Von:          Siegfried Knoepfler

Datum:     25. Mai 2007 KW21 08:08:44 MESZ

An:            cyberpluckers

Kopie:       Heidi Cerrigione

Betreff:      CD hints; new on my Web site; other ramblings


Hello Cyberpluckers,


   one of the many songs that Heidi & John Cerrigione prepared so wonderfully (in a booklet with CD!) for teaching us at past Sore Fingers Week (SFW) in England was Phil Cunningham's "Miss Rowan Davies". In order to compare this arrangement with another one, I listened after a long time (a too long time, indeed!) once more to Carey Dubbert's version on his CD "One of Mine" (made in 2000).

   And I realised once more what a real gem this CD is! If you don't have it, get it as soon as you can. It's a nice coincidence that this CD was recently recommended by other cyberpluckers for the classical music feeling of Carey's playing; he has indeed a very sophisticated and at the same time so pleasing way of playing his autoharp (and the hammered dulcimer). Little wonder he won the MLAG contest in 1999 (just when I attended MLAG for my first time, but probably no causal relation!).


   Having this CD in my player, I listened of course to the other pieces as well. The last one, Planxty Jim Stewart, reminded me very much of a Swiss song (written around 1830, now a folk song), "Lueget vo Berge-n-und Tal" ("Watch how from mountain and dale [the sunlight is quickly vanishing]"), describing the beauty of sunset in the high mountains and telling that God takes care that none of the appearing stars falls down from the sky. Grown up in immediate neighbourhood to Switzerland, I was aware of this song but had it nearly forgotten - until I found it again on the new CD by John & Heidi Cerrigione, "Winter's Turning", of which I got a copy at SFW.

   There is the loveliest old-time music on this CD, sung and played on autoharp, hammered and lap dulcimer, guitar and a few other instruments. If you love (like I do) traditional interpretation with beautiful harmony singing and masterly instrumental work, don't hesitate to get this CD (e.g. from AQ's Marketplace).

   Among all the 20 wonderful tracks on this CD, track 5, there called "Luegid vo Berg und Tal", showed me once more the beauty of this tune. And I began to work on an autoharp arrangement, based on my own sources. So my version differs a bit from Heidi's. (Excuse me if my words sound a bit pretentious. But even the smallest light may have its own corner to brighten. :>)) In particular, Heidi inserts additional measures already in the first run through the tune and some more in the second and third run.


   If you'd like to listen to my version, go to http://www.anaughtiharper.mynetcologne.de/music.html and click on 'A little Saturday morning practice'. I recorded the MP3 file past Saturday morning, but didn't find then the time to tell (until now).

   As I told in an earlier posting, from time to time I record my autoharp practising by simply starting Audacity on my iMac and having picked up my sounds by the little microphone built-in in the corner of the screen. If I don't like what I hear when playing back the recording, I just delete it (after trying to determine what went wrong). Well, sometimes such a recording seems worth to be kept (at least for a while) and sometimes even worth to be uploaded to my Web site. This one seemed so.

   If you have patience enough to listen to the whole MP3 file, you will hear "work in progress" versions of:

1.  "Lueget vo Berge-n-und Tal"

2.  the closing aria from G. Verdi's opera La Traviata

3.  the opening aria from La Traviata

4.  "Es steht eine MŸhle im SchwarzwŠlder Tal" (cf. #15 in http://www.anaughtiharper.mynetcologne.de/Lieder%20die%20zu%20Herzen%20gehen.htm)

5.  "In einem kŸhlen Grunde" (cf. #14 in http://www.anaughtiharper.mynetcologne.de/Lieder%20die%20zu%20Herzen%20gehen.htm)

6.  "Es BurebŸebli mah-n-i nit" (Swiss folk song)

7.  "Bicycle built for two"

8.  "Plaisir d'amour"

9.  "Yield not to temptation"

   All these tunes are in 3/4 or 6/8 time. (While I began in a decent pace, I soon lost my patience, and in the end I shamefully yielded to temptation, succumbing defencelessly to the thrill of speed. As a result, it was nearly impossible to get out of the groove again. :>))

   All the tunes are played in the key of G, except #6 which is played in the key of D.


   As you can see from numbers 2, 3 and 8, I'm always trying to expand my repertoire of classical tunes. I do this because I actually love those tunes and because classical tunes are the easiest way to impress a sceptical German audience not knowing what to think of a guy playing such an exotic instrument.

   Therefor I always carefully look at what Linda Huber offers in AQ's "Simply Classic" series. I certainly encourage Linda to go on with this work!


   From my Web site you can see that I began to work on a "kitchen songs" project. On this I'll expand in a later mail. This one has already got too long, sorry!




Siegfried in Cologne, Germany