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MMD > Archives > June 1999 > 1999.06.23 > 05Prev  Next


New CD of Pianola Music by Rex Lawson
By Malcolm Cole

The Pianola Institute has just released their first CD on its own
"Aeolus" label.  The music is an eclectic collection of titles played
by Rex Lawson using his 88-note push up player, recorded in the
Djanogly Recital Hall at the University of Nottingham, England.

The music titles are:-

 1. Igor Stravinsky: Les Noces (arr. Stravinsky/Larmanjat)
 2. Witold Lutoslawski: Variations on a theme of Paganini (arr. Lawson)
 3. Sergei Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini (arr. Lawson
 4. George Frederic Handel: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (arr. Lawson)
 5. Charles-Marie Widor: Toccata from Organ Symphony No.5 (arr. Lawson)

 Sir Arthur Sullivan/Sir Charles Mackerras: Pineapple Poll (arr. Lawson)

 6. Overture
 7. Belaye's Solo
 8. Reconciliatio
 9. Final

I enjoyed this recital as much for the music and musicianship but also
for the amount of work that has been put into editing and arranging the
rolls together with their production.

The Stravinsky is interesting historically and well played. Items 2 to
9 are all Lawson arrangements which are all on the whole successful, the
best probably being the Rachmaninov and Pineapple Poll.  The amount of
work needed to take the music from the score, invent your own computer
programme and arrange the rolls is simply staggering, and represents
hundreds of hours of work, an outstanding achievement.

The rolls were produced on one of the original Aeolian perforators
owned by Mike Boyd of the Universal Music Roll Company; the Stravinsky
was kindly loaned.  Again the amount of work needed to get the
perforator working, stand over the machine for hours on end, check
every role for accuracy, label, stamp and box the finished article,
is a work of art in its own right and should be applauded.

One of the most interesting offshoots to the CD is that the rolls, apart
from the Stravinsky, have been available for some time under the
Perforatour label so that interested pianolists can practise the
roll, listen to the CD and improve their technique under Rex's tuition.

The Pianola Institute is to be congratulated on this production and
copies of the CD can be obtained from :-

  Mike Davies
  The Granary,
  Fenny Compton Wharf
  Royal Leamington Spa,
  Warks  CV33 OXE

The price of the CD is a very reasonable GBP 10 including post and
packing.

Malcolm Cole


(Message sent Wed 23 Jun 1999, 10:45:16 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)

Key Words in Subject:  CD, Lawson, Music, New, Pianola, Rex

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