Concert "souvenir" program for a piano recital by Philipp Gordon. The program included works by Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Ravel, Wagner, Liszt and Grieg. Part of the program was performed on the historic George Steck grand piano used by Richard Wagner to compose his festival play, Parsifal. The piano was on tour in the United States. The souvenir program with a red cover is comprised mostly of the history of the "Parsifal Grand" piano.
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The Historic George Steck The Piano Used by Richard Wagner Souvenir Program of the American Showing of Wagner's Own Piano The Parsifal Grand Presented in Portland, Oregon July 6th to 11th, 1929 The now famous George Steck Grand which is called the "Parsifal Grand" by the Wagner family because it was on this instrument that the score of "Parsifal" was exclusively composed. The Historic George Steck The Piano Used by Richard Wagner Loaned through the courtesy of his son, Siegfried Wagner in commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the completion of his last and greatest music-drama, "Parsifal" THERE is much of interest to music lovers in the exhibition / in this country of the Grand Piano upon which Richard / Wagner composed the majestic music of his inspired festival play, Parsifal. A series of concerts, to be given throughout the United States has been arranged by The Aeolian Company for the purpose of exhibiting the historic instrument with which is linked so much of fundamental importance in the development of music. Permission was granted by the great composer's family, and the piano authenticated by a letter from his son, Siegfried Wagner. It is significant that the Grand Nibelungen Orchestra at Bayreuth chose the George Steck, an American-built piano, to express their esteem for Richard Wagner. Members of his family testify that the Steck was kept in his studio from the time of its presentation in 1876, and that he used it exclusively for composing "Parsifal," though there were several other pianos available at Wahnfried, his home in Bayreuth. Villa Wahnfried—The home of Richard Wagner at Bayreuth. Here, in his studio on the first floor, RichardWagner composed "Parsifal" upon his George Steck Piano. The Library at Wahnfried, with a glimpse into the music salon. In the far background is the statue "Flying Dutchman" by Zumbusch. On the wall are portraits of Beethoven, Schiller, Goethe and Liszt. A corner of the library showing the "Parsifal" Grand as exhibited by Wagner's family. Portraits from left to right: Wagner by Lenbach; Cosima Wagner by Lenbach; "Holy Family" by Joukowsky; in the corner, Cosima Wagner by Joukowsky. Wagner refused to be bound by the limitations of instruments that tended to hamper the design and dramatic power of his great works. In effect he said that if instruments could not bring out the full meaning and beauty of his music, then make instruments that would. Is it any wonder then that in composing "Parsifal," his last and greatest work, he turned to an instrument that gave him complete freedom in working out all the details of the exquisite music which so thrillingly tells the story of the Legend of the Holy Grail? In that inspired legend of the Dark Ages, Wagner gives a complete exhibition of his complete mastery of the universal language of music. His score takes Parsifal, the stainless, chosen one, through his Siegfried Wagner, son of the great composer, playing the George Steck Grand which was presented to his father by the Grand Nibelungen Orchestra. introduction to the court of the erring king who had charge of the Grail, a symbol of the love and power of Christ. It carries the hero on through temptations and trials of spirit and flesh until he has proved his fitness to assume the guardianship of this holy relic. In the closing scene Parsifal happily begins his new office to the strains of music which is magnificently inspired. Whether we consider music the language of Gods which we mortals but feebly feel, or the age old pulsing of the human soul, we must stand in wonder and marvel upon the resources of imagination from which the great composer drew his ideas, and upon the instrument which so adequately responded to the inspired touch as wisps of visions became the majestic music of Parsifal. Letter received from Siegfried Wagner, son of the great composer. The contents of this letter were confirmed in a personal interview with Mrs. Daniela Thode, older sister of Siegfried. She added further that her father "sympathized" very much with the Parsifal Grand. TRANSLATION I herewith confirm that the Steck Grand which is now being exhibited was made a present to my father in the year 1876; and further that my father used this Grand when he composed his "festival play", the "Parsifal". The instrument stood in his studio on the first floor and it was transferred to the large Music Hall only after my father's death. Many times my father gave expression of greatest satisfaction with the Grand. Siegfried Wagner October 1928 PIANO RECITAL by PHILLIP Gordon PROGRAMME Sonata C Sharp Minor "Moonlight" Adagio Sostenuto Allegretto Presto Agitato Beethoven II. Rhapsody B Minor Moment Musicale Jeux d'eau (The Fountain) Etude de Concert Brahms Schubert Ravel MacDowell III. *Die Blumenmadchen (The Flower Girls) from "Parsifal" Wagner Etude D Flat Liszt March of The Dwarfs Grieg IV. Naila Waltz Delibes-Dohnanyi *This selection is played on the George Steck Piano presented to Richard Wagner more than half-a-century ago and upon which he composed his immortal festival play, "Parsifal". Through the courtesy of his son, Siegfried Wagner, this piano which comes from Villa Wahnfried, Wagner's home in Bayreuth, Germany, is loaned to The Aeolian Company for a tour of the United States. Richard Wagner Placed the Steck Piano in the First Rank, His Opinion Being Shared by His Friend, Franz Liszt "The fine Grand Piano of George Steck & Co., of New York, which I have obtained, is everywhere acknowledged to be excellent. My great friend, Franz Liszt, expressed the liveliest satisfaction after he had played upon it. The magnificent instrument has taken up its useful abode in my home, where it will ever serve for my pleasant entertainment." Richard Wagner. Bayreuth, Germany, September 22, 1876. The George Steck in an Early American design which reflects the quaint simplicity of Puritan Days. Its case of beautifully matched walnut is only four feet, six inches long. The George Steck To-day deep pleasure and enjoyment of music which is the / privilege of the owner of a fine piano should receive due / consideration in its purchase. Since it is generally to be a lifetime possession, too much thought cannot be given to a happy choice. Of the piano's manufacture, the purchaser must know that it was created by a true artist whose skill as a master craftsman was supplemented by a keen sense of beauty in tone. Its finish and design wherein much of personal preference may be expressed, should be the conception of a designer familiar both with the finest current modes and the classic examples of past centuries. The George Steck is such a piano. The creator of this piano was recognized by his contemporaries as not only a real artist in tonal ideas, but also as an expert in construction. This was confirmed by his appointment to serve as a judge on the Piano Commission at the Chicago World's Fair. At the great Vienna Exposition in 1873, the George Steck won signal recognition for merit as to tone, design and careful detail of construction, in the award of first prize, the only such honor granted. This meant, not a sharing of honors, but absolute supremacy over all the other instruments exhibited. Further, the George Steck piano was the choice of the Grand Nibelungen Orchestra at Bayreuth as a gift to the great musician, Richard Wagner. In composing his great final work, Parsifal, exclusively on this George Steck instrument, Wagner proclaimed its fulfillment of the most rigorous artistic requirements. The en- The AudioGraphic Duo-Art Piano which reproduces the playing of famous pianists and explains the music through annotations by eminent authorities. The George Steck Grand in two-tone mahogany, five feet, seven inches long. thusiasm of Franz Liszt, who often played the Steck at Wagner's home, gives it the approval of one of the greatest pianists who ever lived. And Grieg, also a dear friend of Wagner, enjoyed playing the Steck when he visited at Wahnfried. With this brilliant recognition by the public and artists, of the product of his ideals, George Steck was content to manufacture only the number of instruments which his factory facilities could produce without sacrificing any of the details of construction that are part of the piano's artistic whole. In 1904, through consolidation with the Aeolian Company, the George Steck Piano Company became a part of the world's foremost musical instrument institution. The George Steck, Mahogany, Style Y. A handsome instrument,five feet, ten inches long, with musical qualities which endear it especially to teachers and professional musicians. The resources of capital, and the staffs of musical and mechanical experts of The Aeolian Company, have made possible the introduction of the George Steck piano to the general public as well as to the musical world. The George Steck has won its world-wide fame quietly, through sheer merit, for it has had less advertising than any of the other famous pianos. This recognition is one more illustration of the public's sincere appreciation of the Aeolian Company's threefold rule that: Its instruments must be the best. Its methods must reflect the highest standard of commercial ethics. Its prices must represent true economy. The AudioGraphic Duo-Art Piano "AudioGraphic Music is the soundest and most comprehensive scheme for music appreciation yet put forward." Ernest Newman Music Critic, London Sunday Times IT has ever been the inspiration and aim of The Aeolian Company to give to more and more people the full beauty and appreciation of the most subtle art of mankind, the Art of Music. In harmony with this lofty ideal, the world's greatest musicians have always cooperated. They now join even more enthusiastically than in the past, working toward a complete realization of the possibilities in a new system of musical interpretation—AudioGraphic Music. In AudioGraphic Music, the final step in the full enjoyment of music has been achieved. This wonderful development makes it possible to visualize each composer's thoughts and dreams simultaneously with the actual hearing of the music. AudioGraphic Music has been appropriately termed a modern miracle, bringing as it does, the full power and pleasures of musical appreciation to every listener, musically trained or not. Now the conquest of the subtle art of Music seems certain; for it is an accomplished fact that anyone may sit at his AudioGraphic Duo-Art Piano and hear great masterpieces, played by such world-famous pianists as Paderewski, Hofmann, Bauer and Cortot, while the emotional and structural character of the music unfolds clearly before his eyes, in the form of analyses written by eminent authorities. Siegfried Wagner (seated) and Percy Scholes, Editor-in-Chief of AudioGraphic Music, discussing the Biographical Record of Richard Wagner, prepared by his son Siegfried. These analyses are prepared by internationally famous musicians. Walter Damrosch, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Charles M. Widor, Franz Schreker and over 300 men and women prominent in music, in America, England, France, Germany, Spain and Australia, are assisting in the work. AudioGraphic Music has met with universal and heartfelt approval of composers, artists, authorities and teachers as well as the general public. It has captured the musical spirit of the unforgettable past and the living present for the enjoyment of everyone, everywhere. How marvelously this has been done can be fully realized only by personally experiencing the delights and knowledge that it brings. AEOLIAN INSTRUMENTS STEINWAY, (in collaboration with Steinway & Sons) GEORGE STECK STROUD and famous WEBER AudioGraphic Duo Art Pianos Grand and Upright Pianos WEBER GEORGE STECK STROUD and famous WEBER AudioGraphic Duo Art Pianos AEOLIAN ORGANS Aeolian Duo-Art Residence Organs (built-to-ordtr) Marie Antoinette Duo-Art Residence Organs Aeolian-Votey Church and Concert Organs The AEOLIAN COMPANY 689 Fifth Avenue at Fifty-Fourth Street; New York Foreign Branches London Paris Madrid Berlin Melbourne Sydney Adelaide Brisbane Sherman,Clav & Co. PORTLAND, OREGON CHELTENHAM, N. Y.
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July 6, 1929