments involved. A bit of imagination is required in listening to the post, as the delicacy of the scoring is at times not well adapted to the 78rpm disc and its inevitable surface noise. This was a well played set of records, too, so the renovation was something of a challenge. I filtered conservatively to remove excessive and intrusive noise and re-equalized the file, which was a little dull. The sound is still, nonetheless, quite dry, but I found that adding reverberation did not help, and in fact made things worse in this instance.

I will be posting a Debussy Iberia with Reiner and Pittsburgh at the same time as this. The two make a decent pairing for CD. My back CD insert assumes one CD will be made of the two post, numbering this set tracks 1-6, and the Reiner Iberia 7-10.

Link to all files


  1. Terrific post! I look forward to hearing these. The Reiner Ibert addition is also lovely. You must have a bunch of great 78s lying around! I have a few but am not properly set up to play them. I must remedy that, as one of mine is the Stravinsky Cappricio with Koussevitzy/BSO (the pianist is an unknown name to me which I do not recall) and I think this item is unknown on LP and CD...

  2. I believe the pianist is Jésus Maria Sanroma, an important instrumentalist, though I don't believe I have recordings by him. Yes, do get set up for 78 and post that one. Once you have a turntable that plays 78s, a workable cartridge can be fairly inexpensive. A headshell that switches out easily makes things much easier.

    I got rid of my 78s years ago, so really have very few now, mostly things I've picked up recently specifically to post to the blog.

    Good luck in your own work. I look forward to listening again to the Janigro Bach performances.

  3. Yep, that is the pianist! I also have a highly collectible 78s album of Serge Koussevitzky playing the double bass. Some of the material never released elsewhere.

    I shall try to invest in a decent old Dual with 78 speed and get 'er done!

  4. Oh my God! I was a bass player and had those recordings from 78 on a reel to reel dub for years, another casuality of a catastrophe I don't talk about. If you post those just I might just get religion and start lighting candles for you!