Early Years

Ralph Kirkpatrick, Author Peter Lang Publishing $19.5 (128p) ISBN 978-0-8204-0282-6
Kirkpatrick (19111984), a noted harpsichordist and scholar, here temperately describes his New England childhood and offers delightful extracts from his journal and letters about his studies in Europe in 19311933. The maturity of musical judgment of a young man scarcely out of his teens is complemented by outspoken comments on his famous mentors: Wanda Landowska was ""a sort of combination of Mrs. Landowsky, the pawnbroker's wife, and Wanda, daughter of Henry VIII, sister of Mary and Elizabeth.'' Her playing resembled ``nothing so much as a well-bred typewriter.'' Nadia Boulanger looked ``like the geometry teacher in a Middle West high school.'' Performances by the Dolmetsch family were ``pretty terrible exhibitions of satisfied mediocrity, and usually worse.'' In an epilogue, harpsichordist Frederick Hammond presents his recollections of Kirkpatrick's engaging personality and formidable intellect. Photos. December
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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