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Re: an obscure Gould quote and Welte


I'm new to this list.

There is a British CD label which issues CDs of the rolls using the
playback machine. The series is called Grand Piano and they are
recordings from as late as about 1930 and without the 3 minute limit of
78s. They also do reissues of old 78s which are played back via a
gigantic acoustic horn and via a microphone put on CD. Theyt even make a
whole host of conventional CDs of classical music and classical indian
music and a little jazz. The CEO is a good Schubert lieder singer as
Nimbus is the name of the label.  http://www.nimbus.ltd.uk/nrl/

Listening to Rosalyn Turecks latest Goldberg on DG as I write this. Dare
I say that?

Elmers page is well worth a visit.


Dyfan Lewis, MD

Elmer Elevator wrote:

> From 1905 to 1913, Edwin Welte set up his ultra-faithful
> recording/playback piano system in a castle on the Rhine, and rolls
> were cut by, among others, Debussy, Ravel, Saint-Saens, Gabriel Faure,
> Grieg, Scriabin, Mahler, Richard Strauss, and
> Paderewski. They played their own compositions, and those of the dead
> masters, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart. In the text
> accompanying these performances, a "genealogy" shows how, through
> generations of teacher-pupil, these recordings retain vestiges of the
> styles and interpretations dating back to the invention of the
> keyboard. The Welte rolls provide echoes of the actual way Beethoven
> and Mozart thought piano music should be performed.
> In 1962, a Welte playback machine -- a robot called the Vorsetzer,
> with 88 fingers and pedal feet that could be rolled up to any piano --
> played rolls from the 1905-1913 recordings on Steinway Concert Grand
> No. 61 in a Los Angeles state-of-art recording studio. They are,
> essentially, perfect reproductions of all the nuances of the original
> performances.
> Gould commented that the Welte rolls are
> "... both enormously rewarding and deeply disturbing ... because many
> of these performances are hard to reconcile with the architectural
> notions which our own generation prize most highly ... one is made
> deeply aware of the transitory nature of interpretative ideals, and
> one is even led to ask fundamental questions about the nature of
> stylistic concept as viewed by the performer."
> I have more about the Welte player piano at
> http://www.javanet.com/~bobmer/Bad_Comz.htm#welte
> Bob Merkin