excerpt from 'My Musical Life' pp. 651-2 (242 words)

excerpt from 'My Musical Life' pp. 651-2 (242 words)

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My Musical Life

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As we re-ascended, the bell of Sta. Croce, in the tall campanile over the cloisters which form part of the Villa d'Este, rang out a quarter to one. It was a bad bell, like most Italian bells, and I naturally alluded to the superiority of Belgium bells, above all others. Rather to my surprise, LISZT said, "Yes, but how are they played? I remember being much struck by the Antwerp carillon." I described to him the mechanism of the carillon clavegin and tambour, and reminded him that the Antwerp carillon was much out of tune, Bruges being superior, as well as of heavier calibre, and Mechlin bearing off the palm for general excellence. We stopped short on one of the terraces, and he seemed much interested with a description I gave him of a performance by the great carilloneur M. DENYN at Mechlin, and which reminded me of RUBINSTEIN at his best. He expressed surprise when I alluded to VAN DEN GHEYN'S compositions for bells, laid out like regular fugues and organ voluntaries, and equal in their way to BACH or HANDEL, who were contemporaries of the great Belgian organist and carilloneur. "But," he said, "the Dutch have also good bells. I was once staying with the King in Holland, arid I believe it was at Utrecht that I heard some bell-music which was quite wonderful." I have listened myself to that Utrecht carillon, which is certainly superior, and is usually well-handled.

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excerpt from 'My Musical Life' pp. 651-2 (242 words)


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