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#1738026 - 08/22/11 12:37 AM Article on Estonian pianos  
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AlphaTerminus Offline
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Interesting article on Estonian pianos. i have never played one but know they are popular here. Estonian pianos article


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#1738275 - 08/22/11 11:09 AM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
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With a quote by our own Glenn Treibitz! smile

Thanks for pointing that out, AlphaTerminus. I hadn't realized they were making Estonias in other finishes these days. thumb


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
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#1739478 - 08/24/11 06:08 AM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
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Rich Galassini Offline
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Thank you Alpha.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
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Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
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#1739749 - 08/24/11 02:27 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Rich Galassini]  
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I know Estonia is one of the Darlings by dealers in the forum therefore I'm going to get some heat. But I couldn't resist. grin

I follow DW. (everyday) in fact I love it. However in this case this was not a journalistic article; this is an infomercial, and not very good one.

Quote
When Joseph Stalin turned 70 in 1948, every Soviet Republic was forced to present him with a gift.

Quote
Stalin liked the sound so much he ordered Hiis to be the sole manufacturer of concert grand pianos for the entire Soviet Union.


grinStalin had some health conditions at the time among those, was his diminishing ability to hear well. wink

Quote
In just 10 years, Estonia Piano has sold 3,000 concert grand pianos, mostly in the United States.


What is this a pipe-dream grin? I don't think even Steinway or Yamaha have sold 3,000 CONCERT GRANDS in ten years.
Didn't Estonia just recently introduce their first concert grand?

Anyway thank you for the post.

Last edited by Kurtmen; 08/24/11 06:07 PM.

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#1739752 - 08/24/11 02:33 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Kurtmen]  
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Originally Posted by Kurtmen

Didn't Estonia just recently introduce their first concert grand?


No: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Estonia-199...0&hash=item2ea94c19d9#ht_2682wt_1396

#1739763 - 08/24/11 03:00 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
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Actually, I doubt there have been 3,000 true concert grands sold worldwide in the last 10 years. It's either a typo or lazy reporting. Estonia's concert grand goes way back...it's their semi-concert grand that was just introduced.

If you remove the word "concert" from that sentence, it becomes accurate. There is also the chance that the writer knows squat about pianos and thought it sounded better for his article.

I'm not up on my history of Stalin, if he was tone deaf, actually deaf, or any kind of judge of a piano, but his appreciation of the piano certainly helped the company survive under his reign.


Sam Bennett
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#1739785 - 08/24/11 03:40 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
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I'm sorry I didn't know they have been making Concert Grands for so long.
grinBut this one is 20 years old; it is not part of those 3,000 sold in the past ten years.

There are two offers on Ebay since May; at $21,000. I think the market is so flowed with Estonia concert grands that there is no use for another one; even if is sold for the price 6'00 Hailun. smile

Last edited by Kurtmen; 08/24/11 03:42 PM.

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#1739793 - 08/24/11 03:52 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
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Here is another article about Estonia Pianos from the web:

http://www.cs.ioc.ee/~stulov/klaver1.pdf



Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.
#1740161 - 08/25/11 02:15 AM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Kurtmen]  
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I'm not sure why anyone would want their piano associated with Stalin, especially as a merchandizing tool . . . From a purely historical perspective, and I’m talking about fairly conservative historians, it's arguable, as far as europe is concerned, who between Stalin and Hitler was the more lethal . . .

And since Stalin died in '53 I'm not sure how much his reign affected Estonia pianos, per se, other than the doubtful sobriquet "Stalin's Piano" and other such anecdotes . . . makes you wonder what piano Van Cliburn was playing in Moscow when he won the Tchaikovsky in ’58 or how many Estonia concert grand pianos were center stage . . .

As long as we’re talking about dictators and pianos, obviously, there are much stronger ties between Bechstein and Hitler, his backing by Helene Bechstein at a time when he needed backing. . . notwithstanding, of course,the sympathies of Joe Kennedy, Henry Ford, Lindberg or Father Coughlin (the list, unfortunately, is endless) and does anyone really think the move into Poland possible without GM?

But winners write the history and Stalinists certainly have an easier time of it than those trying to organize their local bund . . . I’m not sure how it is now but there was a time when every taxi in Moscow had a picture of Stalin or Hemingway, at a time when the likeness of Hitler in public was prohibited by law in Germany . . .

Still, leaves you wondering had Germany not lost the war, would Bechstein have considered itself Hitler's Piano?

Even though the past is the past, Estonia still juggles the cross purposes of a good number of Stalinists and fascists, dating back 70 years, but since it currently appears to be one of few European nations tacitly allowing pro nazi demonstrations, the Stalinists may be on the wane . . .

Mike



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#1740203 - 08/25/11 05:36 AM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: ChatNoir]  
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There was an interesting piece yesterday on BBC Radio 3 about Estonia pianos today and Indrek Laul.

Wikipedia says, "The company languished after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and in 1993 the factory was privatized to its managers.... In 1995 it was sold to Indrek Laul (at that time a doctoral piano student at the Juilliard School in New York), who took over control of the company."

Not to be sneezed at!

Hitler's piano was the Quattrochord Superflügel


Ian Russell
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#1740826 - 08/26/11 06:29 AM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
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No heat from here Kurtman - just my thoughts,

As Sam already pointed out, I feel the word "concert" was simply used in an article in a way that is not proper. The reporter is most likely unaware of its proper use.

As far as Estonia concert grand production, this company made only concert grand pianos for many years and were virtually the exclusive provider of these pianos to the entire USSR.

I am not saying that these were fantastic artistic musical instruments. Frankly, they weren't. The Soviet system encouraged nothing but mediocrity and these instruments were mediocre. I have had little direct experience with them, but have many pianist friends who grew up playing them. Behind the "Iron Curtain" there was little to choose from in quality pianos.

However after the fall of the USSR and the involvement of Dr. Laul and his family, there was been a constant evolution and a consistent change in quality and design. Today these instruments truly perform.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
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#1741041 - 08/26/11 01:32 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Mike Carr]  
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Ori Offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr
I'm not sure why anyone would want their piano associated with Stalin, especially as a merchandizing tool . . . From a purely historical perspective, and I’m talking about fairly conservative historians, it's arguable, as far as europe is concerned, who between Stalin and Hitler was the more lethal . . .

And since Stalin died in '53 I'm not sure how much his reign affected Estonia pianos, per se, other than the doubtful sobriquet "Stalin's Piano" and other such anecdotes . . . makes you wonder what piano Van Cliburn was playing in Moscow when he won the Tchaikovsky in ’58 or how many Estonias were center stage . . .

As long as we’re talking about dictators and pianos, obviously, there are much stronger ties between Bechstein and Hitler, his backing by Helene Bechstein at a time when he needed backing. . . notwithstanding, of course,the sympathies of Joe Kennedy, Henry Ford, Lindberg or Father Coughlin (the list, unfortunately, is endless) and does anyone really think the move into Poland possible without GM?

But winners write the history and Stalinists certainly have an easier time of it than those trying to organize their local bund . . . I’m not sure how it is now but there was a time when every taxi in Moscow had a picture of Stalin or Hemingway, at a time when the likeness of Hitler in public was prohibited by law in Germany . . .

Still, leaves you wondering had Germany not lost the war, would Bechstein have considered itself Hitler's Piano?

Even though the past is the past, Estonia still juggles the cross purposes of a good number of Stalinists and fascists, dating back 70 years, but since it currently appears to be one of few European nations tacitly allowing pro nazi demonstrations, the Stalinists may be on the wane . . .

Mike





I agree that if indeed the story is true, and Stalin was the one pushing for getting Estonia to be the manufacturer of choice for most institutional concert grands in the soviet block is not necessarily a compliment.

I think that when an interview occurs, the reporter tend to focus on the more 'sensational' trivia that attracts attention in the headline and fist few sentences to entice potential readers to actually read the article.

There has been similar articles published regarding Estonia over the past few years, and in almost all of these this anecdote was rather prominently displayed in the beginning of the article just as here.

My guess is that Estonians, who had also been been under rules of Danish, Swedish and Germans for hundreds of years...and who were independent between world Wars I and II do not consider the 40 years of soviet occupation to be a favorably memorable experience.
But probably the changes that occurred in this country over the past 21 years are exemplified by the great success of Estonia pianos and their transition to a formidable and appreciated maker of high quality handmade instruments.




Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - NY and CT.

One can usually play at our showroom:

Bluthner, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai, Steinway, Bosendorfer and more.

www.allegropianos.com
#1741102 - 08/26/11 03:22 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
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Here is what it says in the other article from the web

The Second World War stopped piano manufacturing in Estonia. The factories
were destroyed. Only Ernst Hiis continued his grand piano production. His attempts to resume grand piano manufacturing in Estonia were successful. In September 6, 1950, by the order of J. Stalin, based of the People’s Furniture Factory, the Tallinn Piano Factory was established, and the new grand piano was named Estonia. This day is the founding date of the Tallinn Piano Factory. Osvald Kuub was the first head of the new factory, and Ernst Hiis was the chief engineer.
In April 6, 1951, the first grand piano Estonia was presented to the State Board.

No mention here about giving Stalin a piano for his birthday.


Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.
#1741233 - 08/26/11 08:47 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Rich Galassini]  
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
NI feel the word "concert" was simply used in an article in a way that is not proper. The reporter is most likely unaware of its proper use.
Exactly, in the same way many, or even most, reporters say "assault weapon" when it really isn't. They don't know any better and can't be bothered to find out.


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#1741488 - 08/27/11 11:35 AM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Ori]  
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Naturally, pianos should rely more on their function than origin and yet there is inclination by retailers to spoon feed customers fantastic histories whether it be old german names atatched to Chinese pianos or the strange idea that stalin personally had anything to do with Estonia pianos . . .

Who plants these stories? I doubt Laul wants anything to do with stalin or speculation that stalin might have helped Estonia piano create a soviet bloc monopoly, maybe it’s just sensationalism, stalin sells, who knows . . .

While it’s getting better, Tallinn for years was known for child prostitution, drunk and sex tourism, and illegal drugs, little more than western europe's tijuana . . . no one ever asked, What about those Estonia pianos? Huh? It was when the heck is Tallinn going to clean up its act?

Still, it seems odd that one of Estonia's major accomplishments, according to the DW infomercial, after 21 years of independence is having churned out a few thousand relatively obscure pianos to sell to the Americans . . . I don’t know how many people Estonia Piano employs or adds to their gnp but it must be meager, well maybe not with 13-14 percent unemployment and minimum wages 38 percent lower than EU's average (no wonder pianos are so cheap). . .

Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
#1741559 - 08/27/11 01:39 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Mike Carr]  
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr


Still, it seems odd that one of Estonia's major accomplishments, according to the DW infomercial, after 21 years of independence is having churned out a few thousand relatively obscure pianos to sell to the Americans . . . I don’t know how many people Estonia Piano employs or adds to their gnp but it must be meager, well maybe not with 13-14 percent unemployment and minimum wages 38 percent lower than EU's average (no wonder pianos are so cheap). . .

Mike


Ouch.

Rebuttal, anyone?

Is it true that we owe the "exceptional value" of Estonia pianos to unfair worker wages?



Estonia 190
#1741569 - 08/27/11 02:11 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
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This is an interesting topic..mostly from a marketing perspective..using a past known name gives the piano some history..though not a great one..by any stretch..however with Dr.Laul at the helm..he brought quality and respectability to the name..now they say, what year was it made?..so an old Estonia from Stalin's era..would be used for firewood..nothing more..as with many brands with reviered names..the year produced, plays a more important role than just the name..even Steinway has a Golden age..

#1741578 - 08/27/11 02:25 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Brent B]  
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Quote
Ouch.

Rebuttal, anyone?

Is it true that we owe the "exceptional value" of Estonia pianos to unfair worker wages?


Here is a website that shows the average wages in Estonia as of 2011. Not very high. But Estonia has lower prices on goods and services than most of Europe, and they do, of course, have universal healthcare.

http://balticexport.com/?article=average-bruto-wages-increased-in-estonia&lang=en


Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.
#1741603 - 08/27/11 03:29 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Brent B]  
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Originally Posted by Brent B


Ouch.

Rebuttal, anyone?

Is it true that we owe the "exceptional value" of Estonia pianos to unfair worker wages?


I didn't read Mike's post as an accusation of "unfair" wages. It's no secret that Estonia is in Eastern Europe, and the wages there are one of the factors affecting the price of the pianos, just as it's no secret that Chinese pianos are built by workers who are paid what's considered a fair wage for China.

#1741610 - 08/27/11 03:39 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
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Mike.. MIke Carr.. you need to see this movie..

http://www.singingrevolution.com/

you can click on the trailer if you wish.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
#1741627 - 08/27/11 04:18 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: apple*]  
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Quote
you need to see this movie..


apple*,

Good suggestion indeed.

An equally good suggestion would be to make a trip to Tallinn, talk to the people and then make yourself an opinion. 2011 Is even an excellent year for a journey to Tallinn as it is for one year European Cultural Capital together with Türku in Finland ...and U.S. citizens will not feel lonely overthere; it is full of American tourists! smile

Btw, it is full of Russian tourists too. I wonder why they find it such a nice country to take their holidays in?

As to wages.

Look were they come form: merely 21 years ago still occupied by the Soviet Union and only for 10 years a full member of the Europena Union. Wages are on the same level today as in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia.. and have gone upwards rapidly over the past 10 years.
If wages continue to go up - and they will - prices of the Estonia Pianos may/will increase ...then we will see those here complaining they've become too expensive!?

Eurostat

Estonian Chamber of Commerce

schwammerl.

#1741628 - 08/27/11 04:19 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Mike Carr]  
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr


Still, it seems odd that one of Estonia's major accomplishments, according to the DW infomercial, after 21 years of independence is having churned out a few thousand relatively obscure pianos to sell to the Americans . . . I don’t know how many people Estonia Piano employs or adds to their gnp but it must be meager, well maybe not with 13-14 percent unemployment and minimum wages 38 percent lower than EU's average (no wonder pianos are so cheap). . .

Mike



Mike,
High quality hand made piano manufacturers, such as Estonia, seldom aim to make a significant impact on GDP. The contribution of such companies is an ambassador of the arts, as well a source of pride.

This is true not just for Estonia pianos. When Bosendorfer was up for sale, the attention it received in the Austrian media was far grater than than the attention other Austrian companies receive even if they were 20 times its size.


The way that the success of the Estonia piano company is repeatedly used as example for the changes in Estonia can support my assertion that the company and its instruments play a role of an 'ambassador' in a similar way that a favorite national European basketball or soccer team does.

Hopefully we can agree that the value of an Olympic gold medal is not in its DGP contribution. smile

I guess I'm trying to say is that size isn't everything.

However, if you are one to be impressed by size...at least put the company's size in context to the relative market it is aiming for rather than overall contribution to lowering unemployment.

I belive that Estonia is the largest importer of grand pianos from Europe to the US in recent years.
The factory is working at or near full capacity...with demand outstrips supply.
This is an enviable measure of success not only limited to the market of high quality handcrafted performance pianos but within the industry as a whole.

You may not favor the country, its people or the pianos made by the Estonia piano company...but in its particular field and in comparison to the industry the Estonia Pianos Factory is a tremendously successful company.


Regarding your other comments about Estonia...When I visited the country it was for none of the reasons you mentioned above but rather in relation Estonia's piano production.
The Estonia people whom I met with were extremely nice, polite and cultured.
Admittedly, my visit's were short, piano focused...and perhaps sheltered by the excellent company of the Laul family and their rich musical experience.
So, I hope you'll be kind enough to expand on when did you visit Estonia and what were the reasons you chose to visit?

(I assume none of the reasons you mentioned in your post were a primary consideration in your decision to travel to Tallinn). smile







Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - NY and CT.

One can usually play at our showroom:

Bluthner, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai, Steinway, Bosendorfer and more.

www.allegropianos.com
#1741699 - 08/27/11 06:53 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Ori]  
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The suffering and hardship endured by the people of Estonia and their heroic identity with music is all the more reason for those who are fortunate enough to represent their hard work- in whatever way- to stay away from selfish tactics that only serve to cheapen and bastardize what they have accomplished. You owe them at least that.


Kawai RX-2
#1741706 - 08/27/11 07:05 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: apple*]  
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Originally Posted by apple*
Mike.. MIke Carr.. you need to see this movie..

http://www.singingrevolution.com/

you can click on the trailer if you wish.

Watched this last week. In addition to the quality of the piano, I feel good supporting the people of this country that favor peace & music over war & blood. Remind me of those hobbits in the Middle Earth smile

And what about Skype, a $8 billion company in which most of the development are done in Estonia?
Skype: Hero of Estonia's Economy

One can always live in the past & focus on the negatives they want to see, but they will be left behind as the world move on.

Last edited by Fun; 08/27/11 07:11 PM.

Estonia L190 in Pyramid Mahogany, Petrof 125F in Ebony Polished
Dark Love
#1741724 - 08/27/11 07:43 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Ori]  
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Originally Posted by Ori
[quote=Mike Carr]



Regarding your other comments about Estonia...When I visited the country it was for none of the reasons you mentioned above but rather in relation Estonia's piano production.
The Estonia people whom I met with were extremely nice, polite and cultured.
Admittedly, my visit's were short, piano focused...and perhaps sheltered by the excellent company of the Laul family and their rich musical experience.
So, I hope you'll be kind enough to expand on when did you visit Estonia and what were the reasons you chose to visit?

(I assume none of the reasons you mentioned in your post were a primary consideration in your decision to travel to Tallinn). smile







So, they put your blinders on at the airport? Then your saddle blanket, halter, and feed bag? And then led you by the nose into Tallinn? Sounds like fun.

Ori, I have neither the time nor inclination to nurse maid your ignorance or explain the facts of life or statements I've made that are both factual and well documented.

After all is said and done, it's just another piano. And you're just another piano salesman. Quit acting like you've witnessed or somehow arranged a virgin giving birth to a child for crying out loud. . .

Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
#1741764 - 08/27/11 09:22 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Mike Carr]  
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Ori Offline
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Ori  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2004
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Stamford CT, New York City .
Originally Posted by Mike Carr

Originally Posted by Ori
[quote=Mike Carr]



Regarding your other comments about Estonia...When I visited the country it was for none of the reasons you mentioned above but rather in relation Estonia's piano production.
The Estonia people whom I met with were extremely nice, polite and cultured.
Admittedly, my visit's were short, piano focused...and perhaps sheltered by the excellent company of the Laul family and their rich musical experience.
So, I hope you'll be kind enough to expand on when did you visit Estonia and what were the reasons you chose to visit?

(I assume none of the reasons you mentioned in your post were a primary consideration in your decision to travel to Tallinn). smile







So, they put your blinders on at the airport? Then your saddle blanket, halter, and feed bag? And then led you by the nose into Tallinn? Sounds like fun.

Ori, I have neither the time nor inclination to nurse maid your ignorance or explain the facts of life or statements I've made that are both factual and well documented.

After all is said and done, it's just another piano. And you're just another piano salesman. Quit acting like you've witnessed or somehow arranged a virgin giving birth to a child for crying out loud. . .

Mike



Dear Mike,

it appears that I somehow upset you.
Please accept my sincere apologies.
There is little reason for your heated comment.


I visited Estonia for only piano related business and I mentioned this in my previous post in case my experience with Estonia and the Estonian people was not as comprehensive as yours...and no, I was not blindfolded at the airport.
When I visited was picked up and hosted by the Laul family and aside from visits to the factory was taken to nice restaurants, cultural events and witnessed Tallinn's charming and beautiful historic downtown.

You mentioned other reasons for tourism TO Estonia, and indeed it raised my curiosity of whether what you speak of is from first hand experience or just from 'factual and well documented' things you've read or heard.

If you prefer not to answer it is understandable. smile







Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - NY and CT.

One can usually play at our showroom:

Bluthner, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai, Steinway, Bosendorfer and more.

www.allegropianos.com
#1741777 - 08/27/11 09:49 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
Joined: Mar 2006
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Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,033
Georgia, USA
Okay, ya’ll, I’m posting as a moderator here… this thread is getting out of hand with subtle personal attacks, insults and innuendos.

I’ll refrain from locking it down at the moment, in hopes that things might turn around and settle down a bit… please heed the warning.

Rick



Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1741781 - 08/27/11 10:02 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
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Furtwangler Offline
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Furtwangler  Offline
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Danville, California
How much longer will the moderators tolerate the rantings of a lunatic?

#1741785 - 08/27/11 10:07 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: Furtwangler]  
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Mike Carr Offline
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Mike Carr  Offline
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BANNED
Furt,

I never called Ori a ranting lunatic.

Ori,

No one is getting angry here except you. Just for your own edification, while prostitution is legal in Tallinn, pimping is not. (documented fact)

Rickster,

I apologize from the bottle of my heart.


Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
#1741787 - 08/27/11 10:10 PM Re: Article on Estonian pianos [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,033
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,033
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by Furtwangler
How much longer will the moderators tolerate the rantings of a lunatic?

About as long as we tolerate name calling...

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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