Multi-Media Review: REVOLUTIONS : AH | HistoryNet MENU

Multi-Media Review: REVOLUTIONS : AH

8/19/2000 • Reviews

(Dean Shostak Music, $17.00).

The haunting music of the little-known glass armonica is reintroduced by Dean Shostak, a musician for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, on this audio compact disc. The armonica, invented around 1761 by Benjamin Franklin (1706-90), consists of musically tuned glass bowls mounted on a spindle, which are made to rotate by the action of a fly wheel attached to a foot treadle. The sound is achieved by the musician rubbing moistened fingers along the rims of the glass bowls. The instrument, which enjoyed considerable popularity in Europe and America in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, has been revitalized by Shostak so that twentieth-century listeners can enjoy and appreciate the beauty of its sound. Accompanying Shostak on the glass armonica are pianist Jacqueline Schwab, harpist Sue Richards, and Steve Bloom on percussion. Selections include such traditional tunes as “Amazing Grace” and “Shenandoah,” as well as more recent compositions. The hour-long CD is available only by calling 800-588-3326.

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