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MMD > Archives > August 2012 > 2012.08.25 > 07Prev  Next

Seek Ampico Rolls by Theodore Henrion
By Bob Taylor

According to the Elaine Obenchain catalog of Ampico rolls, Theodore
Henrion had ten rolls to his credit.  In my collection I have three
of those rolls.  I would like the other seven which are:

55255F Billet-Doux, by Taubert
53324G Dream Visions, by Schumann
54735G Mazurka, by Chopin
55354F Monologue, by Moszkowski
53265G Romance, by Schumann
52123F Songs Without Words, by Tchaikovsky
52183F Trois Ecossaises, by Chopin

Over the years, I had many opportunities to purchase several of these,
but just didn't do it.  Now, I have changed my focus and would like to
have all ten rolls to aid in my study of Ampico coding.

Theodore Henrion was Editor-in-chief at Ampico for several years before
he died in the influenza epidemic about 1918.  This means his stint at
Ampico covers the early years as the "A" system was being fully
developed.  Since his rolls were never apparently upgraded to "B"
coding, I assume all rolls extant today reflect the coding of the
1916-1918 era.  If we thoroughly understand the coding, we have the
'Rosetta Stone' to the editing practices.

One of the rolls that I own, Scherzo Op. 31 B flat minor by Chopin,
55447K, has pure Ampico A coding of the highest caliber.  In fact, when
Robin Pratt first introduced me to the roll, I was totally overwhelmed
with the sophistication of the coding.  Robin was recutting the roll
through Custom Music Rolls.  We decided to collaborate on his recutting
project.  My part was to upgrade the coding to "B" format so that this
wonderful music could be heard properly on "B" instruments.

I decided that the B version of that roll would be something unique.
It would be coded for the Ampico B _only_.  Robin would offer the recut
versions in pure A format, and I would offer pure B format.  That gave
me freedom as editor to abandon any need to keep the B version of the
roll in a "compatible" format.  To my knowledge, this is the only roll
ever made for the Ampico B only.

I am not contemplating another coding project yet, but I do want to see
all of Henrion's work.  We know Ampico started using the sophisticated
spark recording process well before the B was developed.  All classical
A rolls from about 1926 are spark chronograph recordings.

C. F. Stoddard invented a dynamic recorder much earlier.  The patents
for that machine are from 1909.  While it is thought to be too clumsy
to use in commercial production, I am not convinced it was totally
ignored.  Henrion's rolls are just too good to be "formula" coded.

Contact me if you are willing to part with the rolls listed above.

Bob Taylor

(Message sent Sat 25 Aug 2012, 18:44:45 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Ampico, Henrion, Rolls, Seek, Theodore

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