Edna Bentz Woods was an American composer and pianist married to an executive of the Aeolian Company, W Creary Woods. Apart from this snippet, a Duo-Art catalogue of about 1927 provides the sole source of information on the obscure composer of this charming work. From it we learn that Edna Bentz (the name under which her nine or so piano rolls were published) ‘has won success both in recitals of classical and romantic music and in the vaudeville field. She received an excellent musical training from some of the best teachers of America and Europe, among them Busoni and Egon Petri in Berlin, where she was studying when the Great War began. Her compositions number more than fifty pieces, and range from classical models to the most modern, syncopated dance music’.
The catalogue reveals that as well as several piano rolls of foxtrots for Duo-Art, Miss Bentz also recorded Busoni’s ‘All’ Italia!’ (the second of the six Elegien) for them. The Philadelphia publisher Theodore Presser issued several of her pieces, including the Valse Phantastique (1924), the score of which proclaims ‘As played by Mr Josef Hofmann’, who indeed made a piano roll of the work for Duo-Art.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2001