1-2 Weeks
Player Piano 5: Studies 33-41c Vol. 3

MDG 6451405CD MDG 6451405CD

"Canons were Conlon Nancarrow's thing, and the complex temporal courses plotted with the greatest precision in his Studies ('The Well-Tempered Clavier' of the twentieth century) were his trademark. When a second concert grand piano enters the sweepstakes, then we realize why Nancarrow himself was never able to perform the Studies recorded here. Take a four-part canon for two pianos and have the second instrument enter twenty seconds later and play faster than the first, so that the two come together for the shared final chord. The best pianist would be doomed to failure and even piano rolls cannot fulfill to the note the requirements of Nancarrow's Study No. 40. It is thus hardly surprising that 19 years went by between its composition and its premiere. It is only when modern computer technology lends its helping hand to two player pianos that we are able to experience Nancarrow's works exactly as this exceptional American composer imagined them during the mid-1970s. This new recording of the Studies for Player Piano owes its existence to Jürger Hocker. This fanatical Nancarrow fan repeatedly visited the American composer in Mexico and for many years searched for suitable player pianos, had them restored, and prepared copies of the original rolls -- with the result that Nancarrow's works can now be heard on his two Bösendorfer and Fischer grand pianos with especially prepared hammers. And it was also Hocker who tracked down the musical electronics expert Horst Mohr and the engineer Walter Tenten, without whose help the premiere of Nancarrow's Studies would have been unthinkable."