The Hupfeld Model 1 Pan Orchestra featured here is without question one of the most realistic and listenable orchestrions ever constructed, a sentiment commonly voiced by listeners who are fortunate enough to hear it perform. The history of this particular Hupfeld Pan begins circa 1920, when it was manufactured in Leipzig, Germany, by Hupfeld, and than later retailed by Duwaer & Naessens (Amsterdam, Holland). It is the only Model 1 Pan known to have survived, and it is speculated that it was probably imported from Holland into the U.S. (by some unknown person) soon after World War II had ended, circa 1945-46. Then, once landed in the U.S., over the years to come the Pan orchestra would belong successively to many avid and pioneering mechanical music collectors, beginning with Lou Bohnett (San Jose, California, circa late 1940s), and then by Jim DeRoin (Castro Valley, California, circa 1950s); Otto Carlsen (Monrovia, California, circa 1965-68); Haning & White (Troy, Ohio, circa 1968-70); Harold Freiheit (Columbus, Ohio, circa 1970-86); Q. David Bowers (New Hampshire, circa 1986); and finally Jim Krughoff (Downers Grove, Illinois, circa 1987 to present).
About 1965, during the time it was owned by Otto Carlsen, the feeder pumps were disassembled and the old leather bellows material stripped away in preparation for some restoration work, anticipating that it would be a superb sounding orchestrion. He attempted to get the Pan operational, or at the least have it utter some noise, but all the long neglected machine could muster was an occasional whimper, due to massive vacuum leaks, hardened and cracked leather and rubber-cloth parts, along with all the other problems associated with an instrument the sits derelict for a long time. That the little Pan orchestra could not play a single note, even poorly, was disappointing. No one in the U.S. knew what a Hupfeld Pan sounded like, so the machine was a bit mysterious, as Otto and everyone else who saw it wondered if it was something to cherish, or not. Unfortunately, before any actual rebuilding work on the feeder pumps took place Otto lost interest, partially due to declining heath, so no more work was done on the Pan and it was passed on to the next owner in a partially disassembled state. The instrument sat completely silent thereafter, until Jim Krughoff took possession of it circa 1987, when a meticulous and professional restoration by Reblitz Restorations finally returned the fabulous machine to perfect playing condition in 1989. Then, after decades of suspense, it was immediately obvious that the Model 1 Pan orchestra was, indeed, something to cherish.
With its extensive use of multiplexing and couplers, the Hupfeld Pan orchestra is able to play intricate counterpart far beyond the limitations that might normally be imposed by its wide 124-note tracker-bar and music roll. It can deftly render delicate solos, countermelodies and accompaniment parts on various instrumental voices, and do so in many different combinations. To accomplish this feat, the instrumentation in the Pan is divided into several discrete musical sections, as follows:
Although the Model 1 Pan might be judged as small in comparison to the three larger Pan orchestras that survive, this smaller instrument puts forth a musical performance that is truly outstanding, and one that shines just as brightly as any of its larger brethren. Hupfeld -- rightfully so -- regarded the Concert Pan Orchestras to be their finest accomplishment, referring to them as orchestras, and not as mere orchestrions. Moreover, they were wonderfully intricate machines, an absolute marvel of ingenuity for their time. By use of the extensively multiplexed 124-note music roll and the myriad of complicated expression devices, register controls and couplers built into the instrument, a Pan orchestra can faithfully render musical intonations and expression that is remarkably realistic, artistically nimble, and definitely, by any standard of measure, wonderfully enjoyable.
Here is what Hupfeld had to say about its Pan Orchestras:
|The Concert Pan Orchestras have a pneumatic action of highest quality. The cabinets of each model are chosen by using artistic considerations, as are the orchestral voices within the case.|
The music of the Pan Orchestras lets you discover that these are neither organs nor orchestrions. Rather, they form a special class which can only be compared with a live orchestra.
The musical parts of the Pan are entirely independent from each other. At any time a given voice or rank of pipes or particular instrument can be brought out tonally above the others. The Pan comprises all degrees of tonal power from the hushed piano to the thundering fortissimo. The drum and trapwork is recorded from a man's hand and imitates it exactly as it ranges from tender gracefulness to strong and tense rhythm.
The connoisseur of music has at his call the wonderful strains from Tristan, Parsifal, an entire symphony, a violin concert with the accompaniment of an orchestra, or, yes, even a duet. Solo performances on the cello, flute, xylophone, organ, and other instruments are possible as are trios and chorales.
Max Bruch, Hubert Cuypers, Julius Pr�wer, Richard Strauss and other masters of music have participated in the actual recording or directing of Pan music rolls and have given their art to them so that the full orchestral performance as played by the Pan leaves no desire unsatisfied. The noble and rich modulation, the artistic instrumentation, the charming harmony and blending of the tones, the piquant rhythm, and the realistic delivery give fully the illusion of an orchestra of live performers.
All Pan Orchestra models include a reproducing piano. This is available exclusively in the Pan instruments and makes possible the reproduction of actual performances from over 200 of the foremost pianists of the world.
The music produced is in keeping with the elegant exteriors of the Pan Concert Orchestras, which, in all styles and models, can suit the best rooms. Also, we frequently install Pan instruments without cases. These are secluded in a niche or separate room and play into a room through lattice work...
Because of its outstanding musical performances the Pan is very popular. Pan Orchestras are found in castles, manor houses, villas, spas, restaurants, theatres, drawing rooms, and on finely appointed boats. All over the world the Pan has come to be appreciated and valued as a work of art...
Hupfeld Pan music rolls were cut from about 1912 up through the mid 1930s, and, as such, captured many of the major musical pieces written during this period - as well as many earlier compositions, too. Over 1,000 different selections were arranged on Pan music rolls, providing a substantial repertoire of salon music, popular dance tunes, marches and venerable classical favorites, with some of the longer classical renditions being programmed on sets of three to five music rolls -- thereby making possible a truly wonderful and complete musical performance. To provide a superb sampling of Hupfeld Pan music, two Archive CDs are offered here. One is devoted entirely to classical arrangements, while the other is filled with delightful and melodic popular tunes, both CDs offering exceptionally lifelike musical performances that will likely thrill mechanical music devotees.
The original digital audio source material recorded by Jim Krughoff and used for these CD's remains essentially unaltered, except for some minor motor hum and occasional clipping artifacts that were removed. So it is, these CDs, depending upon your audio system, can faithfully bring you the same kind of intimate musical experience as when listening to the Pan orchestra in person, but without any of the continuing headaches of having to house, maintain or tune such a large and complex mechanical device yourself.
Photos: James Krughoff
Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments, by Q. David Bowers, pages 454-457.
The Golden Age of Automatic Musical Instruments, by Art Reblitz, pages 90-95.
|Hupfeld Model 1 Concert Pan Orchestrion|
10 Tracks -- Total Time: 68:57
|1.||Bercuse de Joceyln (B. Godard)||1.||Broadway Melody (N. Brown)|
|2.||Toff-Toff (A. Krantz)||2.||Heut' Geh'n Wir Morgen (R. Nelson)|
|3.||Song to the Evening Star (R. Wagner)||3.||Blue Skies (I. Berlin)|
|4.||Gruss an Sorrent (L. Waldmann)||4.||Blutrote Rosen (H. Hunemeyer)|
|5.||Schmetterling (T. Bendix)||5.||Oh Donna Clara (J. Petersburski)|
|6.||Der Vogelhandler (K. Zeller)||6.||The Doll Dance (N. Brown)|
|7.||Tannhauser Overture (R. Wagner)||7.||Hello! 1930! (W. Borchert)|
|8.||Fifth Symphony (L. Beethoven)||8.||Ice Cream (H. Johnson)|
|9.||Der Troubadore (G. Verdi)||9.||I Lift Up My Finger (L. Sarony)|
|10.||Hungarian Rhapsody (F. Liszt)||10.||100% Schlager (N. Dostal)|
|11.||Oh! Mo'nah! (T. Weems)|
|12.||Amazulu (C. Christoph)|
|13.||In Einer Kleinen Konditorei (F. Raymond)|
|14.||Trink, Trink, Bruderlein, Trink (P. Bendix)|
|15.||Bei der Blonden Katherein (L. Leux)|
|16.||Wir Flustern (N. Dostal)|
|17.||Waltz Potpourri (C. Robrecht)|
|18.||Wedding of the Painted Doll (N. Brown)|
Listen to a sample.....
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