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     Paderewski: MANRU    Table of Contents      Wagner: LOHENGRIN   [Includes RealAudio Selections]

The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- Libretti
- PIANO IMPROVISATIONS


PIANO IMPROVISATIONS

Among the previously unpublished cylinders were four recordings by the Metropolitan Opera rehearsal pianist Carl Müller. Three of them are dated March 1902, and the other probably comes from the same time. All reproduce convincingly at the speed that brings the known music in Bands 9 and 10 into correct keys. (One of the touching passages in the Glackens/Bishop notebook concerns these cylinders, the sound quality of which clearly impressed the auditioners: they wistfully speculate, "Could this Müller by any possibility be Mahler?")

Band 9

Improvisation on themes from Paderewski's Manru

Carl Müller, piano

March 1902 (?)

[By inference from Bands 11, 12, and the time frame of the Manru performances: Glackens 5 undated.]

Müller, who presumably worked on the musical preparation of the Manru performances, here improvises on two pieces from the opera. The first melody is that of Manru's aria from Act II, Scene 6. "Wie im Sonnenscheine kühler Winde Kosen" (which was recorded in Italian by Giuseppe Anselmi for Fonotipia a few years later, under the title "Come al sol cocente"); then he makes a transition to the "Gypsy March" from Act III, Scene 2.

Band 10

Improvisation on "Am stillen Herd" from Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Carl Müller, piano

March 1902

[Slip; Glackens 14 undated.]

When he reaches the Abgesang of Walther von Stolzing's autobiographical aria from Act I of Die Meistersinger, Müller incorporates references to the song of the Rhinemaidens, and then runs out of time before finishing the aria.

Band 11

Improvisation on an unidentified theme and on the theme of Schumann's Romance in F-sharp major, Op. 28, No. 2

Carl Müller, piano

March 1902

[Glackens 10 or 22.]

Band 12

Improvisation on an unidentified theme in E minor

Carl Müller, piano

March 1902

[Slip; Glackens 10 or 22.]

Some undecipherable spoken words are heard at the beginning of this cylinder.

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     Paderewski: MANRU    Table of Contents      Wagner: LOHENGRIN   [Includes RealAudio Selections]