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The Piano Rolls Volume 2

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 19, 1995
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 1995)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J3K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,951 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's George Gershwin Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
How would you feel if George Gershwin himself suddenly appeared out of nowhere, sat down at the piano in the corner of your own living room, and played away to his heart's content?

Amazement and delight would perhaps be fair, but not quite good enough words to describe it - pure heaven may just hit nearer the mark!

Such is the feeling that pervades this wonderful collection, which, no less magnificently done than the 1st Volume - an all-Gershwin program - also includes some of the sources of his inspiration.

This is a rare authentic glimpse into the mind of a giant, and listening to him in person affords a feeling of connecting directly to his universe, a feeling as magical as it is palpable.

The style of his playing is positive, decisive, clean, straightforward, no-nonsense, resolutely devoid of either sentimentality or cynicism. However somewhere between the lines engraved is his own heartbeat, full of hope, gentle irony, complete and utter belief in everything good - be it friendship, love, or life itself.

A must for Gershwin lovers, a much-needed reminder of faith, in these turbulent times, for everyone else.
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Format: Audio CD
Listening to these modern recordings taken from old piano rolls cut by George Geershwin between 1916 and 1921, one might be compelled to conclude that there's something to be said for older technology. We are able to listen to Gershwin performances that sound as though they occurred today. Obviously, an actual recording made at the time these rolls were cut would have had very primative sound quality, and nowhere near the immediacy which is present here.
The only reason for rating this four, rather than five stars, is that there's a certain player piano quality to the performances that I suspect is not exactly how Gerswin actually sounded; but, having said that, this is about as close as you're going to be able to get to a "live" Gershwin performance with modern sound.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD is just BRILLIANT. It is every bit as good as the first Gershwin piano rolls CD. Gershwin plays Gershwin (and others) and his genius comes through. A total delight!
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Format: Audio CD
When I first heard Rhapsody in Blue on this CD it didn't sound quite right. It was more free, more spontaneous, more joyous.
But that is because it went from the composer's mind directly to his fingers, bypassing the compromise of sheetmusic. It goes right to the heart of the listener.
If I was stranded on a desert island and allowed to bring only 10 CDs, this one just might have to be one of the ones I would have to take.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not all player pianos were created equal. Most of them merely played the notes based on punched holes that glided by on the vacuum bar. There were no dynamics, no feel. But some of them, like the Duo Art, and the Pianola, were capable of producing fine nuances and shades of meaning within the performance.

George Gershwin recorded many of his spectacular piano performances on these highly expressive types of piano rolls. The quality of Gershwin's music can gain nothing from my redundant praise, however what should be noted is that this set of CD's is truly the best way to hear him play.
The producers of this CD spared no expense in bringing a fresh, living sound to these Gershwin performances. They used computer technology to flawlessly transfer the playing data from the original piano rolls to a disc used by the Yamaha Disclavier 9 foot grand piano. Then they took that piano to a concert hall and recorded it live. Gershwin's ghost? I'll say.

There is another Gershwin piano roll CD out there, and it's quite inferior. Everything sounds rushed, and there are no dynamics.

The sound quality of this CD is unbeatable. The richness of the piano, the pure tone, the open air sound of it, the way it breathes, this is the one you want.

It doesn't sound like some mechanical reproduction of a great pianist and composer. It sounds like a great pianist and composer playing in a fine concert hall and you're in the front row.

You're going to want to get volume 1, also. It's another 5 star masterpiece.

I think you get the picture.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Thanks to modern technology we have a way to hear Gershwin interpret his own songs. This is about as close as it gets to being thrown back to a time in which Tin Pan Alley flourished.

Gershwin, as great a piano virtuoso as he was a composer, is captured in these piano rolls played through modern pianos in such a way that your toes will be tapping and a smile planted on your face all the while you listen to this remarkable (along with Vol. 1 of these recordings) album of classic Gershwiniana.

Many of these rolls were recorded twice, so that what we hear are four hands, not two, playing. This is, for this reviewer, the only negative, in some instances, as my preference would have been to hear what the maestro sounded like playing at the parties at which he so famous for being the center of. Nevertheless, what we get is Gershwin's tempos, his interpretations, and his astoundingly creative pianism, decades after his passing. And thank God. We'll never see his like again.

These two volumes of Gershwin playing his own music are essential to any lover of The Great American Songbook.
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