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Meme 87: Frank Forman, Cyborg

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    Meme 87: Frank Forman, Cyborg sent 7.1.7 On Tuesday, I will have a cochlear implant operation. This will be a replacement for my right ear. The ear itself
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2007
      Meme 87: Frank Forman, Cyborg
      sent 7.1.7

      On Tuesday, I will have a cochlear implant operation. This will be a
      replacement for my right ear. The ear itself turns compressions and
      rarefactions in the air into electrical signals and feed them into the
      auditory nerve into the brain. I am an ideal candidate, I am told, but
      the big test will be how well I'll be able to listen to music. As it
      happens, my surgeon at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Charles Limb, is one of the
      few ear surgeons who takes an acute interest in music. These deivces
      are geared pragmatically mostly to speech and incidentally to music
      (which is much more complex), as though the immortal truths of
      Beethoven were less important than catching gossip or suffering
      through rumble-bumble in meetings.

      This operation will turn me into a cyborg, a cybernetic organism, that
      is, a human steered (which is what cyber means in Greek) by
      computation. Indeed, my perception of the aural world will indeed be
      steered by the implant. Here's the Oxford English Dictionary's

      ( {sm} sa {shti} b {revc} {lm} g) [Blend of CYB(ERNETIC a. and

      A person whose physical tolerances or capabilities are extended
      beyond normal human limitations by a machine or other external
      agency that modifies the body's functioning; an integrated
      man-machine system.

      1960 N.Y. Times 22 May 31/1 A cyborg is essentially a man-machine
      system in which the control mechanisms of the human portion are
      modified externally by drugs or regulatory devices so that the
      being can live in an environment different from the normal one.

      1960 CLYNES & KLINE in Astronautics Sept. 27/1 For the exogenously
      extended organizational complex functioning as an integrated
      homeostatic system unconsciously, we propose the term `Cyborg'. The
      Cyborg deliberately incorporates exogenous components extending the
      self-regulatory control function of the organism in order to adapt
      it to new environments.

      1966 C. M. CADE Other Worlds than Ours x. 218 The `Cyborg' {em} which
      is the name..for animal-machine combinations {em} seems to be the man
      of the future.

      1970 A. TOFFLER Future Shock ix. 185 Advanced fusions of man and
      {em} called `Cyborgs' {em} are closer than most people suspect.

      1976 Physics Bull. June 266/1 There is a fundamental limit to themass
      for a given rate of information processing... Perhaps even the
      most advanced cyborgs stop far short of this theoretical limit.

      1984 M. AMIS Money 308, I am a robot, I am an android, I am a
      cyborg, I am a skinjob.

      Eyeglasses, pacemakers, cellFones, and artificial hips don't provide
      this kind of steering, as well argued in Michael Chorost, _Rebuilt:
      How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human_ (Boston: Houghton
      Mifflin, 2005), which is about the author's experience as growing up
      hard-of-hearing, suddenly becoming deaf (for reasons still unknown),
      and his rebirth of hearing through a cochlear implant. There's lots of
      philosophy mixed in with discussions of the history of the devices and
      the tale of his own life. I shall be writing a review of it for the
      Journal of Evolution and Technology after I have experiences of my own
      to report.

      Chorost makes a wise observation: Social rules are overheard; they are
      not taught. I am not sure when I started losing my hearing, which may
      have been as early as nursery school, but it is a fact that I have not
      picked up the subtle social rules others have. I don't know when to
      back off, either because I don't sense someone getting angry at me (I
      have to concentrate so hard on getting the words that I miss the
      nuances) or else don't realize that I run the risk of upsetting others
      in the first place. Add to this undersocialization the fact that I
      have spent most of my working life in policy sections of the
      government, where policy is not written down so much as overheard with
      (for me) subtle nuances and gestures, and to that add that other
      people do not want to stop the flow of this subtle communication to
      repeat, repeat things for me, it might not be a surprise that I was
      last promoted in 1972.

      I'm curious about the extent to which I will at last be learning
      social rules at my nearly senior-citizen age of 82, the extent to
      which I will put these rules into effect, and the extent to which my
      personality is now not very plastic. I often say that I have a "morbid
      addiction to reality" and consequently won't go along to get along,
      but this may mean just stubbornness, if not a desire to shock by
      bringing up things others would rather not think about.

      In reality, the brains of primates are big (compared to the
      complexities of the physical environment) because those that
      cooperated left more offspring. Cooperation calls for bigger brains.
      An equilibrium was reached, as the human brain is 2 percent of the
      body in weight but consumes 12 percent of the calories. This big
      brain, in humans more than in other primates, is for social
      cooperation, not for finding out objective facts about the world
      (where the food is, for example). Humans managed to build up whole
      civilizations, held together by religious rumble-bumble (true of every
      religion *except* yours!), since those how swallowed the rumble-bumble
      were better cooperators and left more children (which has been going
      on with renewed vigor for the last half century, if I am right).

      As it happens, a critical mass of objectivists got going in the small
      northwest part of the vast Eurasian landmass, starting in Greece, that
      science has spread throughout the world. (I have written a mean
      speculating why, called "The Maureen Dowd Theory of Western
      Civilization," which I can send again.) This critical mass is not
      enough when you work in government policy units, much as I enjoy being
      in what Galbraith called "the vortices of seething controversy." We
      shall see how my career is affected, though I'm near the end of it,
      realizing that I'm unlikely to be either fired or promoted (too many
      stereotypes about me, though I don't know what they are. I've asked
      others to tell me frankly, but it seems that I'm not the subject of
      much gossip.)

      After the signal processor is turned on, one needs to relearn and
      remap sounds, as those coming from the implant are quite a bit
      different from those coming from a normal ear. I may have to listen to
      tapes of Dr. Seuss books over and over again. It may be some months
      before I will be able to hear better than I had before. I'll be
      proposing an experiment, which is to listen also to music I know best.
      This is the Beethoven piano sonatas: if I can hook in to just a few
      notes, I know what is coming next. Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein
      observed, had a better ability to find out what the next note had to
      be, to make it inevitable, than any other composer. So, I'll be using
      a developing re-ability to hear the Bonn master to hear speech, and
      vice versa. I am overjoyed to report that the pianist is the Canadian
      Robert Silverman and his performances are extraordinarily thoughtful.
      It is the best cycle since the first three (Schnabel, Backhaus, and
      Kempff), but I know these so well that, though I thrill to them over
      and over again (at least once a year each), the surprises are no
      longer so great. With the Silverman recordings, I will indeed know
      what the next notes will be but not exactly *how* they will be.

      The surgery will consist of implanting a receiver, a thin disk about
      two centimeters in diameter (the size of a quarter dollar) inside my
      skull above the ear. From it will come sixteen cables that will hook
      up to the auditory nerve. I'll be completely deaf in that ear, until
      after a month following the operation, a transmitter about the same
      size will be placed just outside the implant and turned on. It is held
      in place as a magnet. The transmitter, in turn, is connected by wire
      to a speech processor, which takes the vibrations in the air and turns
      them into bits, a million or so a second.

      The sound at first will be quite unnatural. My brain will have to be
      retrained, though speech exercises, like hearing Dr. Seuss, and by
      trying to make sense of what people say. After a week the settings
      will be adjusted, and again after a month, two months, and so on. I
      asked the audiologist, Angela Marlowe, whether I could work with the
      software myself and she said fergit it. It is a highly technical

      The ear is a marvelous device. An exhibit that used to be at the
      National Museum of Natural History (but was taken down to make room
      for "Fossil Café" (groan button)), showed that reptiles had four bones
      on each side of the lower jaw. When reptiles became warm-blooded, they
      had to eat ten times as much and the jaw had to be quite a sturdy
      object to chew all this food. The mammalian lower jaw has only one
      bone on each side. During the course of this evolution, the extra
      reptile bones migrated to the inner ear. This allowed the animal to
      hear much better, as these bones amplify the sound. At the end of the
      ear, there is the cochlea, a fabulous device, which is able to
      compress sound before it turns into electric signals. It had better do
      so, for a rock "music" concert can have ten million times as much
      energy as a quiet conversation. My signal processor has to do this,
      too, but these processors so far can only do part of what the cochlea
      does, since we don't know enough about the ear to mimic it by
      electronics. Actually, the receiver isso much more advanced than the
      processor that I won't have the implant replaced, just get the
      software tweaked or replaced with a new model. It's like the old 78s:
      there was more sound that got imprinted onto the grooves than could be
      gotten out by the record players at the time. The first electrical
      recording (using microphones) of a complete symphony, Leopold
      Stokowski conducting the New World Symphony in 1925, continued to use
      tubas instead of bass violins, since the latter would not record well
      under the acoustic (a retronym, later used for guitars) process. It's
      a delight to hear this recording today on modern playback equipment.
      It sounds like a tuba concerto!

      As I said, I'll be completely deaf in my right ear, unless and, for a
      month, until the processor is turned on. So no stereo for me for a
      while and at least until I can hear music as well in my operated ear
      as I can now. Many users find that they hear so much better in their
      operated ear that they don't bother with a hearing aid in the other
      ear. If I do choose to listen to a stereophonic recording, it will
      mean that I'll hear far more of the higher frequencies in my right
      than in my left ear.

      So what I've been doing for the last week is making some CD-Rs of
      stereo recordings, which I detail below. Some of it is music that was
      contrived with directions in the first place. Other recordings are
      early ones in exaggerated sound that position the listener in the
      middle of a string quartet rather than at a respectable forty feet in
      the audience. I did not include the recordings of the
      Istomin-Stern-Rose Trio, for they are available on compact disc. The
      Beethoven Trios have greater separation than the others (Brahms,
      Mendelssohn, Schubert) and I bet they were recorded before the
      authenticity czars (tsars) ordered record companies to stop
      exaggerating stereophonic separation (just kidding here, but a
      _fanfare_ reviewer a couple of years backcomplained that a recording
      of some Mendelssohn quartets by the Talich Quartet suffered from too
      much stereo separation. I eagerly snapped up the disc, only to find
      that the separation was tame compared with my signature recordings on
      early stereo Vox Boxes of the Bartok and Beethoven Quartets!)

      Do not wish me good luck. I am told I'm a nearly ideal candidate for
      the implant. I must not use a hearing aid on my left ear at all, once
      the implant is turned on, so that I can retrain my brain. But if I
      develop an uncontrollalbe spiritual hunger for music, I shall violate
      the injunction and listen, in my left ear to Silverman's recordings of
      the Beethoven sonatas.

      discs compiled by Frank Forman between 2006.12.30 and 2007.1.6 before
      his cochlear implant operation on 2007.1.9.

      DISC 1:
      Music for Multiple Orchestras
      Hermann Scherchen
      Vienna State Opera Orchestra
      Westminster WST 17013

      Consists of Beethoven: Wellington's Victory
      Track 1: Battle
      Track 2: Symphony
      Track 3: Orff: Entrata
      Track 4: Giovanni Gabrili: Canon in Primi Toni

      Bach: Trio Sonatas
      Baroque Trio of Montreal
      (Mario Duschenes, flute; Melvin Berman, oboe; Kelsey Jones,
      Turnabout cTc 32000, Canadian reissue of a Vox recording
      These arrangements place the flute on one side, the oboe on the other,
      and the harpsichord right in the middle. It brings out Bach's way of
      dividing music among the instruments like no other recording.

      Tracks 5-8: In the order they are no the disc, namely, S. 1037, 1038,
      1036, and 1039.

      DISC 2:
      Berlioz: Requiem
      Hermann Scherchen
      Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opêra
      Music Guild MS 6201, reissue of Westminster WST 201, but my Music
      Guild copy is cleaner. It was an early reissue, not the later ones on
      thinner discs, and I think were from leftover stock.
      (Tracks correspond to the side of the discs.)

      Track 1: Introit, Kyrie, Dies Irae
      Track 2: Quid Sum Miser, Rex Tremendae, Quarens Me
      Track 3: Lacyrmosa, Offertory, Hostias

      DISC 3:
      Berlioz: Requiem (fourth side)
      Track 1: Sanctus, Agnus Dei

      Bach: Musical Offering
      Wilfried Boettcher
      Wiener Solisten
      Bach Guild BGS 5070
      Track 1: Ricercar a 3
      Track 2: Five canons
      Track 3: Trio sonata, mvts. 1 and 2
      Track 4: Trio sonata, mvts. 3 and 4
      Track 5: Five more canons
      This is real sleeper, with a gravity wholly appropriate to the music
      and never captured better than here. I am amazed that it has not been

      DISC 4:
      Bach: Musical Offering (end)
      Track 1: Ricercar a 6

      Track 2: Bach: Concerto No. 1 for three pianos
      Bob, Gaby (Bob's wife), and Jean (Bob's son) Casadesus
      Eugene ormandy, Philapa Orchestra
      Recorded 1962.9.12
      Odyssey Y 31531, reissue of Columbia MS 6495
      Not only is the stereo spread terrific but the far superior piano is
      used and the playing has an old fashioned vigor.

      Track 3: Bach: Toccata No. 2 in c, S. 911
      Jean Casadesus
      Angel 45003 (monaural)
      I like Jean (1927.7.7-1972.1.20 car crash) better than Bob. This is a
      wonderfully clean performance, unlike, so I thought at the time, Glenn
      Gould's, which sounded excessively congested in the double fugue. As
      my hearing got worse and I began to listen mostly over headphones, the
      stereo spread of Gould's recording made me reverse my opinion.

      Bach: Toccata No. 2 in c, S. 911
      Glenn Gould
      Recorded 1979.5.15 & 16
      Sony SMK 52614 in SM2K 52612 (not sold separately)
      Track 4: monaural (tracks joined by me)
      Track 5: stereophonic

      Bach, orch. by Ottorino Respighi: Sonata 2 in e for violin and figured
      bass, S. 1023
      Gidon Kremer
      Maris Yansons
      Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Leningrad Philharmonic
      Musical Heritage Society MHS 4434 in MHS 824324
      Reissue of Melodyia S10 05584 (1975)
      The stereo is of no particular importance, but I throw it in for the
      Ottorino Resphighi orchestration, which may be otherwise unrecorded,
      and for Kremer's playing before he left the Soviet Union.

      Bach: Sinfonia in D, S. 1045
      Same artists and disc.
      This is the opening of an unknown cantata. Kremer milks it for the
      virtuosity of the violin part.

      DISC 5:
      Bartok String Quartets
      Ramor Quartet
      Andreas Sándor, Erwin Ramor, Zoltán Thirring, Vera Nógrády
      Vox SVBX 519
      I grew up on this performance, but in mono. I greatly admired my 10th
      grade math teacher and he commended the Bartok quartets to me. For a
      while during my final semester of high school, I was listening to them
      twice a day! When I got to college, my mono recording was replace with
      stereo ones by the Julliard Quartet, the Hungarian Quartet, and the
      Fine Arts Quartet, which I could not stand, either for Bartok or
      Beethoven, though it does a nice job with Mendelssohn. I heard the
      Amadeus Quartet perform Beethoven during the Tuesday Evening Concert
      Series at the University of Virginia. They dedicated the concert to a
      politician, John F. Kennedy, who shortly before staged an assisted
      suicide, but whose suicide was not appreciated as such until I figured
      out that he knew he was going to die and did not want to go down in
      history alongside Millard Fillmore and arranged his assistants to
      spray around so much contradictory evidence that he would remain of
      major interest to all those who hold to the Enlightenment hope that
      reason can solve all problems. (Season tickets cost students $5 for
      seven concerts. I went for two years. My lifetime spending out of my
      own pocket on concerts is exactly ten dollars!) Later, I acquired the
      stereo Vox Box. I don't think it was the memory of my founding
      recording, which I had not disposed of, that makes it my all-time
      favorite but rather the extreme stereo spread, where I can hear the
      genius of Bartok split among the instruments. In the early days of
      stereo, extreme spread in trying out this new way of reproducing
      sound. Later on, the powers that be decided that such extreme stereo
      spread was not "authentic," that the goal of recording was to
      reproduce the concert experience, not to situate the listener right
      smack in the middle of the performers, even if this helps him
      comprehend the music better. The customer is king, I and John Wanamker
      say. It is the bouncing back and forth among the instruments that
      makes this my favorite recording.

      Tr 1: Quartet 1
      Track 2: Quartet 2
      Track 3: Quartet 3
      Track 4: Quartet 4:1

      DISC 6:
      Bartok Quartets
      Track 1: Quartet 4:2-5
      Track 2: Quartet 5
      Track 3: Quartet 6

      DISC 7:
      French String Quartets
      Loewenguth String Quartet of Paris

      Alfred Loewenguth, Jacques Gotkovski, Roger Roche, Roger Loewenguth
      Vox SVBX 570
      I don't think the stereo spread is as great here. The recording were
      made later into the stereo era, like 1965 and 1966. The performances
      may not compete with historical ones on 78s, like the London for the
      Franck or the Capet for the Debussy and Ravel, while the performances
      of the Bartok and Beethoven Middle and Late (coming up) do.
      Track 1: Franck: 1-2
      Track 2: Franck: 3-4
      Track 3: Debussy

      DISC 8:
      French String Quartets:
      Track 1: Ravel
      Track 2: Fauré
      Track 3: Roussel

      DISC 9:
      Beethoven Middle Quartets
      Loewenguth String Quartet of Paris
      Vox SVBX 543
      These, and the Bartok, are first up to my space capsule!
      Track 1: Quartet 7:1-2
      Track 2: Quartet 7: 3-4
      Track 3: Quartet 8:1-3
      Track 4: Quartet 8:4

      DISC 10:
      Beethoven Middle Quartets
      Track 1: Quartet 9:1-2
      Track 2: Quartet 9:3 (Note the leisurely fugue!)
      Vox SVBX 543 for Quartet 9
      Track 3: Quartet 10:1-2
      Track 4: Quartet 10:3-4
      Vox SVBX 544 for Quartet 10

      DISC 11:
      Beethoven Middle and Late Quartets
      Track 1: Quartet 11
      Vox SVBX 543 for Quartet 11

      Track 2: Quintet Fugue in D, Op. 137 (1917)
      Endres Quartet (Heinz Endres, Joseph Rottenfusser, Fritz Ruf, Adolph
      Schmid), Siegfried Meineke, second viola. This is the most intriguing
      fragment ever written! Vox SVBX 579

      Track 3: Quartet 12:1
      Track 4: Quartet 12:2-4
      Vox SVBX 544 for Quartet 12
      Track 5: Quartet 15:1-2
      Vox SVBX 545 for Quartet 15

      DISC 12:
      Beethoven Late Quartets
      Track 1: Quartet 15:3-5
      Vox SVBX 545 for Quartet 15
      Track 2: Quartet 13:1-3
      Track 3: Quartet 13:4-5
      Vox SVBX 544 for Quartet 13
      Track: Die große Fuge in Bb, Op. 133
      Vox Box SVBX 543 for Die große Fuge

      DISC 13:
      Beethoven Late Quartets
      Track 1: Quartet 13:6
      Vox SVBX 544 for Quartet 13
      Track 2: Quartet 14: 1-4
      Track 3: Quartet 14: 5-7
      Vox SVBX 545 for Quartet 14
      Track 4: Quartet 16
      Vox SVBX 544 for Quartet 16

      Track 5: Beethovens ketzter musikalischer Gedanke (Beethoven's Last
      Musical Thought) (fragment) (Hess 41). String Quintet in C,
      transcribed for piano by Willi Hess
      Olli Mustonen, piano
      Recorded 1996.10.10-11 in London
      RCA 74321 61448 2
      It is not essential to hear this in stereo, but I had to throw it in.

      DISC 14:
      Shostakovich: Symphony 5, Op. 47
      Track 1: movs. 1-2
      Track 2: movs. 3-4
      Yvgeny Mravinsky, Leningrad Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
      Recorded 1978 June 12 in Der großer Saal der Muskivereins Wien
      Mravinsky's secret is to bring in certain instrument groups, let them
      rise and then subside. Of all the conductors on the video about great
      conductors, he was the most exhausting to watch! This is music
      essential to stereo, more than for any other conductor, even Leopold
      Stokowsi, I think. When I first got this recording, on the Melodya
      from my Hungarian friend Lajos Heiner, I was bowled over by the sheer
      power of the work. Within two minutes, I realized that it simply swept
      the competition away! Mravinsky conducted the world premiere of the
      work on 1937.11.21 and made its first recording on 1938.3.27-4.3 in
      Moscow and issued on 14 78 rpm sides. It is an exceptionally scarce
      recording, as not even Melodyia has a copy. The BBC, however, played
      it on 1994.11.15 on Radio 3. The Rogers and Hammerstein Collection of
      the New York Public Library does have the discs and allowed them to be
      issued as a bonus disc to BMG (Japan) BOCC 3 (1998), a compilation of
      many of his early recording. Alas, it is disappointing, as Mravinsky
      had yet to find his unique voice. In general, the later recordings are
      better, not only because of sound, but also because of Mravinsky's
      greater interpretiveness, which is true in so many cases as musicians
      get older. Think of Scherchen and Gould. One the other hand, pianists
      lose some of their technique, which makes Backhaus's and Kempff's mono
      Beethoven Sonata cycle better than the stereo remakes. Both really
      reached their stride only in their 50s. I find their 78 rpm recordings
      of the sonatas (only four in the case of Backhaus) much less probing.

      Ariola/Eurodisc 300 666 in 300 668-440 (a four stereo LP set)

      Brahms: Symphony 2 in D, Op. 73
      Track 3: mov. 1
      Track 4: mov. 2-3. The broad sweep of the second movement is terrific.
      Recorded the next day. Ariola/Eurodisc 300 665 in the same box.

      DISC 15:
      Track 1: mov. 4

      Tchaikovsky: Symphony 5 in e, Op. 64
      Track 2: mov. 1-2
      Track 3: mov. 3-4
      Recorded on June 12. Ariola/Eurodisc 300 667 in the same box.
      Mravinsky conducted this work more often than any other. Kenzo Amoh's
      magnificent compilation, Yevgeni Mravinsky: A Concert Listing,
      1930-1987 (Tokyo: The Japanese Mravinsky Society, 2000 December)
      details 133 performances, three of which with orchestras other than
      the Leningrad Phil. Second in number of concerts is the Shostakovich
      5th (125, with six with other orchestras). Brahms Second is No. 40 on
      the list (23 performances, all but one with the Leningrad Phil.) He
      and I (in our Mravinsky Legacy: A Recording Listing, 1938-1984 (Tokyo:
      The Japanese Mravinsky Society, 2006 January, our latest revision)
      counts 14 extant recordings, plus a Scherzo on 78s, the most for any
      work. Better known is the 1960 studio recording, made in Vienna in
      1960 and issued by Deutsche Gramophon. I think 1978 recording is the
      best, better sound and artistic growth by the conductor.

      Mravinsky not only had a fabulous technique but, more than any other
      conductor, even Russian, draws out the fatalistic aspect of the
      Russian soul. Other conductors play it as if it were a Western
      European Romantic work. It is in many ways, since Tchaikovsky was no
      Slavophile, but his Russianness is still very much a part of
      him--provided he is played by Mravinsky!

      Track 4: Palestrina (1525-94): Mass to Pope Marcellus (1567). Theobald
      Schrems, Regensburg Cathedral Choir, rec. 1961.10.6-7. DGG ARC 73182.
      It is not essential to listen to this work in stereo, but it was the
      first stereo disc of Palestrina. There were very few works by
      composers born before Palestrina recorded on 78s. I listened to the
      work a lot when I got it in college but rarely anymore. I thrill to it
      during these rare hearings, the last being 1990.12.2!

      DISC 16:
      I'm finished with my project, but if I do one more disc, I'll be able
      to compact them onto two CDs using MP3. So here are some favorites.
      Now for a change of pace, indeed:

      Track 1: Felipe Alonzo Partichela: Mexican Hat Dance (El jarabe
      tapatío), piano solo arranged by the Conductor. Morton Gould, His
      Orchestra. Victor LSC 2325, "Music for Frustrated Conductors," which
      contains a baton. The notes to the disc state, "This is a wid one. The
      mortality among hats in Mexico must be appalling. Beat the whole thing
      in 2/4, but look out for a couple of ritards.
      The original piano score can be gotten from

      Track 2: Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-93): Marche Slav (Serbo-Russian) in
      b, Op.. 31. (1876). "The basis of the composition is formed by two
      folk melodies different in mood: a sad lingering theme, 'The Sun
      Doesn't Shine Birght' and a lively dance-like melody, 'Prag e ovo
      milog srba.' Alexander Lazarov, Orchestre académique symphonique de
      l'USSR. Melodyia S10-08882. This is not the version we know in the
      West but rather the commie version, with the anthem of Imperial Russia
      replaced with a Serbian tune. I do not know whether other Soviet
      versions replaced the familiar hymn.

      Tracks 3 and 4: Hummel, Johann Nepomuk (1778-1837): Piano Concerto No.
      3 (I think) in b, Op. 89 (1819). Martin Galling, Robert Wagner,
      Symphonieorchester, Innsbruck. Vox STPL 512.250. Another work I thrill
      to on hearings rare after college. I last played it in 1989! Jan
      Narveson is a Hummel fan and urged me to his music by making five
      cassette tapes for me. It didn't take, which is my loss. We need a
      composer besides Schubert between Mozart and Beethoven!

      Track 5: Bach Toccata and Fugue in d, S. 565: Toccata only. E. Power
      Biggs (geb. Edward George Biggs, a/k/a P. Blower Baggs). Pedal
      Harpsichord. Columbia MS 6804. Wilhelm Kempff recorded the Pathetique
      Sonata nine times and the Moonschein eight. These may be records for
      recordings by a single artist of an entire piece of music. But E.
      Power Biggs recorded the toccata part of Bach's best known work (I
      refuse to buy the view that Bach did not write it, until someone can
      suggest who did by comparing his other works to this one. His other
      works, if anywhere nearly as fine as this one, would most certainly be
      worth knowing.) fourteen times on a late mono LP on fourteen different
      organs (and the fugue on the last one). I don't know how many times,
      and on which organs, he otherwise recorded the work, but this is his
      only recording not on an organ. No pedal harpsichords survive from
      Bach's day. This one was built by John Challis "some years ago." I'm
      sorry I lack room for the fugue on this disc, but you get the idea.

      Track 6: Bach: Prelude and Fugue in a, B.W.V 894: Prelude only. Zsuzsa
      Pertis, harpsichord. Hungaraton SLPX 12449 (1983). I avidly sought out
      recordings of Bach's music, from the harpsichord works onward in the
      Schmieder catalog, often buying an entire disc just to get something
      new to my collection. I got to hear artists I otherwise would not have
      this way. She has made other albums of Baroque composers, but I have
      not sought them out. You should (I hope!) instantly recognize the
      prelude, for it was used as the basis for his triple concerto. Too bad
      I don't have room for the fugue, which is "thoroughly typical of the
      young Bach. Throughout the whole fugue is an uninterrupted, almost
      motorized, virtuoso motion of semiquavers.

      Track 7: Bach: Triple Concerto in a. Mieczslaw (anyone have a mnemonic
      to get the spelling down right?) Horszowski, piano; Alexander
      Schneider, violin; John Wummer, flute, Pablo Casals, The Prades
      Festival Orchestra (1950). Columbia ML 4352 in SL 161, ten LPs. This
      is the original issue, with a gold label.

      And so this selection of discs essential in stereo comes to an end
      with a monaural disc! I do wish it were in stereo, with the violin on
      the right, the flute on the left, and the piano in the middle.
      Nevertheless, it is a robust performance indeed, and I much prefer the
      piano for its greater clarity.
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