The present studies, by Conlon Nancarrow, were composed for specially altered player-pianos in the composer's possession, and the present recording was supervised by him at his studio in Mexico City. The contents of the studio are now in Basle, Switzerland at the Paul Sacher Foundation.
Largely unknown until late in his life, Nancarrow wrote wonderfully appealing music, written for mechanical instruments able to realize his fiendishly difficult rhythmic experiments. The Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conlon_Nancarrow) provides some valuable information.
The complete Studies for Player Piano were released on Wergo, though I do not know the circumstances of the recording. In any event, recordings of this music are not commonplace, to say the least, so the present post is more than justified. Ligeti thought Nancarrow was the most important musical discovery since Webern and Ives, and if you listen carefully, I think you will appreciate that enthusiastic recommendation.
I grew up listening to records -- shellac and vinyl -- and the sound of a needle tracking the grooves of an old LP is still deeply comforting to me -- a sound from childhood, like the fan of the hot air furnace coming on. However turntables are now relatively scarce, and we are becoming less tolerant of noise from the medium the music is stored on, so putting up renovated files of what I consider choice, but neglected performances, seemed a good way to spend some time. There are several thousand LPs in the house, a lot of them not re-issued on CD, some of them performances of real importance. If you like something, post a comment. I'd love to hear from you.
Everything posted here is in my personal collection on LPs or 78rpm records, and any restoration to the file is done by me. I do not post anything from CDs.