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Purcell: Golden Sonata - Menges, Primrose, Gauntlett, Ticehurst

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Published on Sep 22, 2014

Isolde Menges & William Primrose, violins; Ambrose Gauntlett, viola de gamba; John Ticehurst, harpsichord

Found at The AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM) which was established on 1 April 2004, supported by a 5-year grant of just under £1m from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Ambrose Gauntlett factoid:
A unique photograph of the Queen’s coronation emerged yesterday – taken by a musician who smuggled a camera into Westminster Abbey in his cello case. Ambrose Gauntlett took one of the first paparazzi shots of royalty for his personal collection and never showed the picture to anyone except his family.

The secret was finally uncovered, 54 years later, and the photo was auctioned for £180 yesterday with a collection of Mr Gauntlett’s belongings.

Mr Gauntlett pointed the lens through a hole he had cut in the cello’s case, then used a hand-held device to work the shutter. The caption on the back of the picture read: ‘Taken by me using a camera inside my cello case.’

Christopher Proudlove, of auctioneers Rogers-Jones, said: ‘Many a press photographer would be proud of this. ‘It is a very clever and historic photograph. Mr Gauntlett was clearly perched quite high up for the coronation.’

The picture was among a hoard of Mr Gauntlett’s possessions which included a programme from a 1912 memorial concert for the Titanic’s band, sold for £100. ‘It is a unique collection,’ added Mr Proudlove.


John Ticehurst newspaper article:
English harpsichordist John Ticehurst last night gave Sydney's first public harpsichord recital or the first in modern times, at any rate, in the Great Hall of the University.

The harpsichord which Mr. Tice- hurst has brought with him is a sweetly voiced instrument of late 18th century period, fully equipped with double manual, stops, and pedals.

Last night's audience had no reason to sympathise with the un-kind critic who likened the playing of a harpsichord to "a performance by a toasting-fork on a bird-cage."

Mr. Ticehurst's programme provided fascinating discoveries among lesser-known early works, including a number of pieces by the English virginal composers and a suite by Kuhnau.

Needless to say, Mr. Ticehurst showed a full understanding of his instrument's resources. His finger technique generally was capable, even though the pitiless clarity of the harpsichord style revealed a few momentary roughnesses.-M.L.

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