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MMD > Archives > October 1998 > 1998.10.23 > 03Prev  Next

Rachmaninoff Ampico CD In Billboard's Top 10
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  Here's a copy of the web page I just posted at Player-Care:

This page is linked to my 'Solenoid Sarcasm' page as
"New Information (10/22/98)... New Technology"

 - - -

'A Window in Time'
Music by Rachmaninoff
Realized by Wayne Stahnke

As of October 22, 1998, this superb recording, now in Billboard's Top
10, Classical CD's, has changed my opinion about the capabilities and
limitations of solenoid operated pianos.  In a nutshell, it defies
accurate explanation.  There just aren't any words that adequately
express my awe.  The dynamic range of the Boesendorfer 290SE, coupled
with the solenoid player mechanism and Mr. Stahnke's re-created Master
files of Ampico reproducing piano rolls, was more intense than anything
I've ever experienced via my stereo system.  I truly felt like I was
standing next to the piano as it was being played by a 'perfect'

As I have time, I will update this page with some of the CD's liner
notes.  They explain a number of the processes that Mr. Stahnke
employed to realize his exceptional creation.  But please, take my word
on this one.  You will not be disappointed by this CD in any way, shape
or form .  I know... I searched for flaws using a wave analyzer and
was left honoring Wayne's fine gift to the world of classical music.

The absolute perfection of each performance was only clouded by this
writers' belief that there is only One 'perfect'.  As superb as the
dynamic range, subtle phrasings and massive passages are, I came away
with the impossible desire to hear Rachmaninoff perform in person.  It
was at that point I realized that only a live performance by the artist
could ever rival Wayne's masterful accomplishment.  I also realized how
fortunate I am to live in a time when individuals like Mr. Stahnke are
free and sufficiently moved to re-master that which is so beautiful in


John A. Tuttle

P.S.  By the way, I found the CD at Blockbuster.  It just came in
today!  They saw it had attained 'Top 10' status and ordered three
copies.  I bought two; one to listen to and one to put away.  This
will become a collectors item -- mark my words!

 [ Ask for Telarc CD-80489.  See also Ed Chabon's comparative review
 [ in MMD 980913. -- Robbie

Key Words in Subject:  10, Ampico, Billboard's, CD, Rachmaninoff, Top

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