The elaborately decorated custom casework for the Hupfeld Model B Phonoliszt-Violina featured on this audio compact disc makes it a one-of-a-kind specimen. Otherwise, though, it is musically and mechanically identical to virtually any other immaculately restored Phonoliszt-Violina. The instrument utilizes the standard single music roll playing mechanism, since such instruments were usually placed in a commercial establishment, such as a fine restaurant or pub. Here the single roll device was an ideal choice, because an attendant would operate the machine. This person would select and play music rolls according to the desires of the establishment's patrons, who would be expected to pay the attendant in exchange for hearing a desired musical piece.
Historically, as if the physical beauty of this stunning instrument was not enough, one of the stories behind it is just about as compelling. Supposedly, it was discovered in the possession of an odd and very old man, who was reportedly living in a stone hut, somewhere out in a very rural area of Germany. The machine was stored in a back room that was approximately 8 ft. by 8 ft square. The "old man" is said to have owned the machine for a very long time. And according to the old man, the custom case was made prior to the instrument being displayed at some kind of industrial exposition to be held in Turin, Italy. This claim cannot be confirmed, but the mystery deepens, because a special brass inlay near the bottom of the roll-case reads as follows:
Hof Pianoforte-Fabrikant -- (unknown emblem) -- Sr.K.K.H.d.Kronprinzen.
The first part, roughly translated, means: Piano Makers to the King. So, then, who is the Kronprinzen (crown prince) mentioned, and why would inlay work designating royalty be used on an instrument destined for an industrial exposition?
Click here for pictures and additional historical details about this instrument.
The exceptionally good stereo Minidisk recording used to master this CD was made by Ron Cappel on August 26, 1999, about one week before the beautifully restored Model B Phonoliszt-Violina, its casework in sparkling, like new condition, was shipped to its appreciative new owner. Happily, because of the superb quality of the original recording, absolutely no processing of the audio signal was necessary or appropriate.
The selection of music on this CD ranges from light classical to popular, putting the marvelous mechanical skills of the Phonoliszt-Violina to work in all regards. Moreover, the selection of music demonstrates the versatility of the Hupfeld music roll arrangers, as well as the outstanding musical capabilities of the Phonoliszt-Violina itself, rendering all kinds of complex music arrangements with the same deft ease and skill.
Hupfeld Model B Phonoliszt-Violina
|2.||Air aus dem Violin -- Konzert, Op. 28|
|5.||Ich Tanz Charleston|
|7.||Ungarische Rhapsodie, Op. 32|
|8.||Spanischer Tanz, Op. 12, Nr. 1|
|10.||Elephant und M�cke|
|12.||Si Se` Tais Roi|
Listen to a sample.....
Back to Compact Discs page
Back to website homepage