As of October 22, 1998, this superb recording, now in Billboard's Top 10, Classical CD's, has changed my opinion about the capabilities and limitations of solenoid operated pianos. In a nutshell, it defies accurate explanation. There just aren't any words that adequately express my awe. The dynamic range of the Bösendorfer 290SE, coupled with the solenoid player mechanism and Mr. Stahnke's re-created Master files of Ampico reproducing piano rolls, was more intense than anything I've ever experienced via my stereo system. I truly felt like I was standing next to the piano as it was being played by a 'perfect' Rachmaninoff.
As I have time, I will update this page with some of the CD's liner notes. They explain a number of the processes that Mr. Stahnke employed to realize his exceptional creation. But please, take my word on this one. You will not be disappointed by this CD in any way, shape or form . I know.... I searched for flaws using a wave analyzer and was left honoring Wayne's fine gift to the world of classical music.
The absolute perfection of each performance was only clouded by this writers' belief that there is only One 'perfect'. As superb as the dynamic range, subtle phrasings and massive passages are, I came away with the impossible desire to hear Rachmaninoff perform in person. It was at that point I realized that only a live performance by the artist could ever rival Wayne's masterful accomplishment. I also realized how fortunate I am to live in a time when individuals like Mr. Stahnke are free and sufficiently moved to re-master that which is so beautiful in music.
John A. Tuttle