Saturday, April 18, 2009


...So I look up Sergei Prokofiev's March from his anti-opera opera, "For the Love of Three Oranges" and YouTube has a recording from a player piano roll as played by the composer himself and not a bad one, either. Kewl!

Then I scroll down the comments to read, "wow! the sound quality is amazing for such an old recording."

Gads. One of the very bestest, neatest things about player piano music is that it is software. Unlike a tape or a vinyl disc (or a wax cylinder), it's rugged and can be copied without playback.

"Wow, those MIDI files from the '80s still sound so good!" Arrgh.


Bruce B. said...

MIDI files are data which can be corrupted in storage! ;-)

Turk Turon said...


There are some piano rolls of Sergei Rachmaninoff, too. Over a hundred years old now.

The masters' own touch. Pretty incredible.

perlhaqr said...

Well, they sound the same anyway. ;) "Good" is a matter of debate...

phlegmfatale said...

What a delight to hear this and from the master's own hand, as it were.

Once I was driving through Steven's Pass in Washington State on a clear winter day, snow all around, everything clean and bright, and I flipped on the hired car's radio to hear the opening strains of Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel, not an opera I'd normally just dig listening to, but that day it really fit.

Grand stuff, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Aeolian made a "recording" piano which roll-punched not only the notes but all the dynamics. There are several records of this performing piano being played.

They shared, with Orville Wright and "Boss" Kettering, the patents for the first cruise missile. 1918.