Harpsichord Drone
July 19, 2019 11:04 AM   Subscribe

The "ligeti" tag is there because the effect created by some of the sonatas' being longer than others is not unlike Poème Symphonique when some of the metronomes keep going long after others have stopped.
posted by kenko at 11:05 AM on July 19 [6 favorites]

Why did I click this link expecting anything other than this? LOL I mean, imagine this instead of Rick Rolling someone.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:06 AM on July 19

Haha it sounds like something from a 1970s low budget sci-fi movie-of-the-week intended to convey anxiety and build tension.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 11:12 AM on July 19 [2 favorites]

tbh I think it's kind of great.
posted by kenko at 11:13 AM on July 19 [8 favorites]

Wish YouTube had the option of running this backwards.
posted by jamjam at 11:19 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]

Interesting! Lots of them are great heard individually too! I wonder if they're all by a single performer to achieve some consistency of tone, or if it's a mishmash of whichever versions came to hand?
posted by misteraitch at 11:26 AM on July 19

I clicked on this while chatter from Apollo 11 in Real Time was running in the background and it made it sound like they had just encountered the monolith.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:29 AM on July 19 [3 favorites]

Definitely worth skipping to about 4:30 once you get tired of the storm of noise. The effect as things fall away is quite poetic. Perhaps someone could re-make this but with each piece centered, so it starts with just the longest piece and more are added to a crescendo which eventually falls off.
posted by Nelson at 11:35 AM on July 19 [9 favorites]

I wonder if they're all by a single performer to achieve some consistency of tone, or if it's a mishmash of whichever versions came to hand?

I think it's the guy who uploaded the video, who appears to be a harpsichordist, playing them all
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:58 AM on July 19

Your harpsichordists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
posted by thelonius at 12:16 PM on July 19 [4 favorites]

I've long held to the theory that Yngwie Malmsteen was Mozart's personal harpsichordist, but upon discovering how to play in pi/4 time at 60^e beats per minute, accidentally hurled himself into the future. The fpp is what it sounds like to mortal ears.
posted by Groundhog Week at 12:44 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]

That's the first time I've ever heard harpsichords sounding like organs.
posted by Quasirandom at 12:50 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]

Today is my birthday and this appears to have been made for me and my sense of humor, so thank you for posting it.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:52 PM on July 19 [5 favorites]

I wonder if they're all by a single performer to achieve some consistency of tone,

I presume it's Scott Ross, given that the youtube description is "Sssssccccooooootttttt Rrrrrooooosssss."
posted by kenko at 1:22 PM on July 19 [3 favorites]

Scott Stonebreaker Ross would make a decent FPP (and, if you'd prefer to listen to the 555 sonatas individually, there's a 34-CD box set)
posted by box at 1:35 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]





thank you
posted by LMGM at 1:49 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]

It sounds to me as if one of them is actually by Monteverdi.
posted by Segundus at 2:21 PM on July 19 [4 favorites]

there's a 34-CD box set

posted by Quasirandom at 2:59 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]

That was dope. Love the ending.
posted by nikoniko at 3:32 PM on July 19

Turned way down, it's pretty much like white noise, but not compelling enough to stave away sleep (not that I've ever used white noise or pink noise or harpsichord noise to fall asleep).
posted by kozad at 5:25 PM on July 19

They need to work on their dynamics.
posted by humboldt32 at 6:00 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]

This is what Scarlatti never could have known he was writing all along. Magnificent, and yeah, surprisingly like Ligeti’s micro-polyphony.
posted by LooseFilter at 6:45 PM on July 19

I am about to attend a week-long viola da gamba workshop, which is about the only thing I can think of that can cleanse me from what I just witnessed
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 7:53 PM on July 19 [4 favorites]

This is what happens when you let your cat get on your harpsichord.
posted by dannyboybell at 8:02 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]

Thanks! Big time-saver!
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:33 PM on July 19 [3 favorites]

what happens when you let your cat get on your harpsichord

That would be Sonata K.30 aka The Cat's Fugue: 'Legend has it that Scarlatti had a pet cat called Pulcinella, who was described by the composer as prone to walking across the keyboard [...] On one occasion, according to the story, Scarlatti wrote down a phrase from one of these "improvisation sessions", and used it as a lead motif in a fugue.'

I particularly enjoy the way Andreas Staier shreds his way through Sonata K. 427, taking Scarlatti's tempo instruction of Presto, quanto sia possibile ('as fast as possible') at face value. Scott Ross takes a bit longer over it.

A few others: Justin Taylor plays K. 115; Jean Rondeau plays K. 208; Pierre Hantaï plays K. 466.
posted by misteraitch at 12:32 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]

To many responses going on in my mind. I think of Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound'. I hear an audio representation of an active network as it thrives and then fades into the last user on a system giving one last hurrah. I hear the death of a landscape; a musical accompaniment to Carson's Silent Spring. I heard the greatest rain on roof flurry ever. And I completely agree with Quasirandom, so much like organs. Late Seventies to mid-Eighties Science Fiction film organs.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 4:39 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]

In the end, Baroque composers wrote 566 harpsichord sonatas. Bach wrote 6. Telemann wrote 5. Scarlatti wrote THE OTHER FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FIVE.
posted by cacophony at 10:25 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]

I recall hearing the Ring cycle treated in similar fashion.
posted by y2karl at 2:38 PM on July 20

Well, Bach was more of a clavichord man, right?
posted by thelonius at 2:40 PM on July 20

The comments on that feed are amazing:
Bar 57 of the 163rd sonata was out of time.

Please in Sonata L374 ... Mordente (Bar 4) G A G not G Ab G.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 4:04 PM on July 20

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