But How Did The Composer Want It Played?
If you’ve ever asked yourself that question, you know it’s a tough one to answer.
The Pianola Institute has provided us with some amazingly good qualityÂ samples of music passed onto us as if in a time capsule — using the technology of theÂ player piano (also known asÂ pianola or autopiano), a self-playing piano, containing some mechanical mechanism that operates the piano. So the artists original intentions can never be lost — even before the days of Youtube.
One example that I’m particularly excited about sharing with you are the recordings of Enrique Granados performingÂ Los Requiebros from Goyescas in 1913, in Paris, France.
In fact, his last recordings were live-recorded player piano music rolls made for the New-York-based Aeolian Company’s “Duo-Art” system, all of which survive today and can be heard onÂ arkivmusic.com.
One of Enrique Granados’ most important works were hisÂ 12 danzas espaÃ±olas (1890) for piano. Here’s a recording of one of theÂ danzas espaÃ±olas called MelancÃ³lica (or Danza Triste)Â from the old piano roll, made in 1913.
If you’re interested in seeing what a Pianolo looks like, here’s a video of a Pianola playingÂ Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, composed byÂ Edvard Grieg andÂ recorded by Australian composer and pianistÂ Percy Grainger: