Our publisher friend Martin Anderson has been producing for Toccata Classics in Évian, at the Grange au Lac, built in 1993 for Mstislav Rostropovich in the manner of a massive Russian izba, peasant house – entirely constructed of wood, and sitting in a natural woodland.
However, there was a price to pay. Martin found that while ‘an all-wood building provides a marvellous acoustic, as you’d expect, it also came with an unexpected drawback: on several occasions during the recording we had to wait until a woodpecker had finished trying to drill holes in the top of the building. Lesser spotted, before you ask – I went outside afterwards and caught it having another go.’
This may be the first recorded instance of a woodpecker – Picoides minor halting a recording session. The outcome will be heard – or unheard – on Toccata’s production of Vadim Repin and Murad Hüseynov recording the Violin Sonata and 24 Preludes by Kara Karayev.