the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

  • Location:
  • Mood:
  • Music:

Music hunt

Many years ago (~25ish I think) I was listening to CBC FM in the background, paying it little attention for the most part. I am pretty sure it was Jurgen Gothe's afternoon program, where he tended to play a quirky mix of classical, jazz, bluegrass and the like. The next thing I knew, somebody was tearing up a harpsichord with a piece of music that I recognized, but like most classical works, I could not have told you the name of the piece or the composer if I my life depended on it. All I knew was that it was played with a power and passion that was curiously at odds with a delicate instrument like the harpsichord.

It was amazing.

I remember that he identified the song before it played, but since I had not been paying close attention until the song itself gripped me, I had not caught the name. I vaguely remembered that he may have said that it was available on their own CD label, and I remember him commenting on the fact that it was performed on a harpsichord. I listened more closely at the end of the song to see if he would mention the composer and song again, and somehow I came away from that with the words "Hungarian Rhapsody" and "Harpsichord" on a scrap of paper. Since it was my day off work, I hopped in my car and drove down to the nearest A&B Sound, where I knew they had a fairly extensive classical music section.

I milled about in the classical section, scoping out the CBC Radio discs until the lady running the section came over to inquire if I needed assistance. I explained that I could indeed use her help, and I told her the story of this wonderful piece of music I had heard on CBC Radio earlier in the day. I explained that I reasonably sure it was available on their label, and that it was a harpsichord rendition of a song called Hungarian Rhapsody. Her initial response was simply, "Oh my!"

"Are you sure it was Hungarian Rhapsody?"

I assured her that I had written down the name, and showed her the scrap of paper. To her credit, she helped me look for the song before finally selling me on a couple of unrelated discs of Trevor Pinnock playing the harpsichord. They were very good discs, and I listened to them a lot (I have a soft spot for the harpsichord), but they were not what I had been after.

I have since come to understand, and even appreciate her curious reaction when I told her that I was looking for Hungarian Rhapsody on the harpsichord. "Oh my!" was indeed a very understandable response. It would be an, er, interesting interpretation on that piece of music.

I have thought about that song occasionally over the years, but had long since given up trying to track it down. The song popped into my head again this evening, and I decided that I would not sleep until I could identify it. I thought about humming it to Sound Hound, but I am not adept at holding a tune. I decided to do the next best thing, and began randomly skipping through the music in a classical music collection I picked up years ago to be background music for a fancy Thanksgiving dinner we hosted for a number of friends. I was nearing the end of the collection without luck when I suddenly found the piece.

Unsurprisingly it was not Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody no.2, it was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca.

Now I just need to figure out who performed that version I heard all those years ago.
Tags: rondo alla turca
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment