Hi, my name is Jim Kendros. I'm a composer and concert artist, and I specialize in performing on the Hurdy Gurdy. I'd like
to share a story with you. It's a story about one of the most difficult situations a concert artist can face. Imagine
You are the featured soloist with one of Chicago's finest orchestras. You're about to go onstage to an audience of several
hundred highly discerning patrons of classical music. They have heard about the Hurdy Gurdy. They are curious, yet cautious in their
final appraisal of the instrument. One small mishap will only confirm their impressions that the Hurdy Gurdy isn't a legitimate
instrument for the classical concert hall.
The program consists of four works, the main one being Haydn's wonderful Notturno
# 2. Originally composed for the Lira Organizatta ( a close relative of the Hurdy Gurdy), this is the first known performance
in the Chicago area featuring a Hurdy Gurdy with orchestra.
It is late February in Chicago. The weather is cold and dry. Your Hurdy Gurdy is only three weeks old and has not had time to become
adapted to the changeable climate conditions in Chicago.
If this were any other instrument, you could count on unwanted squeals
from the wheel, tangents going suddenly out of tune and a host of other unpredictable catastrophes-to say nothing of the demands
of performing the music.
But this is not any Hurdy Gurdy. It is the La Priel, built by George and Anwyn Leverett of Altarwind
Music. Featuring three chanters, the instrument's craftsmanship is unparelled. Thanks to the magnificent decorative artwork by Anwyn,
the instrument looks as beautiful as it sounds.
The first work on the program is Rameau's beautiful Mussette. The Bourdon strings
on the La Priel create a luxurious tapestry to which the violinists can float upon.
Next comes the Haydn work. The La Priel beautifully
expresses the courtly elegance of this music. It's keys effortlessly bend to your fingers, the tones from the instrument bringing
out colors which would have delighted Haydn himself.
Finally comes your encore: Beethoven's Ode to Joy and Mouret's Fanfare
Rondeau (better known as the Theme from Masterpiece Theatre). The chanters sing the immortal melodies, the Trompette lively filling
the vast hall with rhythms that quicken the pulse. The final vibrations are uttered and a second later the audience bursts with
applause of approval.
My findings? The La Priel can deliver beautiful music under any circumstance, anywhere, anytime. The
instrument is that good.
My advice? Contact Altarwind Music. Make sure you get a La Priel for yourself.
and Anwyn. You've helped launch my concert career. The music of the great masters is beautifully expressed through your incredible
Jim is a full time performer in the Chicago area. Between performances, he can be found offering the preconcert lecture
for several orchestras (ongoing), and is currently writing a book of Hurdy Gurdy music. More can be found at his website : http://jimkendrosmusic.com/Welcome.html
Over the years, many of our more experienced hurdy gurdy customers commissioned us to build customized instruments with advanced
feature sets to meet their needs. We've taken the most commonly requested items and included them in the 'La Priel'. The 'La
Priel' is built on the same, time tested body as our 'Moncur'. Indeed -'La Priel de Moncur'- the Pearl of My Heart
George- the spelling varies from the French because it's also Anwyn's middle name & family surname. I went with that
spelling instead so as to curry favor with the Mrs.!)
Hurdy Gurdies by George & Anwyn Leverett
The La Priel