Monday, February 20, 2012
Reinecke is best known (if at all) today as a composer. He was also a highly regarded pianist and conductor, and he has the honour of being the oldest pianist to commit any performance to a recording. He made no acoustic recordings, but made a number of piano rolls for the Welte reproducing piano. This system captured dynamics, pedalling and attack of notes. It did not satisfactorily reproduce the tonal variations or the subtle inner voicings within chords so well. Bad rolls, or badly adjusted reproducing equipment can easily lead to rhythmically lumpy playback or other aberrations, leading to a bad name for piano rolls amongst many critics. However, in a good reproduction the recording can be very fine, and convincing.
This performance is Reinecke's transcription of the slow movement Larghetto from Mozart's Piano Concerto in D K.537. The roll dates from 1905, towards the end of Reinecke's life.
This post serves as an ad for my recent article on Carl Reinecke at the Kammermusikkammer, which I dedicated to Anchusa. If you are interested now: Visit and enjoy!