January 27, 2014:
Having finished up all the medieval stuff, here’s a complete change of pace: “How to Tell Corn Fairies When You See ‘Em,” written and read by Carl Sandburg. This 1961 album was the second of two records Sandburg made of reading from Rootabaga Stories; I’ll be getting to the other soon.
Alas, this is scratched and worn, with several skips and sticks; it took a significant amount of work to get a useable copy. If it were available on CD or MP3 I’d have just bought a copy, but it’s not.
The result isn’t good, but it’s better than nothing.
These two records were my mother’s; she bought them new, and when my sibs and I were kids we played them to death.
I don’t think Sandburg is generally remembered much anymore, though the book Rootabaga Stories is still in print. The stories originated as bedtime stories for his daughters. They’re strange and dreamlike, but I loved them when I was little, so I wanted to keep them no matter how crappy the condition of the record.
January 27, 2014:
My copy of “Johann Sebastian Bach: Lute Music,” by Walter Gerwig, is trashed; I don’t know when or how, but it all sounds like crap.
Fortunately, it’s one of the few Nonesuch albums that’s obtainable elsewhere. It was originally a European album, and that European orginal was released on CD in 1999, and is now available for download.
So I downloaded it, and tossed my original vinyl and the Audacity copy.
(I’ve now finished up all the Nonesuch stuff except for half a dozen albums of J.S. Bach stuff. Now I’m working on those.)
January 28, 2014:
I said, “I’ve now finished up all the Nonesuch stuff except for half a dozen albums of J.S. Bach stuff. Now I’m working on those.”
For example, “Sonatas for ‘Cello and Harpsichord,” with Andre Navarra on cello and Ruggero Gerlin at the harpsichord. No problems at all in making the MP3 (there’s a little surface noise in spots, nothing serious), but for some reason iTunes decided it was two different albums, and it took some arguing to convince it that no, all eleven tracks go on one album.
This is nice music. Comparing this with the lute album, I see why the lute fell out of favor; the cello is much more pleasant to listen to.
January 29, 2014:
Finished up “Rootabaga Stories,” the Carl Sandburg spoken-word stuff. More weird, hyper-American fairytales.
There are a couple of things that really date this material. One is that two stories feature a character named Wingtip the Spic.
And then there’s the village where they bake clowns in ovens. I suspect that didn’t come across anywhere near as creepy before the Holocaust.
The stories are from the 1920s, I think. The album’s from 1958.
There were places the needle stuck; took a couple of tries and some careful editing to get a useable copy, and there’s still lots of crackling. But hey, I have the stories.
Now back to Bach. And comedy, and one or two weirdnesses.