W.A. Grieve-Smith

Starting in an alcohol-free county in West Texas (before air conditioning or paved roads), W.A. Grieve-Smith tried to obliterate the Great Depression and Dust Bowl by immersing himself in Greek, Latin, Spanish, French and German literature and language study, winding up in the same class as Dr. John Nash at the Princeton Graduate College. Moving to New York, he began writing and producing ads in the fledgling TV medium. For the following 35 years, he recorded sound for commercials, documentaries and features. With the demise of New York film production he switched to teaching at New York University’s Continuing and Professional Studies program, where he initiated the course in location sound recording. During this string of day jobs, he has maintained a lively interest in recordings of Renaissance and Baroque secular and liturgical music.

H.I.F. Biber’s Recordings

Biber had Mozart’s job as Kappelmeister at the Salzburg Cathedral under Prince-Archbishop Maximilian Gandolf. Biber’s experience was apparently a happier one than Mozart’s.

H.I.F. Biber’s Recordings

Biber had Mozart’s job as Kappelmeister at the Salzburg Cathedral under Prince-Archbishop Maximilian Gandolf. Biber’s experience was apparently a happier one than Mozart’s.

Thomas Tomkins, the last Elizabethan

By the time Thomas Tomkins died in 1656, he had outlived his contemporaries: Byrd, Bull, Gibbons and Sweelinck, all of whom died in the 1620s. He was by no means an also-ran, however.

Thomas Tomkins, the last Elizabethan

By the time Thomas Tomkins died in 1656, he had outlived his contemporaries: Byrd, Bull, Gibbons and Sweelinck, all of whom died in the 1620s. He was by no means an also-ran, however.

Leipzig Cantors before Bach

Today we think of J.S. Bach as the first Stadtkantor of any real distinction. Not so.

Leipzig Cantors before Bach

Today we think of J.S. Bach as the first Stadtkantor of any real distinction. Not so.

More about organs than you wanted to know

Earlier in La Folia I raved about the recording quality, choral and organ performance and the organ itself — not to mention the ideal reverberant acoustic. This CD release is one of the highlights of my half-century of collecting recordings!

More about organs than you wanted to know

Earlier in La Folia I raved about the recording quality, choral and organ performance and the organ itself — not to mention the ideal reverberant acoustic. This CD release is one of the highlights of my half-century of collecting recordings!

Modal Magic from Winchester

Many of us had our introduction to the music of Thomas Tallis via Vaughn Williams’ “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.”

Modal Magic from Winchester

Many of us had our introduction to the music of Thomas Tallis via Vaughn Williams’ “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.”

Close, but no Seeger

My first encounter with what we now call folk music was truly an auspicious one. But who knew at the time?

Close, but no Seeger

My first encounter with what we now call folk music was truly an auspicious one. But who knew at the time?

Tallis’ Triumph: Spem in alium

This 40-part motet is probably the most famous composition of Tudor polyphony.

Tallis’ Triumph: Spem in alium

This 40-part motet is probably the most famous composition of Tudor polyphony.

Before it melts

Seismic shifts in major record companies may put many precious CDs in peril. Here are some you may want to grab before they evaporate.

Before it melts

Seismic shifts in major record companies may put many precious CDs in peril. Here are some you may want to grab before they evaporate.

How Sviatoslav Richter came to play in the U.S. of A.

I first became aware of Richter from an article by Paul Moor in High Fidelity: basically a fantastic Russian virtuoso who somehow wasn’t allowed to stray out of Iron Curtain territory.

How Sviatoslav Richter came to play in the U.S. of A.

I first became aware of Richter from an article by Paul Moor in High Fidelity: basically a fantastic Russian virtuoso who somehow wasn’t allowed to stray out of Iron Curtain territory.

Sweelinck and Gibbons

It’s a double irony that two new recordings of Sweelinck’s vocal music are on offer at the same time.

Sweelinck and Gibbons

It’s a double irony that two new recordings of Sweelinck’s vocal music are on offer at the same time.