Recordings: Encores from the Past

The lights in the recording studio were dimmed, and Vorsetzer, the 700-Ib. pianist, stood at the keyboard of the Steinway concert grand, all 88 fingers poised over the keys. Then the mechanical wizard began to play — first a spirited Josef Hofmann performance of Mendelssohn's Rondo Capriccioso, then further seances with Leschetizky, Paderewski, Busoni, Mahler, Saint-Saens, Debussy, Ravel. Guided by electric impulses from a collection of unique piano rolls, Vorsetzer's sensitive fingers produced all the notes with ghostly perfection, just as the turn-of-the-century masters had played them 50 years be fore....

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