Thursday, February 28, 2008

William F. Buckley, Jr.

William F. Buckley has died at age 82. The force of his ideas will no doubt continue to spur debate, but there is little for disagreement about his passion for music, in particular his passion for the harpsichord.

Many of the obits appearing in the new today repeat the notion that Buckley took up the harpsichord in 50's. But, in fact, Buckley actually began exploring the world of plucked instruments in college. His first interest in the clavichord.

An interesting interview with Buckley via WNYC Radio that ranges across such topics as harpsichords, Wanda Landowska, and Elvis Presley. It's well worth the read.

You'll find it here.

Buckley: I think Bach would have composed for any instrument that accomplished anything singular and although much of what was written for the harpsichord I would just as soon hear on the piano; nevertheless there's some pieces in my judgment which only really come alive in the harpsichord. It's also inconceivable to me that he would scorn what a piano uniquely gives you. So I think he would have been enormously excited to hear his own compositions played on the piano.

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