“English composer, critic, and author. Published his music under pseudonym Peter Warlock. Studied music at Eton, then helped by van Dieren and Delius . Founded and co‐edited the periodical The Sackbut in 1920 and wrote a book on Delius in 1923. Friend of Cecil Gray, E. J. Moeran, and Constant Lambert. Edited much 16th and 17th century music in collaboration with Mangeot. His songs alternate between the lyricism of Delius and a roistering spirit reminiscent of the first Elizabethan age. His personality veered between extrovert, heavy‐drinking joviality and neurotic introspection. Eventually (it may be presumed, despite the open verdict at the inquest) took his own life. Sensitive critic and writer. His music, especially his songs and part‐songs, is of high merit.”
(Oxford Dictionary of Music)
It’s been a while since I posted here, so time to get it going again!
Our first new feature will be a Composer of the Week, chosen by me usually on Monday but this week on a Tuesday because I don’t want to wait until next Monday to revamp this place.
The ondes Martenot is an early electric instrument, designed by the French cellist and radio operator, Maurice Martenot, and first unveiled at the Paris opera in 1928. The player’s right hand controls the keyboard (which, unlike a standard keyboard, allow slight side-to-side motions, creating a vibrato effect) and a finger ring attached to a ribbon. The latter creates a sound similar to a fretless string instrument and can be used to produce glissandi, etc. With their left hand, the player operates a series of switches and dials that control the dynamics, articulation, and timbre.
Production of the ondes Martenot ceased in 1988, but was recently revived with the approval of Maurice Martenot’s son.
Pieces featuring the ondes Martenot:
Thomas Bloch showing off the ondes Martenot in action
More ondes videos
Messaien - Feuillet Inedit 4
Radiohead - How To Disappear Completely (Live)
Thomas Bloch talks about the instrument (in French)
Also a place to put some of the more obscure things I might come across so that they don’t bore all of my regular followers.
To begin, here is a picture of Schoenberg playing table tennis.