19 January 2011

In The Hound of the Baskervilles Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writes: "The more outre and grotesque an incident is the more carefully it deserves to be examined, and the very point which appears to complicate a case is, when duly considered and scientifically handled, the one which is most likely to elucidate it."

Let us apply Holmes's methodology to "the longest piano piece in existence" (Guinness Book of World Records, c. 1930): Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji's Opus Clavicembalisticum, a 260-page work of finger-twisting virtuosity, lasting some 4½ hours. You can look at sample pages of the score here.

Sorabji: Visionary or charlatan? Me: Elucidator or pretentious pseudo-intellectual? What is the key? I will be up early to beat myself with peepal boughs.

7:00am - 12:00noon

1. Kaikhosru Sorabji: Opus Clavicembalisticum (1929–30)
John Ogdon - piano
Altarus Records, AIR-CD-9075

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