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It was a sensation when Conlon Nancarrow first appeared in European music centres in the 1980s. For decades he had lived in Mexican seclusion and, unnoticed by the public, had created a unique oeuvre from his fascination with player pianos. Ligeti aptly calls it "The Well-Tempered Clavier of the
Twenty-First Century" This standard-setting complete recording on instruments from the
collection of Nancarrow confidant Jürgen Hocker now brings together all 50 Studys in one attractive box set for the first time.

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With compelling consistency, Nancarrow concentrates in his work on the time structure of tones. His highly complex polyphonic entanglements, often based on mathematical ratios, sound fascinating, but are no longer executable by flesh-and-blood pianists. The self-playing player piano offered the composer the longed-for way out decades before the computer age.

Conlon Nancarrow
(1912 - 1997)

Complete Studies for
Player Piano

Bösendorfer Grand Piano
with Ampico Player Mechanism (1927)
Fischer Grand Piano
with Ampico Player Machanism (1925)

MDG 645 2272-2 (Box with 5 CDs)

Price: 54,99  €

With painstaking manual labour, Nancarrow punched hole after hole in the long rolls of paper that drive the player piano. It often took him months to make just five minutes of music. In the process, the limits of auditory
experience are stretched to the utmost: up to 200 strokes per second create a rush of sound that even the human ear can no longer resolve into individual notes.

Double play
Jürgen Höcker was immediately fascinated by the completely new kind of music. He tracked down Nancarrow in Mexico and was allowed to photocopy and re-punch his unique rolls. Of course, shortly afterwards, his collection of self-playing musical
instruments included two excellently restored grand pianos with Ampico playing devices, which today can even be elaborately synchronised and thus also reproduce Nancarrow's music for two player pianos in
outstanding sound quality for the first time. Nancarrow himself was never able to hear them as we do...

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