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MMD > Archives > December 2013 > 2013.12.19 > 07Prev  Next


"The Nutcracker" Played on Ampico & Duo-Art
By Mike Walter

Hi y'all,  I'll throw in a couple of cents concerning the comparison
of the Duo-Art vs. Ampico versions of the Nutcracker Suite as shown
by Mr. Neilsen.  Both pianos sound fine and are well restored and
their respective rolls are reproduced according to their piano's
capabilities.

My couple of notes are about the recording by Percy Grainger.  He
(or someone else) did a bit of editing to the roll.  Although Percy
Grainger was a prodigious and talented pianist, I don't think he was
capable of playing the "March" passage where two hands are playing
the theme in the center of the keyboard and then octaves at the same
time were running up and down the keyboard.  The only time I have seen
something as similarly fantastic is in the movie "The Legend of 1900"
which has the hero playing a piano duel against "Fats" Waller.  (This
movie, by the way, is fun to watch for piano fans.)

The other comment that I have is that the Ampico "Nutcracker" roll is
coded for a B model Ampico and it was being played on a late A piano
and can not provide the subtleties provided by the 0-T "sub-intensity"
and the added spots of amplification.  The Ampico roll itself sounds
fine on the 5'4" Mason, but it is a bit sparse in spots, because it
was played fairly straight without the embellishments that could have
been provided by someone such as Erwin Nyiregyhazi in his "Flower Waltz
Paraphrase" (Ampico 61613) which was, interestingly, arranged by Percy
Grainger.  It seems as if what goes around, comes around.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mike Walter


(Message sent Thu 19 Dec 2013, 17:47:44 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Ampico, Duo-Art, Nutcracker, Played

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