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MMD > Archives > August 2005 > 2005.08.10 > 07Prev  Next

Liberace Recordings for Reproducing Pianos
By Peter Phillips

I'm very pleased to read Bill Flynt's posting re his work on converting
Liberace QRS rolls to Ampico.  The results of his editing are excellent,
and the more we know about how Bill achieved this, the better.

I have a particular interest in Liberace, mainly because my mother
(age 92) loves him.  I was recently loaned some 20 LPs of Liberace
performances, from which I extracted two CDs of music for my mother.
The interesting thing is that, despite his prodigious talent, Liberace
did not have a huge repertoire.  Hence 20 LPs being condensed into
two CDs.

Bill mentions Liberace's Disklavier performances, suggesting these
too are from rolls.  While I can't be sure, I think these are from
recordings Liberace made for the Pianocorder.  As most people know,
Yamaha purchased Marantz in the 1980's, including the 4000 item
library.  Included in this library are recordings made by Liberace,
which I assume were done "live".  Others who recorded for Marantz
include Roger Williams, Peter Nero and so on.

The Yamaha release (1992) is exactly the same as that for the
Pianocorder, same pieces, same timing and so on.  So I would assume
that Yamaha has made some use of the Marantz library, without telling
us how it is that Liberace appears on the Disklavier.  The truth is,
he doesn't.

As I have both systems, I have been able to compare the Disklavier
Liberace performances to the Flynt encoded Ampico rolls.  You guessed
it -- they both sound pretty much the same.  So, in my opinion Bill
has done a truly excellent job with the QRS rolls, with Marantz being
responsible for the only live reproducing piano performances Liberace
ever made.

Peter Phillips

 [ Jim Turner was the editor of the live recordings made for the
 [ Marantz Pianocorder.  I asked him how many hours were spent in
 [ editing a song, and he replied that the goal was to produce
 [ 30 seconds of edited music each day.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Wed 10 Aug 2005, 10:40:54 GMT, from time zone GMT+1000.)

Key Words in Subject:  Liberace, Pianos, Recordings, Reproducing

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