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Browse: Grand Piano (series)
Modern recordings of great pianists on the Reproducing Piano.
Grand Piano is a series devoted to the art of the Reproducing Piano. It presents major performances by the legendary pianists who recorded for the Aeolian Company between 1915 and 1930.
The acoustic gramophone rarely attempted major keyboard works. The 78s' restricted sound and duration was acceptable for short virtuoso pieces but little else. In contrast, by 1915, the Aeolian Company's 'Duo-Art' was already a highly sophisticated digital recording process. Pianists, well aware of the gramophone's limitations, turned enthusiastically to the reproducing piano. Hofmann, Bauer, Paderewski and Grainger were especially committed, not alone in believing that they had achieved the ultimate recording process. Great pianists joined them in recording their concert repertoire, including much that was never repeated on disc.
The reproducing piano was a tragic victim of the devastated economy of 1930's America. It disappeared, not because it was inadequate, but, because it was expensive. The pianist's faith in the reproducing piano remained overwhelming; one of the most exciting musical inventions of our age.
The piano-roll collection of Gerald Stonehill which is being used for the Grand Piano project contains approximately 99% of all the rolls ever issued by the Aeolian Company - classical and popular. As well as his huge collection of over 6000 rolls, Gerald Stonehill has also been responsible for the publication of rolls discovered in the company's American and British archives following research ongoing from the 1960s. Gerald is certainly acknowledged as the premier authority on Duo-Art in England and probably in the World. Nimbus' proposal is to use this source and publish approximately 50 CDs over the next five years to become the ultimate reference on the Duo-Art.
All the recordings in the Grand Piano series have been made at the Concert Hall of the Nimbus Foundation using a Steinway Grand. All recordings are fully digital. There are no extraneous noises, no mechanisms whirring, no levers squeaking, just pure, amazing piano playing. Accompanied by expert notes and biographies of the featured pianists the Grand Piano series promises to be one of the most enlightening and stimulating series of piano recordings ever!
Josef Hofmann (piano)
Paquita Madriguera (piano), Artur Rubinstein (piano), George Copeland (piano), Percy Grainger (piano), Elie Robert Schmitz (piano), Robert Lortat (piano), Ignaz Jan Paderewski (piano), Myra Hess (piano), Eugene d'Albert (piano)
D'Albert's account of No. 6 from the second book of Preludes recalls one of the greatest artists playing at the close of the last century. There is strong personality as well as keen wit in this... — More…
Arthur Friedheim (piano)
Alfred Cortot (piano)