excerpt from 'Over the bridge: an essay in autobiography' pp. 54–55 (163 words)

excerpt from 'Over the bridge: an essay in autobiography' pp. 54–55 (163 words)

part of

Over the bridge : an essay in autobiography

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

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54–55

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text excerpt

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My mother had a light contralto singing voice, which she exercised upon the tuneful, sentimental ballads popular in those days before home-made music was displaced by radio and gramophone. The piano pieces which she delighted to play with those “thin, transparent hands” were of a similar kind to the ballads. She always opened one of her sessions at the pianoforte with a bravura piece called ‘Tarantella’, by Sidney Smith.  I have never heard that key-rattling solo performed elsewhere. Her copy of it, published by Mr. Boosey with lavish engraving of trumpets, viols, and vine leaves on the title-page, was so tattered that it disintegrated early in my life.  But I recall still that the solo opened with so definite a statement of the main theme that our solid English instrument, made by Broadwood-White (a dubious trade signature which again I have not met elsewhere), would rumble like a husky bull, or a distant explosion of fire-damp in a coalmine.

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excerpt from 'Over the bridge: an essay in autobiography' pp. 54–55 (163 words)

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