Imię Nazwisko was obviously not the man’s real name, but the one that had been used to publish and record his music in Wilhelmine Germany. Rave reviews of concerts had appeared in music publications before the war, but the number of surviving works by Nazwisko was vanishingly small due to the tumultuous 20th century history of the region in which he lived and worked. Most of his sheet music was burned during the battles for Poland, leaving just a few player piano rolls, wax cylinders, and gramophone records that had been shipped to audiophiles elsewhere.

Orris had painstakingly tracked down and transcribed–by ear–all Nazwisko’s surviving recordings save one. He’d also digitally reproduced and distributed what recordings he could, on the grounds that Nazwisko had unfairly been denied a place in musical history due to the privations of history. But that last recording…

The Vartafluß Symphonie had been recorded in Posen in October 1918 for distribution on gramophone record. Due to the war, only a handful of master copies were made with an eye toward postwar distribution, but the dismembering of Germany after the war and Nazwisko’s death or disappearance after 1919 meant that this never came to pass. The composer had carried the sheet music with him to an uncertain fate, leaving just a single copy of the work: a master belonging to a reclusive audio antiquarian.

Orris was determined to see it recovered, pirated, and shared with the world. Even if it meant bending the law.

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