I just ran onto a YouTube video of the Ampico roll of Aaron Copeland
playing his composition, "The Cat and Mouse" ("Le Chat et Souris"):
This brings up an old question of mine. I thought I heard an organ
roll of this played at the Jacklin house in Woodside, California,
about 30 years ago. The organ had both an Aeolian Duo-Art player and
a Roesler-Hunholtz player. I have a list of those R-H rolls and (what
I think) is a pretty complete list of all Aeolian Duo-Art organ rolls.
No "Cat and Mouse". Perhaps I am mistaken and heard it on an Ampico
Does anyone know the Ampico roll number for this, and whether there was
an organ roll of it?
Scotts Valley, Calif.
[ In the Ampico rollography by Elaine Obenchain:
[ 68153H Le Chat et la Souris (The Cat and the Mouse)
[ Scherzo Humoristique Copland Copland 10/27
[ Several YouTube viewers were amazed at how fast the composer plays
[ the piece in his Ampico performance -- the elapsed time is 3:18.
[ Compare with this live performance by American pianist Tammy Wu:
[ Found at http://books.google.com/books?id=a3R-7_UWF4wC&pg=PA43&lpg=PA43
[ Aaron Copland: the life and work of an uncommon man
[ By Howard Pollack, University of Illinois Press, 2000; page 43
[ In March 1920 he completed "Humoristic Scherzo" (better known by
[ its subtitle, "The Cat and the Mouse"), a solo piano piece based on
[ yet another poem, this one, however, old and humorous: Jean de la
[ Fontaine's "Le Vieux Chat et la Jeune Souris", ("The Old Cat and
[ the Young Mouse"). Upon hearing him play this work in a recital
[ in Fontainebleau on 21 September 1921, the publisher Jacques Durand
[ bought it outright for five hundred francs. Published as "Scherzo
[ Humoristique" (subtitled "Le Chat et la Souris"), this debut
[ publication became Copland's first recognized work, one still widely
[ known and played.
[ The La Fontaine fable tells of a young mouse captured by an old cat;
[ the mouse appeals to the cat with various arguments, but the cat,
[ unmoved, eats him just the same. The fable concludes, "Youth deludes
[ itself into believing it can obtain everything; Old age is merciless.")
[ The opposition of youth and old age, of hope and disillusionment,
[ apparently spoke forcibly to the young Copland.
[ -- Robbie