About 1914 the orchestrion heard on this compact disc, a Philipps Modell 34 �Luxus� Pianella, was shipped to the Caf� Staalstra, a combination restaurant, beer and dance hall, in Groningen, Holland. Orchestrions identical to this one were imported by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company into America, and were designated as the Style 34-A Mandolin PianOrchestra, which was the largest of the imported Mandolin PianOrchestra series. Although technically it might be more correct to refer to this magnificent instrument as a Philipps Modell 34 "Luxus" Pianella, since it was never imported into the U.S. by Wurlitzer, it is, nonetheless, described here as a PianOrchestra because it is heard playing Wurlitzer Mandolin PianOrchestra music rolls. More importantly, however, the musical instrumentation for this glorious machine consists of a high grade (68-note) Piano, with a Mandolin attachment, 30-note xylophone, chimes (orchestra bells), snare drum, bass drum with cymbal, kettle drum, triangle, tambourine, castanets and pipe registers as follows: 49 Violins (metal gamba pipes), 30 wood Violas plus 19 wood Violoncellos, 30 wood Flutes, 30 wood Piccolos and 30 free-reed Clarinets.
It was in 1969 when I first learned of this particular orchestrion, finally buying it after several months of negotiating. It was a happy day for me when it finally arrived at my home in Santa Fe Springs many months later, whereupon I quickly set out to restore it to perfection, paying attention to every minute detail. Then, in September of 1973, when restoration, final tuning and regulation was complete, the fully reconditioned Pianella / PianOrchestra was premiered in concert at my home. The evening event was attended by nearly 200 members of the Musical Box Society International, the Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors� Association, and friends and acquaintances.
In 1974 the PianOrchestra was tape recorded, with two master tapes made for the purpose of releasing two LP vinyl albums. After many delays, only the first LP album was ever made, named Ragtime Cabaret, which was released through the Mekanisk Musik Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark. The second master tape was never used. Several years later, both master tapes were carefully transferred to a high-quality cassette tape for listening convenience. Since that time both the original master tapes have been lost, so the surviving cassette tape was used to create this beautifully life-like sounding compact disc.
Click here for pictures and additional historical details about this instrument.
To create this CD the signal from the cassette tape was digitized and then processed with professional sound restoration software to eliminate any tape hiss and impulse pops or tics due to tape deterioration. Next, minor equalization to compensate for tape roll-off was added. The final results are a finished sound that, apart from a few unavoidable imperfections, is very enjoyable, and faithfully reproduces the richly exciting and full sound of the Wurlitzer style 34A Mandolin PianOrchestra.
|Wurlitzer Style 34A Mandolin PianOrchestra|
37 Tracks -- Total Time: 71:49
Ragtime Cabaret I
Ragtime Cabaret II
|1.||Sliding Sid, Rag One-Step||20.||Dancing The Blues Away|
|2.||It�s Tulip Time In Holland (Two Lips Are Calling Me)||21.||Ki-Ki Koo, Fox Trot|
|3.||We�ll Build A Little Home In The U.S.A., Two-Step||22.||Sweet Indiana Home, Fox Trot|
|4.||How �Ya Gonna Keep �Em Down On The Farm (After They�ve Seen Paree)? One-step||23.||Unknown|
|5.||Ypsilanti, Waltz||24.||Swanee, One-Step - from "Sinbad"|
|6.||Paradise Blues||25.||You Cannot Shake That "Shimmie" Here, Fox Trot|
|7.||Dardanella, Fox Trot||26.||Jogo Blues|
|8.||Cabaret 'Neath The Old Egyptian Moon, One-Step||27.||Peter Gink, Rag One-Step|
|9.||Rainy Day Sue, One-Step||28.||Unknown|
|10.||Hi-Yeller, Rag Fox Trot||29.||Blame It On The Blues|
|11.||I Want To Shimmie, Fox Trot||30.||Mocking Bird Rag|
|12.||Razzle-Dazzle, Rag One-Step||31.||Louisiana Blues|
|13.||Chili Bean, One-Step||32.||Happy, One-Step|
|14.||The Japanese Sandman, Fox Trot||33.||Open Up Your Arms, My Alabamy, Fox Trot|
|15.||Switchback Rag||34.||Smiles And Chuckles, Rag One-Step|
|16.||Full O' Pep, Rag One-Step||35.||Nobody Knows Where Tosti Goes (When Tosti Says "Good Bye), One-Step|
|17.||Frisky, Fox Trot||36.||Since They Learned To "Shimmie" Down In Honolulu, Fox Trot|
|18.||Razzberries, Rag One-Step||37.||Ragged Terry|
|19.||He'd Have To Get Under, Get Out And Get Under, Two-Step|
Listen to a sample...
Back to Compact Discs page.
Back to website homepage