WORKS: Baroque harpsichord music
CATALOGUE NO: GEMM CD 9242 ADD mono
The Times called her ‘one of the greatest musicians of our time’; Osbert Sitwell claimed that she rid ‘ancient instruments’ of preciosity, and contemporary reviewers placed her musicianship on a par with Casals, Tertis and Segovia. Harpsichordist Violet Gordon Woodhouse certainly had her admirers (her ‘life and loves’ make for fascinating reading in Jessica Douglas-Home’s new biography). But what about her records? Pearl has released a generous selection, ranging from acoustically recorded Farnaby to electrically recorded Haydn and ending with music from Bach’s ‘48’. Granted that the sound is a touch flimsy and 78s surfaces tend to intrude, but the actual playing is flexible, capricious and spontaneous.