A Recital of works by Claude Debussy

Grand Piano is a series devoted to the art of the Reproducing Piano. It presents major performances by the legendary pianists who recorded for the Aeolian Company between 1915 and 1930.

The acoustic gramophone rarely attempted major keyboard works. The 78s' restricted sound and duration was acceptable for short virtuoso pieces but little else. In contrast, by 1915, the Aeolian Company's "Duo-Art" was already a highly sophisticated digital recording process. Pianists, well aware of the gramophone's limitations, turned enthusiastically to the reproducing piano. Hofmann, Bauer, Paderewski and Grainger were especially committed, not alone in believing that they had achieved the ultimate recording process. Great pianists joined them in recording their concert repertoire, including much that was never repeated on disc.

The reproducing piano was a tragic victim of the devastated economy of 1930's America. It disappeared, not because it was inadequate, but, because it was expensive. The pianist's faith in the reproducing piano remained overwhelming; one of the most exciting musical inventions of our age.



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Review "D'Albert's account of No. 6 from the second book of Preludes recalls one of the greatest artists playing at the close of the last century. There is strong personality as well as keen wit in this performance. I like, too, the lovely playing of Robert Schmitz, whose own transcription of Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune is quite ravishing ... Excellent recording again." Geoffrey Crankshaw, Classic CD
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