This music was heard by me just once over-the-air. It's good enough to listen to a couple of times a year. I'm glad I possess it. The baroque theme is serious music, and a joy---and baroque is now getting rare on the radio. But listening to the "one-note-wonder"---the Jew's harp---reaching for yet another note is amusing. I wonder what the sheet music looks like for this part.
Yes, yes, it's a bizarre choice of instruments. But despite what one reviewer said, these works are sweetly written and very pleasant. Albrechtsberger is obscure as a composer, but well remembered as an influential theorist. He also served as a music teacher to Beethoven when he grew frustrated with Haydn, who had not the time to correct his work. These works are in the galant or rococo style, somewhere between baroque and classical (but closer to classical). These works must be understood in the context of the galant period. At that time, folk instruments had become very fashionable, and some composers became interested in them, such as Leopold Mozart, who wrote for the alp horn, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, and so on. The mandora, a type of lute, has a good sound, and the jew's harp is surprisingly melodious considering the fact that the fundamental pitch does not vary. All in all, this is very pleasant music, and even the non-musical will be entertained by the sheer quirkiness of it.
The first time I heard this recording was on my local PBS station and I was'nt sure what I was hearing. My Grandfather taught me to play the Jew's harp when I was eight or nine years ole and I only thought that this instrument was for what we called a hillbilly band. I took my Jew's harp with me into the army and while stationed in Paris France I played with a country band and became the main attraction when I took out my Jew's harp from my pocket and began to play. I am a classical music lover but until I heard this recording thought that there was no place for the Jew's harp in classical music. I now play along with the orchestra and thouroughly enjoy it . Can't wait to get my own copy so I can aggitate the rest of the family and teach my grandchildren the versatility of the Jew's harp.
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