Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Hurricane Irma & Our Piano Friends!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Tuning a Piano
How to Tune Pianos
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
86 registered members (Achilleas, ArtlessArt, Aspiring, anotherscott, alfredo capurso, 21 invisible), 1,795 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#100335 - 02/25/09 10:37 PM Hamburg Steinway tone  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
In this thread just yesterday, I stated that I didn't care for the tone of Hamburg Steinways I have heard on recordings. And certainly recordings are no substitute for playing the instrument. But due to distance and other personal reasons I likely won't be around any Hamburgs any time soon. frown

To be perfectly clear (and I direct this primarily at whippen boy wink ), that neither means I dislike the Hamburg Steinway tone nor do I think it inferior to NY Steinway. What it really meant (and should have said) is that it's just a bit different and my tastes in a piano I would choose for myself gravitate towards the NY instrument; one of those instances of personal taste that you can't account for. laugh

However, that discussion piqued my curiosity, so I dug around in my record collection a bit. I remembered a recording of Rachmaninoff's Second Concerto I very much love. The soloist is George Vachnadze (sometimes spelled Vatchnadze) with Jansung Kakhidze and the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra. The piano is definitely a Hamburg Steinway D, and I must say it is an exception to my admittedly sweeping statement. Oh, and I recommend the recording as well. One of the better Rach 2's out there, IMHO. smile

So anyhow, I apologize for being too sweeping in my declaration. There was a contradiction right in my record library! shocked


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#100336 - 02/26/09 12:53 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 422
Diaphragmatic Offline
Full Member
Diaphragmatic  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 422
This past Sunday I had the priviledge to briefly speak with Markus Groh after he performed at the Ruth Eckerd Hall .

We chatted about different pianos he has performed on, some horror stories (that I wont get into) and what pianos he prefers.

He was born in Germany so he told me that he has played on mainly European piano's through his life and owns a Hamburg D (in Germany) and a Hamburg A (in NYC).

He said he is starting to like the NY D's more and wants to purchase one for his NYC home. It seems as though he was accustomed to playing European pianos while growing up but has developed a taste for NY Steinways now that he is performing on them more regularly in the States.

Anyway, it was great to speak so candidly with one of the worlds great piano performers. This is certainly one of the best perks of my job!


Musically Yours,
Jonathan Hunt

Sales Professional:
Steinway, Boston, Essex, Kohler & Campbell

The Music Gallery
Clearwater, Fl.
#100337 - 02/26/09 01:21 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
That's a nice story! Very interesting. thumb

And what an enviable perk. :p Interesting that he has a Hamburg A in his NYC home. If money and space were no object, I'd love to have a top drawer D from each factory. It would make for an interesting contrast.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#100338 - 02/26/09 01:28 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Also, here's an interesting comparison. I know it's YT, and I know it's different pianists, but have a listen to two different versions of Beethoven's "Tempest" sonata.

András Schiff on a Bösendorfer (I think it's a 290, but might be a 280):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlDKM6DYkBE

Wilhelm Kempff on a Hamburg D:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTzA6Mg_i7A

I think this one's truncated somewhat, but you get the idea. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#100339 - 02/26/09 01:29 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 422
Diaphragmatic Offline
Full Member
Diaphragmatic  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 422
He told me that he was able to purchase a used Hamburg A for a very cheap price + something about the Euro was much stronger than the dollar.. He must have purchased the Hamburg A in the States.


Musically Yours,
Jonathan Hunt

Sales Professional:
Steinway, Boston, Essex, Kohler & Campbell

The Music Gallery
Clearwater, Fl.
#100340 - 02/26/09 01:30 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Yeah, that must be true. wink


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#100341 - 02/26/09 04:09 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,886
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member
whippen boy  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,886
San Francisco
Quote
Originally posted by Horowitzian:
To be perfectly clear (and I direct this primarily at whippen boy wink ), that neither means I dislike the Hamburg Steinway tone nor do I think it inferior to NY Steinway. What it really meant (and should have said) is that it's just a bit different and my tastes in a piano I would choose for myself gravitate towards the NY instrument; one of those instances of personal taste that you can't account for. laugh
Thanks for posting this. I'm still perplexed though at how you would know with such absolute certainty that you would prefer a NY Steinway over a Hamburg, if you have never played a Hamburg or (perhaps never) heard one in person. confused The proof is in the playing. smile

In these threads I've seen comments about Hamburgs being 'bright'. But that too is a generalization; the one I play has a dark round tone. If anything, I think it could be just a bit brighter for the room.

I noted with interest your YouTube posts, but wondered why you chose to compare a Böesendorfer (!) with a Hamburg D (and that video is really ancient)! laugh

If we really want some comparisons we should find some modern audio clips of a NY and a Hamburg. But... that's been done here before.

#100342 - 02/26/09 09:24 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,753
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member
AJB  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,753
England/Switzerland
YouTube is unfortunately a very bad medium for comparing pianos. The compression is considerable.


Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action. Working on Bach, Beethoven, Grieg mainly.
#1154106 - 02/27/09 06:39 PM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: AJB]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 51
Claudia - Offline
Full Member
Claudia -  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 51
Pennsylvania, USA
There is a VERY INTERESTING video, with very clear sudio, where both NY and Hamburg Steinways are compared. I can hear the differences, clearly (at least it is clear for me):
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20030823_PIANO04/

Last edited by Claudia -; 02/27/09 06:40 PM.

Pianist for all events - Music beyond words
http://www.PassionatePianist.com
Piano Player Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
#1154112 - 02/27/09 06:52 PM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: Claudia -]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Thanks, Claudia! I had completely forgotten about that video! Much better than my video comparison from YT. Just ignore mine. blush


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1154140 - 02/27/09 07:33 PM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: Horowitzian]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
I've been listening some more to examples of each Steinway I have in my collection (NOT youtube), and I've decided that what doesn't suit me about Hamburg's tone is the slightly "metallic" (for lack of a better term) bass.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1154162 - 02/27/09 07:56 PM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: Horowitzian]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,557
pianoloverus Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
pianoloverus  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,557
New York City
Most of the solo recitalists at Carnegie Hall seem to choose Hamburg Steinways from my experience with 100's of concerts there.

#1154257 - 02/27/09 11:29 PM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: Horowitzian]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 422
Diaphragmatic Offline
Full Member
Diaphragmatic  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 422
Very insightful! for whatever its worth, I preferred the NY piano. In this recording the Hamburg had a edgier tone, not as round. It was great to hear Mr. Axe's assessment of the two pianos.


Musically Yours,
Jonathan Hunt

Sales Professional:
Steinway, Boston, Essex, Kohler & Campbell

The Music Gallery
Clearwater, Fl.
#1154269 - 02/27/09 11:53 PM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: Diaphragmatic]  
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,761
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member
jazzyprof  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,761
Ann Arbor, MI
I too preferred the NY Steinway. It sounded like smooth, rich, dark chocolate. Yummy!


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
#1154365 - 02/28/09 03:40 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: jazzyprof]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,886
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member
whippen boy  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,886
San Francisco
That was the clip I was hoping someone would post!

Funny how preferences differ. I thought the NY piano was rather fuzzy and indistinct; I immediately gravitated to the purer sound of the Hamburg instrument. The melody sang beautifully, and I could hear it distinctly above the accompaniment. The overall tone was bell-like and transparent.

The only drawback to the Hamburg is that it was easier for me to notice some unevenness in the sextuplets; for this reason I think NY Steinways can be more 'forgiving'. On a Hamburg (or other European instruments) sometimes I have the feeling that my technique is much more exposed. blush

Of course, these are generalities and there are always exceptions.

#1154706 - 02/28/09 03:51 PM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: whippen boy]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 61
ffevhbtwh Offline
Full Member
ffevhbtwh  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 61
U.S.A.
Like Horowitzian I had preferred NY over Hamburg but that was before I had heard or played a Hamburg. This is not to say Horowitzian would immediately be drawn to a Hamburg when he hears it live or plays it, but that was what happened to me.

I used to own a rebuilt NY Steinway grand piano and now own a relatively new Hamburg. I like both NY and Hamburg, but each type definitely have their strengths and weaknesses.

NY to me sounds more soulful and would have an edge in pieces requiring extremely sad emotions. On the other hand, Hamburg is more neutral and while giving up a little on the extreme sad emotions, it gains a bit on versatility over NY.

Hamburg treble is stronger and the sustain is audibly better than NY's.

Midrange slight advantage to NY. NY's cello-like timbre is wonderful vs. Hamburg's more neutral midrange that is a bit less colorful but still musical.

I had liked NY's bass more and needed a little time to get used to Hamburg's bass. NY's bass seems to ring more and that was what I missed when I first got the Hamburg. The Hamburg's bass is both stronger and deeper than NY's and so I had to adjust my touch a little to get better sound. I now prefer Hamburg's bass.

As you can see I like both NY and Hamburg, but if I had to choose one I would choose Hamburg.

#1154749 - 02/28/09 04:53 PM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: ffevhbtwh]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Originally Posted by ffevhbtwh
[...]
Hamburg treble is stronger and the sustain is audibly better than NY's.


[...]



Have you played any of the newest NY B's (B5 rather than B3) like mine? They have great treble, with a pleasantly warm, yet powerful, timbre with excellent sustaining power (decay time) overall; assuming of course, proper voicing. In fact, on most "B5" examples I've played the decay time in the killer octave is long enough to warrant the need for more dampers, IMHO.



Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1154783 - 02/28/09 05:52 PM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: Horowitzian]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,557
pianoloverus Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
pianoloverus  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,557
New York City
Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Originally Posted by ffevhbtwh
[...]
Hamburg treble is stronger and the sustain is audibly better than NY's.


[...]



Have you played any of the newest NY B's (B5 rather than B3) like mine? They have great treble, with a pleasantly warm, yet powerful, timbre with excellent sustaining power (decay time) overall; assuming of course, proper voicing. In fact, on most "B5" examples I've played the decay time in the killer octave is long enough to warrant the need for more dampers, IMHO.




That would quite difficult to achieve since there are already dampers in the killer octave which begins around the C above middle C. (I assume you can't be worrying about the vibration of the undamped strings causing "too much sustain".)

Your seemingly endless need to rave about your piano and get defensive should someone not like Steinway or NY Steinway is getting more than boring.


#1154796 - 02/28/09 06:25 PM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: pianoloverus]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Horowitzian  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Hey! It was an FYI post! I understand that he likes what he likes. If you don't like it, don't read.

And yes, what I'm saying is that these new B's sustain quite well above where the dampers end.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1155073 - 03/01/09 08:27 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway tone [Re: Horowitzian]  
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 105
CD131 Offline
Full Member
CD131  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 105
Canada
Horowitzian, if you've never even played a Hamburg, why are you even commenting about their tone quality? Think about it!


Steinway D, Pramberger 185, pianist-teacher

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Double crowned sounding board
by Davepost. 09/24/17 09:04 AM
SSD for samples, NTFS or FAT32
by stamkorg. 09/24/17 07:19 AM
K 545 Trills
by Qazsedcft. 09/23/17 11:04 PM
ES8, what I will miss the most
by EVC2017. 09/23/17 08:06 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,001
Posts2,659,773
Members88,883
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0