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Piano Rolls Reproduction

Discussion in 'General' started by robert, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    At the main site, I have made visible a little project I started some time ago about Piano Roll Reproductions. I assume you know what piano rolls are?

    What is so great about piano rolls is that many of the great pianist from early 1900 century did record to piano rolls and as they today can be converted to midi, it is possible to play them back with piano samples and get a good sound quality recording of the old masters.

    What is not so great is that time have a terrible impact to the piano rolls but many persons around the world has a long time understood this and have built scanners to reproduce the rolls into a format which time has no impact, that is midi.

    What I have done is collected a large numbers of such midi converted rolls from pianists like Hofmann, Paderewski, Godowsky, Backhaus, Gershwin, Gould, Joplin, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Rubinstein and Schnabel to see if it is possible to create high quality recordings. I have put up a little test on the main site under Piano Rolls. Only four recordings so far but I will not continue this test unless there is an interest for it.

    I have also had the plan of putting them up in CD quality, perhaps raw WAV or the lossless FLAC format but that would really suck bandwidth from all other downloads and perhaps I need to have people who are interested pay a small amount of money for it. They are in 128 kbps in this test.
     
  2. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Robert, many thanks for the piano roll postings!

    I enjoyed much listening to the Chopin pieces. I simply cannot believe that in those old days Godowsky and Backhaus played that precise! But why should they played worse than the best pianists ourdays?

    So those piano rolls were captured as midi files and played back with (really great sounding) piano sounds? Super quality, and also the dynamics come through very well.

    I don't believe that there is a need to store it as wav file here, eats much too much space. The mp3 files are of very good quality!

    It is a treasure that we can listen no to those old cracks like Godowsky and Paderewski. Are there coming more piano roll postings?

    Thank you again for those rare jewels!
     
  3. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    do you own these piano rolls, Mr. Robert?? :shock:
     
  4. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I am not sure if there are distorsions from their playing originating from either the recording to the rolls or when they are scanned and converted to midi. Sometimes, it sounds too precise (as if the midi resolution was set too harsh as to perhaps 1/64 notes) but other times like they have sync problems between the hands which I hardly believe they had. At least, I think it gives a pretty good idea how they interpretated the music.

    And I do not own the rolls and if you really are interested in how this is done, you should visit Terry's page at http://members.shaw.ca/smythe/rebirth.htm as it is really him who has done (along with his companions) all the real work. I am just doing the easy job in the end.
     
  5. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    where are the"roll Postings music"? Could you please guide me..I would like to hear the old masters playing???

    Thanks
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Johnmar, go to the very top of this page on the left and click on "Piano Society Home Page". Once there, look on the upper mid-right side and you'll see Piano Roll Reproductions.

    Robert, those are really neat. Thanks for letting us hear them. I can't believe how fast Hofman played the Beethoven piece. I'm not familiar with every Beethoven sonata, but that's the Lost Penny one, right? I've heard that one before but not that fast. Wow!
     
  7. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    thank you piano lady.

    Wow, the music of master playing.....moonlight sonata with change of tempo ---very good i like that masters can do anything he wants. With the chopin waltse...speed up tempo..beautity.....
    Thanks Rob. This makes me to think that we can do what we like-tempo...as long as WHEN YOU ARE FAMOUS.. do you agree with thats?????meanwhile stick to strict tempo???
     
  8. joeisapiano

    joeisapiano New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I would disagree with that. I don't think your level of 'fame' should determine how you interpret something. I hope I never let someone else's interpretation dictate mine. Of course, that doesn't mean to take it to extremes just for the sake of being different and call it interpretation, but if you feel differently than the common consencus, as Gould (and many of the older pianists) did, I don't think there is any harm in differing (of course, there are probably reasonable considerations for taste versus outright vulgarity).
     
  9. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Joe, I was told by one of my friends who is a pianist too but retired. -still playing. He said that, once your fame is high, doesnot matter you play good or bad, the audience would still applause....on the otherhand, when your fame is low like myself(haaaaaa). When you do something differnt, people would blame you for being a poor interretation or performer...
    Up to these days, I sort of 50:50, i beleive, the main thing is to enjoy your playing or recital and who cares what other would say about you. Do you agree with me????
     
  10. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Posted another 4 reproduced piano rolls from the Godowsky 1924 piano roll including:
    - Chopin Scherzo no.3 in C-sharp minor (op.39)
    - Chopin Polonaise no.3 in A-flat major "Heroic" (op.53)
    - Chopin Waltz Op.64 no.2 in C-sharp minor
    - Chopin posth. Waltz in E minor

    Hope you enjoy them!

    http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=738
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh my God. I just listened to the Waltz in e-minor, and I don't whether to laugh or cry. I'm working on this piece, but Godowsky's interpretation is much different than mine. I may just give up. :cry:
     
  12. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh don't feel like that. Godowsky is a legend and the only person (I think he is) brave enough to rewrite Chopin's etudes to make them even more difficult.
     
  13. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    How come these sound like it was played and recorded on your piano Mr. Robert? Have you successfully reanimated the corpses of the pianists and brain washed them into playing at your house!? :lol: What's your secret?
     
  14. avguste

    avguste Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nice job Robert and I would be willing to pay a small fee for CD quality
     
  15. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I use samples of a Yamaha CFIII S, record them with my Edirol and use Audacity with similar effects. Ao to speak, about the same process as when I make my own recordings. That's probably why.
     
  16. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I would perhaps be possible to arrange something. Perhaps only for forum members. I'll think of it.
     
  17. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Robert, many thanks to the new piano roll postings. I find it absolut interesting to listen to Godowsky and Co., how they interpreted Chopin and others so long time ago. Since they were still in the old 19th century school, one comes closer to the manner it was played originally, so I hope. Godowsky plays with such an amount of rubato and speed changes - Cortot, the old rubato master, plays almost plain and even in comparison!

    I hope that no midi resolution things like quantization to 1/64 note or whatever were done, to let the most possible amount of original music remain. Maybe what we would call now sync problems between hands nowadays, was hand independent chopinesque rubato 80 years back?
     
  18. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've been checking some of the midi rendations with an editing software (Cakewalk) and they seem not to be syncronised as there exist very small time shifts between the notes. Midi is on the other hand always syncronised in some way but the settings seems to be 128:th of notes which should be unaudible.

    But, there could still be manipulations made by the piano roll manufactorers.
     
  19. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have just added another 5 pieces, all by Liszt and with the performers Rubinstein, Hofmann, Paderewski and Godowski. I could hardly believe my ears when I heard the Godowski Concerto Etude! :shock:

    Enjoy!

    http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=738
     

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