Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sergei Rachmaninoff plays live

OK, so he died in 1943. That wasn't really much of a problem. My good friend and ex-business partner John Q. Walker started a company called Zenph. The company takes old piano recordings and analyzes them to figure out exactly how they were played. They play them back on very high-end player pianos and record the results. What you get is a famous recording with perfect audio, instead of the 78 recording done in the 1920s. Sony has a contract with Zenph to keep cranking out these reperformances.

Last night Zenph put on a "live" performance by Sergei Rachmaninoff. They had recorded a new CD for Sony the night before. It was a great performance, both the choice of music and the quality. My favorite was the incredible speed of Flight of the Bumble Bee. The instrument was a rebuilt 1909 Steinway concert grand with the automation added. It is one of only two Steinway grands in the world with the high-resolution playback automation and is one of the prettiest pieces of furniture you will ever lay eyes on.

We went with Anne and Tom Schick and ran across some ex-Ganymede employees including Susan Pearsall, Chris Lombardo and Kim Mayton. Nice to get to see people.

You can hear and buy the first two albums Zenph reperformed at Amazon:
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