Scott Ross in NYTimes

He Was a ‘Bad Boy’ Harpsichordist, and the Best of His Age

The article notes he would have turned 70 this year.

As a longtime subscriber to NYT, I read this. The lead photograph was printed reversed, just like some of the old Supraphon records and so on. I took the liberty of writing to NYT to point this out, and that it is inconsistent with their reputation for extreme accuracy. I see today the image has been silently corrected!

I always wonder what the point is when people say he should have turned 70 this year. I suppose in the end it is a way of lamenting he died far too young. WIth all that smoking he may not have made it anyway!

The 555 stands the test of time and it’s still pretty good.

I have a complete original boxed set in virtually unused condition that I would love to pass on for somebody else to appreciate at a price significantly less than what I see on Amazon and eBay. Contact me privately if interested.

Dear Anne,
Do you mind if I ask, boxed set of what exactly, Scarlatti, d’Anglebert?

I’d be interested (I have no Scott Ross CDs whatever) but wonder whether postage to Ireland militates against this, with postage and possible import charges. If you have an expression of interest in the US it’d probably make more sense to send it to them. But if not, I would be interested if the post does not work out too exorbitant.

Best wishes

It looks like all of his Scarlatti and a lot of other albums are on Apple music. Thanks for bringing Mr. Roaa to my attention.

My interest in harpsichord music was sparked by a recording by Scott Ross. Other than a concert in my college dining hall by Ralph Kirkpatrick (a fellow of my college), Scott Ross was the first harpsichordist I ever heard, though, in his case, only on CD. Shortly after buying my first CD player, I went to my municipal ‘discothèque’—the CD lending library—determined that I would become familiar with composers from the Early Modern period (the period whose literature I studied). Eyeing how daunting the the beginning of the alphabet was because of Bach, I decided to begin with the first letter of my first name and checked out Scott Ross’ recording of Rameau—still (and Stil!) perhaps the finest recording of that composer.

A couple of years ago in the harpsichord workshop at the local music conservatory we did a blind listening test of several recordings, old and new, of a suite by Rameau. There were seven or so listeners of various ages. All agreed that one specific recording was distinctly less convincing than all the others. The notes inégales in particular were insufferably stiff and unmusical. I’ll let you guess who the performer was.
I took this as a sign that all the hard work put in over recent years doing research, playing, teaching and developing first rate instruments has moved things forward considerably and obviously Scott Ross was part of that.

Why do I have a bad feeling it is Wanda Landowska?

If so, let’s not forget how much she did to make the modern harpsichord scene possible, whether one disparages her playing or not. I admire her greatly, and her playing is of the time, and you can’t blame performers for that. In fact, one could make an argument her playing was ahead of the times.

But I may be wrong about who it was you are referring to.

Scott Ross!

Scott Ross! How totally silly of me!