Mention of the "Scherzo Waltz" by Ilgenfritz prompts me to point to an interesting comparison. The transcription on the late John Roache's web site is from an Ampico B roll published in August 1929. However, Ilgenfritz recorded the same piece for the Duo-Art in August 1914. The Duo-Art recording, being one of the dreaded "first 100", leaves much to be desired, as does my emulation of the expression.
Despite such problems, it's still possible to hear a very obvious difference in musical styles. The 1914 Duo-Art performance clearly belongs in an Edwardian drawing room whereas the Ampico version, produced a mere fifteen years later, would be at home in a stylish cocktail bar. Comparison of the two performances provides a good indication of the great changes, both technical and musical, which took place during the player piano "heyday" years.
26 Jul 2005 09:30:32 +0100
1. Scherzo Waltz (McNair Ilgenfritz), played by McNair Ilgenfritz
Duo-Art 5560 (August? 1914); Shown in Preliminary Catalog, December 1914
Ref.: Charles Davis Smith: Catalog of Duo-Art Piano Rolls, copyright 1987 by Charles Davis Smith, published by The Player Shop, 635 South Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia, California 91016.
Ilgenfritz_ScherzoWaltz_Duo-Art5560.mid (12 kb) Transcribed and emulated by Richard Stibbons, 2000.
2. Scherzo Waltz (McNair Ilgenfritz), played by McNair Ilgenfritz
Ampico 70083F (August 1929)
Ref.: Elaine Obenchain: The Complete Catalog of Ampico Reproducing Rolls, copyright 1977 by William H. Edgerton, published by William H. Edgerton, Box 88, Darien, Connecticut 06820.
http://www.johnroachemusic.com/rolls.html#sch Transcribed and emulated by Richard Stibbons, 1998.
B. 1889 - St. Louis, Missouri
D. April 12, 1953 - New York, New York
A student of Moszkowski, this artist spent the early part of his career
composing and playing dance music for Ruth St. Denis. Later he devoted
himself to more serious music and made a special study of Oriental music.
However, he is probably best remembered for the unusual bequest be made
to the Metropolitan Opera in his will: $75,000 in exchange for production
of his one-act opera, "Le Passant". Rudolf Bing, in his book "5000
Nights At The Opera", tells that he thought it could be done successfully
for television because the bequest had been widely publicized, "but my
legal advisers didn't like the idea at all, and we let the $75,000 go."
He left the bulk of his estate, $150,000, to New York's Metropolitan
Opera provided that within four years the Met stage one of his operas,
either Le Passant or Phedre. Hard pressed for funds, Met officials
nearly capitulated but, accused of prostituting the vocal arts, they ultimately
rejected the bequest.