Ampico Piano Roll recordings by these pianists: Frank Campbell Milne, Adam Carroll, Victor Arden, Herbert Clair, "Harry Shipman," Ferdinand "Ferde" Rudolph von Grofé, Marshall Moore Bartholomew, Paul Rickenbach, Edgar Fairchild, "Robert Joyce" and "H. Sommer."
Cole Porter (1891-1964) was a classically-trained composer. After receiving a B.A. at Yale, where he wrote a few songs and music for college functions, he studied law and music at Harvard. He then went to the Schola Cantorum in Paris where he studied harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation and composition with D'Indy. However, he became a popular composer known for his musicals, notably Kiss Me, Kate, based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew.
The selections on this disc have song titles but there are no vocals. All the pieces are heard via piano rolls, the great majority of which were able to reproduce dynamic levels – 20 out of 24 tracks – as played by the pianists. Dynamics on the remaining four tracks were added from notes made on the sheet music during the recording sessions. The sound is remarkably satisfying. This album includes notes both on the pieces and the performers.
Robert Kimball called Cole Porter the most cosmopolitan of American composer-lyricists and a gifted parodist. He lived in Paris during the 1920s. There he "absorbed the innovations of Stravinsky, the Gallic spirit of Milhaud and Poulenc, and American jazz" and developed a personal style. The music here is refreshingly jazzy, of a consistently light bouncy sort but inventively varied.
Copyright © 2012, R. James Tobin