Mechanical Music Digest  Archives
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info

Announcement: End-of-Year Fundraising Drive In Progress

Our End-Of-Year Fundraising drive is in progress. If you haven't contributed to the operation of the MMD in the last 12 months, this would be a great time to contribute. There's a PayPal link at the bottom of each page on the website.

If you aren't sure when you last contributed, please send me a note using the contact form at the bottom of this page and I'll look you up in my records.

Thank you for your generous support!
Jody

P.S. While your support is needed and appreciated, you do not need to contribute to be a subscriber. If you have subscribed and aren't receiving your Digest, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page and let me know. Thanks!

MMD > Archives > September 1998 > 1998.09.13 > 12Prev  Next


Rachmaninoff Ampico CDs Compared
By Ed Chaban

Three CDs, three very different Rachmaninoffs !

Without much else to do on a Sunday, I pulled out my copy of Wayne
Stahnke's new CD (Telarc 80489) and a London Digital remaster of the
1978 recording (London 425 964-2) produced by Peter Wadland.

Wadland's recording featured a 9-foot Estonia grand with a rebuilt
Ampico mechanism within. I also pulled out the 1987 Newport all digital
recording "The Performing Piano II" (NC 60030) which features a vintage
Knabe

The differences were striking.  I tried very hard to ignore the obvious
differences between an analog recording made in the 70s and the modern
digital recordings, and the even more obvious differences between the
Estonia, Knabe and Boesendorfer pianos themselves.

The London recording definitely sounds mechanistic and "un-human".
I don't know whether to attribute this to the quality of the
retrofit job or the nature of pneumatic players in general.  In spite
of this I find Estonias to be better "Rachmaninoff" pianos while
Boesendorfers are wonderful "Mozart" pianos,

The Knabe on the Newport recording suffered from being shorter than
the other instruments, and also was miked too closely in a rather
acoustically dead environment so the dynamic range and tone color
was adversely affected.  But even so, it sounded more like a machine
than a human.

Bottom line is that Wayne's recording sounds more like a live
pianist than any other "Player piano recording on CD" I've ever heard!
As someone who was turned off to modern player technology by the Artis
Wodehouse Yamaha marketing scheme, I find Wayne's work to be in the
same league as Thomas Stockham's work with Caruso's Victor recordings.
Scholarly work with solid engineering behind it!

Ed Chaban

 [ Has anyone compared these Ampico CDs with the Rachmaninoff's
 [ live performances on phonograph recordings?  -- Robbie


(Message sent Sun 13 Sep 1998, 23:56:24 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Ampico, CDs, Compared, Rachmaninoff

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   


Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google
Loading



CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2017 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

                                     
Translate This Page

. .