Recently my elderly mother listened to the Rachmaninoff CD and was
astounded, saying that Wayne's Telarc CD is a magnificent reflection
of Rachmaninoff's playing. She had to have a copy for herself.
Mom graduated from the Eastman School of music about 1927, majoring in
piano and organ. Her teacher was Mr. Harry Watts. One of her most
memorable times was hearing Rachmaninoff play in concert.
She recalls the strength and size of Rachmaninoff's hands, which she
recalls were enormous, enabling him to play very large chords and even
two notes with one finger, extending a chord out of reach for most
pianists. She has always been impressed with his "shading" and
At age 90 she will visit me, and is eager to play the Ampico, being
partial to the Rachmaninoff rolls, knowing just where I keep them! She
starts to play the rolls before she unpacks her suit case! She enjoys
them for hours. In her day, I recall her playing a lot of Rachmaninoff
works among others, but arthritis in her hands has prevented her from
playing piano in recent years.
Other Ampico artists taught at the Eastman school at Mom's era, and she
knew most of them -- Jose Eschaniz, Jose Iturbi and his sister Ampara.
Others were George McNabb, Frederic Lamond, Max Landow. In addition,
Mom remembers live concerts at the Eastman featuring Leo Ornstein,
Artur Rubinstein, Brailowsky Moiseiwitsch, and organists Marcel Dupre,
and E. Power Biggs.