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Question about Abbey Simon
#1440151 05/20/10 07:34 AM
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The post with pictures about Abbey Simon brought back some memories of growing up in Santiago (Cuba) in the late 1950s. I had just started taking piano lessons and went to several piano recitals. It now amazes me that in such little town and in the few months before I left Cuba, I was able to attend performaces by, among others, Andre Tchaikowsky, Gyorgy Sandor and Abbey Simon.

At that concert in Santiago I distinctely recall Abbey Simon's piano bench angled forwards at least 30 or 40 degrees. Any of you who may have seen Abbey Simon perform in the ensuing years, was there anything special about the way he positioned or used the piano bench? Or is it perhaps my faulty memory?

Thanks,


Jose
Kawai K5 - Kawai CA61
Re: Question about Abbey Simon
JGonzalezGUS #1440689 05/21/10 12:56 AM
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I saw him five years ago in Chicago and didn't see anything peculiar.

Re: Question about Abbey Simon
beethoven986 #1440811 05/21/10 07:08 AM
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Jose,

Your memory is perfect. Abbey Simon's bench is definitely tilted forward. He achieves the tilt by placing caster cups under the two back legs. I'll post pictures later today.


Irving
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Re: Question about Abbey Simon
irving #1441323 05/21/10 10:21 PM
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Here are the pictures that I promised.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]



Irving
Faust Harrison Pianos
We sell new Bechsteins, Yamahas, Mason & Hamlins, Brodmanns and W. Hoffmanns, and rebuilt vintage Steinways. All rebuilding is done in our own factory. www.faustharrisonpianos.com
Re: Question about Abbey Simon
irving #1442076 05/23/10 10:29 AM
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As is clearly shown in the photo of his recent performance, Mr. Simon sits on a bench that is tilted forward. Note that his legs from his hip joint to his knees slopes down somewhat, that he is sitting rather "close" to the piano and that his elbows are extended somewhat outward from his body, and that the elbow joint is slightly higher than the keyboard.

Why mention this?

Because Abbey Simon is one of David Saperton's most distinguished students (two other notables being Jorge Bolet and Sidney Foster). To a greater or lesser extent, all Saperton students played with a similar orientation to the instrument. Bolet looked very different and didn't have to sit so high, because he was such a tall man.

Here's another Saperton student, Alan Weiss, at the keyboard in his YouTube video performance of Saperton's transcription of Gershwin's "Bess, you is my woman now". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP2gvUbmSWI

[Linked Image]



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Re: Question about Abbey Simon
Seeker #1442586 05/24/10 08:22 AM
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Thank you for posting the additional pictures where the angled bench is clearly seen. As a youngster I recall shortly after the concert trying it at home but not liking it. :-)


Jose
Kawai K5 - Kawai CA61
Re: Question about Abbey Simon
JGonzalezGUS #1442621 05/24/10 09:35 AM
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Did Simon always use a tilted bench? I thought it was something to do with a back injury? Does any other pianist use this kind of bench?

Re: Question about Abbey Simon
pianoloverus #1442626 05/24/10 09:41 AM
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In my experience with Abbey Simon he always uses the lifters on the standard Jansen bench. I believe he's been doing this for quite some time. But the lifters travel with him. He can apply them to any bench. -- James


James M. Steeber
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Re: Question about Abbey Simon
Piano-on-Hudson #1442679 05/24/10 10:47 AM
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I think what he does is a very good idea. Instead of sitting out to the edge of the bench to allow the thighs to slope down, he can sit the whole body on the bench for better support.


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