Viva Regondi!

Briefly Noted

Viva Regondi!

On Friday, 17 March 2006, the Center for the Study of Free-Reed Instruments at The Graduate School of The City University of New York presented a concert entitled Viva Regondi, likely the first all-Regondi concert in ‘modern’ times.

Devoted to Regondi’s music for both the English concertina and the guitar, the program featured concertinists Douglas Rogers and Allan Atlas, the Canadian guitarist Alexander Dunn, soprano Elizabeth Bell (a DMA candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center) and pianists Joanne Last (from England) and Jin-Ok Lee (like Elizabeth Bell, a candidate for the DMA degree at the CUNY Graduate Center).

We reproduce the program here:

I.

“Les Oiseaux,” Morceau de concert, Op. 12 (1851)

Remembrance, Solo for the Baritone Concertina (1872)

Douglas Rogers and Joanne Last

II.

Ten Études
No. 1 in C major, Moderato
No. 4 in E major, Adagio cantabile

Deuxième Air varié pour la Guitarre, Op. 22 (1864)

Alexander Dunn

III.

Introduction et Caprice pour la Concertina
avec Accompagnement de Piano (1861)

Douglas Rogers and Joanne Last

IV.

Les Concerts de societé (1854)
No. 61. Moritz Ganz (1806-1868)/arr. Regondi
“Wiegenlied”/“Lullaby”
No. 54. Ignaz Lachner (1807-1895)/arr. Regondi
“Überall du”/“Everywhere thou art”
Fabio Campana (1819-1882)/Regondi
Quando da te lontano: Romanza

Elizabeth Bell, Allan Atlas, and Jin-Ok Lee

V.

Rêverie. Nocturne pour la Guitarre, Op. 19 (1864)

Alexander Dunn

Nocturne-Rêverie (1871)
Transcribed for piano by Frédéric D’Alquen (1821-1887)

Jin-Ok Lee

VI.

Selections from Verdi’s Operas Il Trovatore and La Traviata,
Bk. 4, for two treble concertinas and piano (1859)

Allan Atlas, Douglas Rogers, and Jin-Ok Lee

What follows is a little picture album of sorts, a visual record of what was not only a grand evening, but a little bit of — well, let’s call it a footnote to — concertina history.

viva_regondi_1_small.jpg (55759 bytes)

Allan Atlas, Douglas Rogers, and Jin-Ok Lee

viva_regondi_2_small.jpg (55759 bytes)

Elizabeth Bell, Allan Atlas, and Jin-Ok Lee

viva_regondi_3_small.jpg (55759 bytes)

Alexander Dunn

viva_regondi_4_small.jpg (55759 bytes)

Douglas Rogers and Joanne Last

viva_regondi_5_small.jpg (55759 bytes)

Allan Atlas and Douglas Rogers

THE INSTRUMENTS

All the concertinas and guitars heard that evening were “period instruments.” Douglas Rogers played Wheatstone No. 10389, a steel-reed treble that was apparently sold for the first time to one Mr. Hornblow on 29 July 1858 for £9.9.0 (Wheatstone sales ledger C1051, p. 32); his baritone concertina has brass reeds and was manufactured by George Case, No. 3168, circa 1860; both instruments are maintained by Steve Dickinson (Stowmarket, UK), the present-day proprieter of Wheatstone & Co.

Allan Atlas played Wheatstone, No. 18090, which has tapered steel reeds (and thus its “wispy” tone) and dates from May, 1866 (Wheatstone production ledger C1054, p. 134); the instrument was recently restored by Wim Wakker of Concertina Connections (Helmond, NL), and retuned from its original equal temperament to Thomas Young’s “well temperament No. 1,” as described in his “Outlines of Experiments and Inquiries Respecting Sound and Light”’, Philosophical Transactions, 90 (1800). Alexander Dunn performed on a copy of a Georg Stauffer Viennese guitar from the 1820s (the copy by Gary Southwell , Nottingham, UK); Regondi himself owned such an instrument, which he apparently left to his physician and pupil, T. Gaisford, M.D., on 15 April 1871; Stauffer is notable for having taught the luthier C.F. Martin, who began his own famous company in Philadelphia in the 1830s.