Dear Mike Dias,
I recently visited your site again. Apparently, I registered a long time ago.
I was struck by this paragraph of yours:
< So Simonton and his wife flew to the Welte factory in Freiburg Germany and while there, Richard insisted that they record the remaining piano rolls for posterity. Te results of this "field recording" were released on Columbia as the Welte-Mignon Piano Rolls, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. in 1950. You have to read the LA Times album review here. (And I'd love to hear from anyone who has those original Columbia records.) While recording, Richard watched as Welte and Bockisch made critical adjustments to their playback mechanisms. >
I have 50K recorded items in my garage and barn. i live on an Iowa farm. I retired from the practice of medicine in January, 2011.
I am 82 years of age. I was overjoyed when I saw your request to speak to anyone who had the 1950 set of 4 Columbia Lp's with which Mr. Richard C. Simonton, sr. was involved since 1948. I went out to the garage and discovered that I owned that set of 4 Lp's ! The records are virtually mint and look like they have never been played, are bright and shiny and two of their 4 covers covers have separated on the bottom edge only. They all have been in (locked) plastic sleeves all the time I've had them, which I would judge to be since the mid- 1970's, or for 40 years. I have never played them, until today. I did open Volume I and found the tape hiss is nealy inaudible. I was struck by one feature: the rolls, having been supervised by engineer Carl Bokisch together with Edwin Welte in 1948,
there was excellent speed control throughout. A major flaw in piano roll realizations has been the common tendency to play the rolls too fast, so that the trills sound unnatural. None of thay is presrent in these 4 Lp's. The surfaces are unblemished andand shiny and the labels are very bright. These are as close to mint as I have ever seen Lp's that are 64 years old.
Here are the details: Title = GREAT MASTERSOF THE KEYBOADR
Label = COLUMBIA
Numbers = ML4291; ML 4292; ML 4293; ML 4294
Date = 1950
ARTISTS LISTS :
Ml 4291 VOl. I : Debussy - Ravel - Fauré
Ml 4292 VOL II : Saint Saëns - Busoni
ML4293 VOL III : Grieg - Leschetitzky - D'Albert = Nikisch - Reger
ML4294 VOL IV : Paderewski - De Pachmann - De Falla - Granados - Scharwenka - Frank Marshall
What disposition do you wish for these records? Why did you want me to contact you?
Mod Edit: Personal contact information redacted.
John Duffy 12 May, 2014