P0023. WANDA LANDOWSKA: Goldberg Variations; Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue – recorded 1933 / 1935, resp.; WANDA LANDOWSKA & YEHUDI MENUHIN: Violin Sonata #3 in E – recorded 28 Dec., 1944 (all Bach). (England) Biddulph LHW 031. Transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 744718203123
"Landowska toured European museums inspecting period harpsichords and trying them out, then bought old instruments and had Pleyel make her large touring harpsichord. The most controversial aspect of this instrument was its 16-foot stop, an octave below normal pitch, which gave her instrument a deeper, richer sound than any other....in the early 21st century, that Landowska had been right all along when she said to Pablo Casals, 'You play Bach your way and I’ll play him his way'....She was the Goddess of the Harpsichord, the woman who single-handedly revived interest in the harpsichord and made it a mainstream instrument. By the time she died there were also Ralph Kirkpatrick, Sylvia Marlowe and a few others, all inspired by Landowska and following in her footsteps, but it was pretty much accepted that Landowska was Mount Everest and the others were the Blue Ridge Mountains, at best.
Dressed in a plain black dress with a shawl, her hair pulled back in a bun, her beaklike nose pointed towards the keyboard, she was almost like a ‘character’ created for the occasion, a real-life 18th-century woman somehow transported to the 20th….her severe dress and hair style were all part of her presentation. In concert she would have the house lights dimmed slowly until all was in darkness, somehow find her way from the wings to her harpsichord, then have the house lights suddenly turned up to reveal her already seated and starting to play. She usually had a candelabrum on her instrument as well. To a certain extent, then, her act was as much a theatrical presentation….”
- Lynn René Bayley, Art Music Lounge, 25 Aug., 2016
“Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin, OM, KBE was an American-born violinist, violist, and conductor who spent most of his performing career in the United Kingdom. He was a student of Louis Persinger, Georges Enescu, and Adolf Busch.
Yehudi Menuhin performed for allied soldiers during World War II, and went with the composer Benjamin Britten to perform for the inmates of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, after its liberation in April 1945. He went back to Germany in 1947 to perform music under the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler as an act of reconciliation, becoming the first Jewish musician to go back to Germany after the Holocaust. After building early success on richly romantic and tonally opulent performances, he experienced considerable physical and artistic difficulties caused by overwork during World War II and unfocused early training. Careful practice and study combined with meditation and yoga helped him overcome many of these problems, and he continued to perform to an advanced age, becoming known for profound interpretations of an austere quality.
In 1952, Menuhin met and befriended the influential yogi B.K.S. Iyengar. Menuhin arranged for Iyengar to teach abroad in London, Switzerland, Paris and elsewhere. This was the first time that many Westerners had been exposed to yoga. In 1962 he established the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey. He also established the music program at the Nueva School in Hillsborough, California sometime around then. In 1965 he received an honorary knighthood.
During the 1980s he made jazz recordings with Stephane Grappelli and of Eastern music with the great sitarist Ravi Shankar. In 1985 he was awarded British citizenship and had his honorary knighthood upgraded to a full one. In 1993 he was created a life peer as Baron Menuhin, of Stoke D'Abernon in the County of Surrey. Lord Menuhin died in Berlin following a brief illness, from complications of bronchitis.
Menuhin credited the German-Jewish philosopher Constantin Brunner with providing him with ‘a theoretical framework within which I could fit the events and experiences of life’ (CONVERSATIONS WITH MENUHIN, pp.32-34).
Arguably the most famous of Menhuin's violins is the ‘Lord Wilton’ Guarneri del Gesù violin made in 1742.”
- The Violin Site