Weber Otero Orchestrion

Weber Otero Orchestrion Archive CD -- $10.00


Early Weber Otero Orchestrion with an elaborate animated scene at top front center.Interior view of early Weber Otero Orchestrion.This Weber Otero orchestrion, found in East Germany shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, is an early all-pressure instrument, manufactured before Weber machines utilized the advantages of combining the benefits of both wind-pressure and vacuum systems. Oftentimes, without ever hearing a finely restored example beforehand, enthusiasts have hastily and mistakenly judged the early all-pressure instruments to be musically clumsy and limited in ability, especially when compared to the later, more sophisticated machines employing vacuum operated components. But now that common judgmental mistake is stunningly and thoroughly disproved by simply listening to the instrument, with all its delicate tonal shadings, intricate trapwork rhythms and powerful musical renderings faithfully recreated by this wonderfully restored and regulated Otero -- thanks to the splendid efforts of Ron Cappel & Company.

The exceptionally fine stereo Minidisk recording used to master this CD was made by Ron Cappel on December 11, 1999. Absolutely no noise processing or equalization of any kind  has been applied to this superb recording, mainly because none was warranted, since the pump and other mechanical noises during the musical interludes are barely audible, negating the need for any audio tinkering. Instrumentation of the Otero is as follows: Piano, with Mandolin attachment; 28 Flute Pipes; 28 Violin Pipes; 28 note Xylophone; Snare Drum, Bass Drum and Cymbal; Crash Cymbal; Triangle and Castanets.

The selection of music on this CD ranges from classical to popular melodies. Weber music rolls are famous for their devotion to lifelike musical arrangements. This is especially so when it comes to the later rolls (circa 1926 to 1930) arranged by Gustav Bruder, who would listen to phonograph records of popular bands, and then, within the limits imposed by the size of the orchestrion, attempt to accurately capture the same sound and styling on music rolls. These clever Bruder arrangements were painstakingly laid out, and then continuously tested on an orchestrion and "tweaked" for musical styling and realism until the desired level of perfection was attained. This meticulously detailed process usually took some three to four weeks per music roll, which was in sharp contrast to the work habits of some other leading brands, where music roll arrangements were made quick and easy, with quantity being the measure of success, rather than the utmost in arranging quality.


Photos: Ron Cappel

Weber Otero Orchestrion
17 Tracks -- Total Time: 57:55

1.Zampa Overture
2.Ce Ne Doit Pas Etre du Homard
3.Deux Cocurs en 3/4
4.Xylophone Solo
5.Radasky March
6.C'est Pas Comme Ca
7.Sous Les Toits de Paris
8.Sing A Little Love Song
9.C'est Vous
11.Bye, By Baby
12.Indian Love Call
13.Tea For Two
14.Light Calvary Overture
15.Elephant And Mucke
16.Alone At Last
17.Potpourri des Valses

Listen to a sample...




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