Work on the Philipps Model 12 "Monstre" Paganini orchestrion project, the immense orchestrion featured on this audio compact disc, began in 1998 and was completed in the year 2000. Standing an impressive 12-feet, 4-inches high, 11 feet, 10 inches wide and 5 feet, 11 inches deep, the machine weighs in at approximately 6,393 pounds -- a little over 3 tons!. Equally impressive is its musical instrumentation, which includes an expression piano, reed harmonium, an elaborate trapwork section consisting of xylophone, orchestra bells, bass and snare drums, tympani effect, cymbals, tambourine, triangle and castanets, and 625 beautifully voiced pipes divided into deep bass, bass-accompaniment and solo melody divisions. The many harmonious pipe ranks represent the voices of violin, flageolet, viola, violoncello, bass violin, flute, piccolo, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and bassoon, making this immense Paganini orchestrion a mechanical and musical masterpiece.
Moreover, not only is the Monstre Paganini large in both size and musical instrumentation, but it also contains extensive means (including five sets of swell shutters) for inducing subtle and commanding shades of expression into the music, thus making this marvelous orchestrion equally adept at rendering popular toe-tapping melodies or the great classical standards from legendary composers of the past. But there is even more to this big orchestrion. Not to be outdone by its musical capabilities, the casework is of itself a splendid work of art, and, as such, duly augments the refined musical qualities with an eye appealing grandeur that is without equal.
Click here for pictures and additional historical details about this instrument.
The original digital recordings used as the basis for this CD were recorded by Jim Krughoff on April 25, 2002. Due to the quality of this source material, processing of the audio signal was limited to the removal of some low frequency pump valve thumping that was a little distracting during the very soft or quiet passages. The selection of music consists entirely of classical overtures and fantasies, something usually a serious challenge for any ordinary orchestrion, but an easy assignment for this Monstre Paganini.
Philipps Model 12 "Monstre" Paganini Orchestrion
|1.||William Tell Overture (Rossini)|
|2.||The White Lady Overture (Boieldieu)|
|3.||Der Bajazzo Fantasie (Leoncavallo)|
|4.||The Thief of Bagdad Overture (Boieldieu)|
|5.||Nabucodonosor Fantasie (Verdi)|
|6.||Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach)|
Listen to a sample.....
"THE THIEF OF BAGDAD OVERTURE"
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