House Concert at Hayes - October 2004
The Steinway Welte grand, with Christmas cake (2003) in honour of Paderewski.
In late 2004, Denis Hall hosted one of his fascinating house concerts, to celebrate the centenary
of the Welte-Mignon, as far as it is possible to place an exact date on the instrument's origin. Denis
had recently acquired a Steinway Welte grand piano that plays the early red-coloured rolls, and he had
adjusted and refined it to the point where it sounded very lifelike indeed.
Dan Wilson, pianolist extraordinaire, at the completion of his evening's recital.
That autumn, the house concert was divided into two distinct parts. In the first half, we heard a
wide variety of playing from the Welte-Mignon, from a virile Paderewski, an inimitable Grieg, a soulful
Eugen d'Albert, and a Josef Lhévinne hardly out of short trousers! After a refreshment interval, we
returned to a real treat: Dan Wilson performing a selection of jazz and light music on Denis' magnificent
Steck Pianola grand.
Dan Wilson in the form of a cake.
Careful research having ascertained that Dan's 70th birthday occurred on the same weekend, a
celebration was duly held, and a birthday cake was presented and shared, sporting an edible photograph
of Dan himself.