Josef Hofmann plays Chopin
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.
|Review||"these performances, recorded between 1915 and 1930, sound as vivid and sparkling as if they had been given yesterday ... I for one look forward eagerly to the continuation of the series (which, incidentally, is provided with first-class notes) and applaud Nimbus for their courageous enterprise." Lionel Salter, Gramophone, Dec 95|