Discussion:
Gilbert Rowland's Scarllati recordings
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Handel8
2005-11-23 23:22:59 UTC
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I recently got a Nimbus disc (NI 5248) of Soler harpsichord sonatas as
performed by Gilbert Rowland dating from 1991, but the analog
recording dated from 1980. Rowland later went on to record all of the
Soler sonatas on 10 Naxos cds. There was a note at the end of the
Rowland bio in the Nimbus disc booklet:
"In 1978 Gilbert Rowland established Keyboard Records for the sole
purpose of recording all Scarlatti's 555 harpsichord sonatas. Sixteen
years on (ie: 1994, I presume), Rowland has recorded 344 sonatas on 28
volumes-to the aclaim of the musical press. As the whole cycle will
take about 40 discs the project is expected to be completed in 1998."

I can find no reference to this series, but vaguely remember the LPs
being for sale at some point way back then, but only in the UK. I also
see that 6 or 7 two-cd sets of Scarlatti sonatas with Rowland are for
sale through Amazon in the UK, but only from them. I find no one else
who lists these cds which are on the label "Kingdom Records". And no,
I find nothing on Kingdom Records either, except for some gospel label
in the US. So my questions are: Did Rowland finish this series ?
Are the Kingdom cds the same recordings as on the Kingdom label ?
My guess is that Rowland did not finish this series, which would be a
shame as the Soler disc is excellent. It would appear that Scott Ross
is still the only artist to have finished a complete recording of the
Scarlatti 555 sonatas. Valenti on Westminster LPs probably did not,
but not sure. The new series on Brilliant Classics with Belder seems
to have died aborning. It has been maybe a year since volume 6 came
out. I see Volume 7 announced, but not for sale anywhere. In
addition to that, I see that 3 of the 6 volumes appear to be already
out of stock and not orderable from the usual places in Germany. The
Scott Ross set has just been reissued by Warner/Teldec I see, which is
good news.
Lastly,
Anyone compare the Rowland vs. van Asperen recordings of Soler?
What little I have heard of Asperen, in Handel's organ concerti, does
not give me a lot of confidence. But that is all I recall hearing of
Bob's work.

Alan Prichard
Charles Moore
2005-11-24 01:42:31 UTC
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British harpsichordist Richard Lester recently completed recording all
of the Scarlatti sonatas, available at
http://www.the-scarlatti-experience.fsnet.co.uk

Charles Moore
http://charles.moore.name/contents.htm
Handel8
2005-11-24 02:56:57 UTC
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Thanks for this information ! Have you heard any of Lester's Scarlatti
or anything else by Lester ? Is it worth pursuing ?

Alan Prichard
Thomas Wood
2005-11-24 01:59:44 UTC
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Luciano Sgrizzi recorded at least MOST of the Scarlatti sontas for Erato,
but I can't find confirmation that he completed the cycle.

I have a Nimbus CD of Rowland playing Soler, and while the playing is
sometimes quite exciting, the harpsichord sounds rather clangorous and the
playing is rhythmically rather rough.

Tom Wood
s***@gmail.com
2019-08-02 23:16:34 UTC
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Post by Handel8
I recently got a Nimbus disc (NI 5248) of Soler harpsichord sonatas as
performed by Gilbert Rowland dating from 1991, but the analog
recording dated from 1980. Rowland later went on to record all of the
Soler sonatas on 10 Naxos cds. There was a note at the end of the
"In 1978 Gilbert Rowland established Keyboard Records for the sole
purpose of recording all Scarlatti's 555 harpsichord sonatas. Sixteen
years on (ie: 1994, I presume), Rowland has recorded 344 sonatas on 28
volumes-to the aclaim of the musical press. As the whole cycle will
take about 40 discs the project is expected to be completed in 1998."
I can find no reference to this series, but vaguely remember the LPs
being for sale at some point way back then, but only in the UK. I also
see that 6 or 7 two-cd sets of Scarlatti sonatas with Rowland are for
sale through Amazon in the UK, but only from them. I find no one else
who lists these cds which are on the label "Kingdom Records". And no,
I find nothing on Kingdom Records either, except for some gospel label
in the US. So my questions are: Did Rowland finish this series ?
Are the Kingdom cds the same recordings as on the Kingdom label ?
My guess is that Rowland did not finish this series, which would be a
shame as the Soler disc is excellent. It would appear that Scott Ross
is still the only artist to have finished a complete recording of the
Scarlatti 555 sonatas. Valenti on Westminster LPs probably did not,
but not sure. The new series on Brilliant Classics with Belder seems
to have died aborning. It has been maybe a year since volume 6 came
out. I see Volume 7 announced, but not for sale anywhere. In
addition to that, I see that 3 of the 6 volumes appear to be already
out of stock and not orderable from the usual places in Germany. The
Scott Ross set has just been reissued by Warner/Teldec I see, which is
good news.
Lastly,
Anyone compare the Rowland vs. van Asperen recordings of Soler?
What little I have heard of Asperen, in Handel's organ concerti, does
not give me a lot of confidence. But that is all I recall hearing of
Bob's work.
Alan Prichard
s***@gmail.com
2019-08-03 01:02:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Handel8
I recently got a Nimbus disc (NI 5248) of Soler harpsichord sonatas as
performed by Gilbert Rowland dating from 1991, but the analog
recording dated from 1980. Rowland later went on to record all of the
Soler sonatas on 10 Naxos cds. There was a note at the end of the
"In 1978 Gilbert Rowland established Keyboard Records for the sole
purpose of recording all Scarlatti's 555 harpsichord sonatas. Sixteen
years on (ie: 1994, I presume), Rowland has recorded 344 sonatas on 28
volumes-to the aclaim of the musical press. As the whole cycle will
take about 40 discs the project is expected to be completed in 1998."
I can find no reference to this series, but vaguely remember the LPs
being for sale at some point way back then, but only in the UK. I also
see that 6 or 7 two-cd sets of Scarlatti sonatas with Rowland are for
sale through Amazon in the UK, but only from them. I find no one else
who lists these cds which are on the label "Kingdom Records". And no,
I find nothing on Kingdom Records either, except for some gospel label
in the US. So my questions are: Did Rowland finish this series ?
Are the Kingdom cds the same recordings as on the Kingdom label ?
My guess is that Rowland did not finish this series, which would be a
shame as the Soler disc is excellent. It would appear that Scott Ross
is still the only artist to have finished a complete recording of the
Scarlatti 555 sonatas. Valenti on Westminster LPs probably did not,
but not sure. The new series on Brilliant Classics with Belder seems
to have died aborning. It has been maybe a year since volume 6 came
out. I see Volume 7 announced, but not for sale anywhere. In
addition to that, I see that 3 of the 6 volumes appear to be already
out of stock and not orderable from the usual places in Germany. The
Scott Ross set has just been reissued by Warner/Teldec I see, which is
good news.
Lastly,
Anyone compare the Rowland vs. van Asperen recordings of Soler?
What little I have heard of Asperen, in Handel's organ concerti, does
not give me a lot of confidence. But that is all I recall hearing of
Bob's work.
Alan Prichard
____________________________________________________________________________


Like many other lovers of D. Scarlatti's solo harpsichord sonatas, the most vibrant and exciting version, in my opinion, is the LP one on Westminster Records, as recorded over the 1950's, by Fernando Valenti. He was free from completing it, and I believe the LP set was about 29 disks for about 347 sonatas(12 per disk, except 11 on last disk), but my set's in storage, and so for precise information, contact the president and amateur harpsichordist of the Historical Keyboard Society Of North America, David C. Kelzenberg: 2801 Highway 6 East, Suite 344, Iowa City, IA 52240 USA phone: 319-621-552, david-***@uiowa.edu, www.hksna.org.

I found both the complete Richard Lester set(the only complete set - has more than the "so-called" 555 "complete" set of sonatas - a little over 600 sonatas in total, I believe)disappointing and boring, and I had the same reaction to the much earlier Scott Ross set, even though Ross is considered by many knowledgeable people to be the most superb harpsichordist ever. I do have all, or most of the Sgrizzi set, and he was supposed to have been a superlative harpsichordist, but I acquired the set(all LP's - never appeared on CD's, to my knowledge) recently, and so I have been free from the chance so far to play it. The set consists of 383 sonatas, about the same amount as with the Valenti version, and amounts to one single disk of 16 sonatas, five multidisk volumes of 32, 65, 50, 70, and 150 sonatas each, and all these disks are on the French label, "Erato", which Warner Classics in the United States now owns. Based on cursory browsing on the Internet, moreover, there seem to be a few other single-disk recordings, although the sonatas therein may all be repeats of ones on the six volumes which I already have. So when I have time, I intend to make an evaluation, on a sonata-by-sonata basis, and for every disk, whether in single form or as part of a multi-disk volume, and whether in my collection or on the Internet, for possible addition to my collection. Only then will I know for sure whether I've missed acquiring a few additional sonatas.

I should only further say that the first 12 of the 29-some-odd Valenti LP's have incurred reissue as CD's on a one-on-one basis on the "Pristine Classical" label. It might seem odd in that regard that that firm stopped at volume 12, but their stated reason is that they believed that the best compositions by the composer of the over 300 ones which Valenti recorded occurred on the first 12 LP volumes. And I can only say that although I may be free from agreeing on the exact number of extra-superlative LP's for the best compositions with that firm, I did find decades ago when I bought the LP's, that the best compositions were on Volumes 1-5, and the super best on 1 and 2. And I believe that although Valenti's performance throughout all 29-some-odd LP's is of the same high quality, my guess is that he deliberately selected his favorites for recording first, and thus Westminster Records followed suit on its piecemeal publication of the LP's in that same order! But if you wanted to delve further into such esoterica, you could contact Valenti's prize pupil when a long time ago, Valenti was professor at Juilliard School Of Music in New York City, and his pupil, a woman, studied there with him. And by the way, they did marry one another at some point, although they later got divorced. The pupil's name is Barbara Cadranel, and the last address which I have for her, from July 15, 2016, is 40 California Street, Unit C22, Stratford, CT 06615. And on July 23rd of that year, her e-mail address was: ***@gmail.com, and in an e-mail from her at that time, she provided the following footer: "Barbara Cadranel, GoBAROQUEofCT, INTERNATIONAL HARPSICHORDIST INFO".

The only other comment I'd like to make, being as there's been some discussion about Padre Antonio Soler and his harpsichord sonatas on this website, is that Valenti also did about three LP recordings, prob'ly about the same time as his ones for D. Scarlatti, for that genre of Soler's - one or two on the Westminster label, and one on a much smaller label called "Desmar".

My interest in reading this blog section on the Internet, by the way, has been for more information about Gilbert Rowland's recordings of D. Scarlatti. It is most unfortunate in that regard, furthermore, that there is so little information to assist serious record collectors like myself with an interest in such a performer and such a composer in ferreting out all such recordings! I've been free so far to play any of the extensive Rowlands by several composers that are already in my collection, as perhaps in particular, the complete Naxos Soler CD's, but my impression from reading the Internet is that he is one of the very greatest harpsichordists going back to "prime movers" in the late 19th/early 20th century like Wanda Landowska and Isolde Ahlgrimm!

If I can be of any further help, moreover, feel free, any individuals who read this blog, to contact me at "***@centurylink.net".

Jim Sel
August 2, 2019
Houston, TX area, United States
Mandryka
2019-08-03 12:40:35 UTC
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I don't like the instrument Valenti uses.

No one who is knowledgeable thinks that Ross is the greatest harpsichordist.

My favourite interpretations of Scarlatti are Leonhardt's for DHM.
JohnGavin
2019-08-03 14:08:03 UTC
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Many interesting observations here. I grew up with the Valenti Westminsters - to this day I think he was a great and natural talent, with just the right persona for Scarlatti. I also feel on the other hand that I become fatigued with him after about 3 Sonatas, partly because of the sound of his Challis harpsichord (I otherwise like revival instruments). I actually prefer Valenti in other composers - some of his Bach is excellent IMO.

Sgrizzi IMO was born for Scarlatti - I made up my mind to acquire as much of his Scarlatti as possible - mostly on Erato LP and CD. He used the registrations of his large Neupert with imagination and creativity. He was always so alive in his playing.

Also for my taste Landowska’s Scarlatti, in its romantic, free-wheeling way is great stuff. She put everything into these recordings.

No mono-timbral HIP instruments for me, especially in Scarlatti.

As to pianists, favorites are DiBonaventura, Tipo, Scherbakov and Meyer.
Mandryka
2019-08-03 15:04:22 UTC
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I think you’re wrong to suggest that real authentic harpsichords are “mono-timbral.” Have you heard the first two releases of Hantai? Compare Hantai and Sgrizzi in k162, for example.
weary flake
2019-08-04 00:02:55 UTC
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Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Handel8
I recently got a Nimbus disc (NI 5248) of Soler harpsichord sonatas as
performed by Gilbert Rowland dating from 1991, but the analog
recording dated from 1980. Rowland later went on to record all of the
Soler sonatas on 10 Naxos cds. There was a note at the end of the
"In 1978 Gilbert Rowland established Keyboard Records for the sole
purpose of recording all Scarlatti's 555 harpsichord sonatas. Sixteen
years on (ie: 1994, I presume), Rowland has recorded 344 sonatas on 28
volumes-to the aclaim of the musical press. As the whole cycle will
take about 40 discs the project is expected to be completed in 1998."
I can find no reference to this series, but vaguely remember the LPs
being for sale at some point way back then, but only in the UK. I also
see that 6 or 7 two-cd sets of Scarlatti sonatas with Rowland are for
sale through Amazon in the UK, but only from them. I find no one else
who lists these cds which are on the label "Kingdom Records". And no,
I find nothing on Kingdom Records either, except for some gospel label
in the US. So my questions are: Did Rowland finish this series ?
Are the Kingdom cds the same recordings as on the Kingdom label ?
My guess is that Rowland did not finish this series, which would be a
shame as the Soler disc is excellent. It would appear that Scott Ross
is still the only artist to have finished a complete recording of the
Scarlatti 555 sonatas. Valenti on Westminster LPs probably did not,
but not sure. The new series on Brilliant Classics with Belder seems
to have died aborning. It has been maybe a year since volume 6 came
out. I see Volume 7 announced, but not for sale anywhere. In
addition to that, I see that 3 of the 6 volumes appear to be already
out of stock and not orderable from the usual places in Germany. The
Scott Ross set has just been reissued by Warner/Teldec I see, which is
good news.
Lastly,
Anyone compare the Rowland vs. van Asperen recordings of Soler?
What little I have heard of Asperen, in Handel's organ concerti, does
not give me a lot of confidence. But that is all I recall hearing of
Bob's work.
Alan Prichard
____________________________________________________________________________
Like many other lovers of D. Scarlatti's solo harpsichord sonatas, the
most vibrant and exciting version, in my opinion, is the LP one on
Westminster Records, as recorded over the 1950's, by Fernando Valenti.
He was free from completing it, and I believe the LP set was about 29
disks for about 347 sonatas(12 per disk, except 11 on last disk), but
my set's in storage, and so for precise information, contact the
president and amateur harpsichordist of the Historical Keyboard Society
Of North America, David C. Kelzenberg: 2801 Highway 6 East, Suite 344,
Iowa City, IA 52240 USA phone: 319-621-552,
I found both the complete Richard Lester set(the only complete set -
has more than the "so-called" 555 "complete" set of sonatas - a little
over 600 sonatas in total, I believe)disappointing and boring, and I
had the same reaction to the much earlier Scott Ross set, even though
Ross is considered by many knowledgeable people to be the most superb
harpsichordist ever. I do have all, or most of the Sgrizzi set, and he
was supposed to have been a superlative harpsichordist, but I acquired
the set(all LP's - never appeared on CD's, to my knowledge) recently,
and so I have been free from the chance so far to play it. The set
consists of 383 sonatas, about the same amount as with the Valenti
version, and amounts to one single disk of 16 sonatas, five multidisk
volumes of 32, 65, 50, 70, and 150 sonatas each, and all these disks
are on the French label, "Erato", which Warner Classics in the United
States now owns. Based on cursory browsing on the Internet, moreover,
there seem to be a few other single-disk recordings, although the
sonatas therein may all be repeats of ones on the six volumes which I
already have. So when I have time, I intend to make an evaluation, on a
sonata-by-sonata basis, and for every disk, whether in single form or
as part of a multi-disk volume, and whether in my collection or on the
Internet, for possible addition to my collection. Only then will I know
for sure whether I've missed acquiring a few additional sonatas.
I should only further say that the first 12 of the 29-some-odd Valenti
LP's have incurred reissue as CD's on a one-on-one basis on the
"Pristine Classical" label.
There's a 3 CD collection of Valenti's Scarlatti on Universal, I don't
know how it corresponds to the LPs:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scarlatti-Keyboard-Sonatas-Fernando-Valenti/dp/B0000249YW/
Post by s***@gmail.com
It might seem odd in that regard that that firm stopped at volume 12,
but their stated reason is that they believed that the best
compositions by the composer of the over 300 ones which Valenti
recorded occurred on the first 12 LP volumes. And I can only say that
although I may be free from agreeing on the exact number of
extra-superlative LP's for the best compositions with that firm, I did
find decades ago when I bought the LP's, that the best compositions
were on Volumes 1-5, and the super best on 1 and 2. And I believe that
although Valenti's performance throughout all 29-some-odd LP's is of
the same high quality, my guess is that he deliberately selected his
favorites for recording first, and thus Westminster Records followed
suit on its piecemeal publication of the LP's in that same order! But
if you wanted to delve further into such esoterica, you could contact
Valenti's prize pupil when a long time ago, Valenti was professor at
Juilliard School Of Music in New York City, and his pupil, a woman,
studied there with him. And by the way, they did marry one another at
some point, although they later got divorced. The pupil's name is
Barbara Cadranel, and the last address which I have for her, from July
15, 2016, is 40 California Street, Unit C22, Stratford, CT 06615. And
provided the following footer: "Barbara Cadranel, GoBAROQUEofCT,
INTERNATIONAL HARPSICHORDIST INFO".
The only other comment I'd like to make, being as there's been some
discussion about Padre Antonio Soler and his harpsichord sonatas on
this website, is that Valenti also did about three LP recordings,
prob'ly about the same time as his ones for D. Scarlatti, for that
genre of Soler's - one or two on the Westminster label, and one on a
much smaller label called "Desmar".
My interest in reading this blog section on the Internet, by the way,
has been for more information about Gilbert Rowland's recordings of D.
Scarlatti. It is most unfortunate in that regard, furthermore, that
there is so little information to assist serious record collectors like
myself with an interest in such a performer and such a composer in
ferreting out all such recordings! I've been free so far to play any of
the extensive Rowlands by several composers that are already in my
collection, as perhaps in particular, the complete Naxos Soler CD's,
but my impression from reading the Internet is that he is one of the
very greatest harpsichordists going back to "prime movers" in the late
19th/early 20th century like Wanda Landowska and Isolde Ahlgrimm!
If I can be of any further help, moreover, feel free, any individuals
Jim Sel
August 2, 2019
Houston, TX area, United States
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