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Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193089 03/06/08 03:07 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
The extra notes don't sound very good anyway. They are simply too low. Even on the Imperial.
Being an organist, I think they sound fine!

Unfortunately, folks only want to play them as isolated notes - it is no wonder they don't approve of the resulting sound.

In the 16-32Hz range (whether it be on the piano or organ) the best thing to do is to play the note with its octave above. The upper note gives pitch definition, the lower note gives gravitas. The sum of the two gives a musical result that is greater than the individual parts.

Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193090 03/06/08 03:17 PM
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Del-I haven't encountered the Rubenstein 371 in person. They are hardly plentiful.
I watched the youtube videos of the piano, however.
I'm aware the recording equipment used in the videos was far from ideal. I am aware the pianist in the videos is also far from ideal.
That said, I was incredibly disappointed with the sound of the piano.
I don't think bigger is better beyond about 275 or 300 cm.
The piano sounded very clumsy when played quietly.
I cannot imagine someone spending half a million dollars on such an instrument when superior pianos can be had for 1/4 the cost.

Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193091 03/06/08 10:56 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
I don't think bigger is better beyond about 275 or 300 cm.
The piano sounded very clumsy when played quietly.
I cannot imagine someone spending half a million dollars on such an instrument when superior pianos can be had for 1/4 the cost.
That length is valuable if you want those extra nine notes to really sound like something. And on that piano, they do.

As to price...well, I can't see spending half a million on a car either but some folks can and do. Neither are in my budget.

ddf


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Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193092 03/06/08 11:45 PM
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The odd thing is that most cars that are in the 6 figure range are decidedly less practical, even less useable than much cheaper cars. At least that is generally not the case with pianos. Although there is not much point in spending a lot of money on notes that almost nobody has ever written music for.


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Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193093 03/07/08 05:07 AM
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I thought that neither Mozart nor Beethoven ever wrote music for even 88 keys, such music could not have been performed on pianos in their days...


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Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193094 03/07/08 09:44 AM
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Yes, the period pianos have a narrower range.

An extra two notes would come in handy for Ravel.

Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193095 03/07/08 10:06 AM
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While I'm sure either would have had some acoustic (and probably several), does make you wonder how much they would have used a digital. The ability to "play" other instruments and orchestrate and generally muck about I'm sure would have been quite interesting to them (picture scene from "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"). Also makes you wonder how or if at all, their pieces would have evolved given such a tool.

Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193096 03/07/08 01:09 PM
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My wife wants a Steinway because its heirloom strength. Looking around, we see the majority of old pianos that deserve respect are Steinways. Many other smaller brands do not even though they were on par with Steinway at the time of manufacturing. So if we buy a Steinway she can play as well as pass it on to the next generation (my daughter is learning piano right now on a U5).

So in her mind, a Steinway is a spiritual instrument that, after all of us go to heaven, hopefully in a very, very distant future, to remind the next generation and generations to come about her. It's like she can "live" in the piano with them.

Of course my argument is this is way too far in the future, and even then who cares about this POJ. They may want to get rid of it as quickly as they can.

Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193097 03/07/08 01:37 PM
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If the reason for buying a Steinway today is to leave it for your children the best way to do that is take the money, invest it and then leave instructions for your executor to buy your children whatever piano they want. Depending on how far into the future you live, they'll likely have lots of money left over for other pursuits as well as owning a brand new instrument.


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Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193098 03/07/08 03:40 PM
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Pianoca: Speaking as a parent, I think that leaving the piano to a child is a terrible reason for selecting a brand. Assuming you can afford one, you should get a Steinway if you love a Steinway. Whatever piano you get, it should be one that your wife loves to play now. If that turns out to be a Steinway, fine--but it may not be a Steinway. She should love the piano now. No other reason works, at least for me. On the merits, there are several other piano brands that can work equally well as heirlooms, such as Mason, Bosendorfer, Bluthner, and Bechstein. They are not as conspicuous as Steinways, but I think that is largely because there are fewer of them around. In any event, your daughter may grow up to hate playing the piano. Unless she is a future concert pianist, she is likely to abandon lessons as an adolescent, or switch instruments. (I do not know how old your daughter is; I am assuming here that she is fairly young.) She may in any event grow up with sentimental associations with the piano, but whether it is a Steinway or not will not determine this, nor will it determine how much she enjoys playing in her future.

Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193099 03/07/08 04:17 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by BDB:
The odd thing is that most cars that are in the 6 figure range are decidedly less practical, even less useable than much cheaper cars. At least that is generally not the case with pianos. Although there is not much point in spending a lot of money on notes that almost nobody has ever written music for.
Perhaps that is why so many of the pianists actually using those extra notes are jazz players who improvise a lot.

And, of course, nobody ever accused the Rubenstein piano (or, for that matter, the Bösendorfer Imperial) of being "practical." But, like the 6-figure cars, they sure are interesting.

ddf


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Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193100 03/07/08 10:19 PM
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Yeah dont buy any piano to leave to the kids they will probably use it to put pictures on.

Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193101 03/08/08 07:20 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by pianoca:
My wife wants a Steinway because its heirloom strength. Looking around, we see the majority of old pianos that deserve respect are Steinways. Many other smaller brands do not even though they were on par with Steinway at the time of manufacturing. So if we buy a Steinway she can play as well as pass it on to the next generation (my daughter is learning piano right now on a U5).

So in her mind, a Steinway is a spiritual instrument that, after all of us go to heaven, hopefully in a very, very distant future, to remind the next generation and generations to come about her. It's like she can "live" in the piano with them.

A piano (in this instance, a Steinway) being a spiritual instrument that may remind future generations of those who came before them is a lovely thought.

People choose the pianos they choose for different reasons. For some it is the sound; others the action; others more of an overall experience of the piano's qualities. Or it may be bound to price restrictions, or many other factors. Yes, even snob appeal.

Choosing a certain piano for spiritual reasons - we may not all agree with that, but that's a personal decision and each of us have our reasons for what we do.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

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Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193102 03/08/08 08:16 PM
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I agree that a piano as a spiritual heirloom is a lovely thought. The issue, though, is not whether the testator regards it as a spiritual item, but whether the heir will eventually do so. We cannot know whether the heir will or not. Thus, buying a piano because of putative heirloom value just does not make sense to me. I have a gorgeous piano that I would hope will be valued both for itself and for its associations when I am gone, but that is not why I bought it nor why I love it. I will not, of course, be here to see what happens to my piano when I am gone, but I would not want my heirs to feel burdened by either the piano or by my expectations with respect to their feelings about it.

Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193103 03/08/08 08:26 PM
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I cannot say, though, why a Steinway would have a bigger heirloom value than a Boesendorfer or Steingraeber or Bluethner.

On the contrary, it is more reasonable to assume that these makes, being produced in far lesser numbers will be much more exclusive in the decades to come.

If it is heirloom value that counts, I'd rather leave to my children a Maserati sportscar than a Mercedes of the same today-price.


"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin
Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193104 03/08/08 09:09 PM
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Innominato:

I think it depends on what a person means by "heirloom value".

If when a person speaks of "heirloom quality" he means the quality of the piano (the build, etc), I agree with you that a Boesendorfer, Steingraeber, Bluethner and a number of other pianos fit that definition.

If by "heirloom value" a person means the piano that is still around after many years, well, that'd be a Steinway since most rebuilt pianos today (correct me if I'm wrong) are Steinways. That's because there are so many Steinways out there in the first place, and also because many other types of pianos are just not cost effective to rebuild. (That's a damn shame!)

"Heirloom value" could also have something to do with name recognition, I think Steinway would win that one, too.

Public perception means a lot. I believe it's been stated here that the resale value of Steinways is greater than some of the other great pianos, including ones that cost far more than Steinways. It's due to name recognition, I think? Steinway has a great marketing program, don't they? wink

When Pianoca talked of "heirloom strength" he also said "Looking around, we see the majority of old pianos that deserve respect are Steinways." I'm guessing, but I think when he said "respect" he meant which pianos he sees most often rebuilt and the most of - that'd be Steinway. At least, that was my experience during my piano search.

Jeanne W

Edit. Pianoca: BEWARE! I didn't play very many REALLY BAD pianos during my piano search, but one that really sticks in my mind was a Steinway. It was sitting in a reputable piano dealer's shop and had supposedly been rebuilt. eek Whether you're shopping for new or used or rebuilt Steinway, please be sure to have a technician check out the piano before buying it, and make sure it's a tech that has no ties with the shop or seller you are buying from.


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193105 03/08/08 11:56 PM
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Originally posted by pianoca:
I've been reading a lot of posts claiming that you got to have the best Tier 1 piano to your music going. Some professor even claimed that all his previous pianos were wasted until he was able to buy a Steinway.

But I just wonder what Mozart, Beethoven, etc. would have thought about this ide while composing their masterpieces.

It seems to me that a Tier 2 or Tier 3 piano, like a Suzuki, would do wonders that Mozart would never have dreamed of.

Sure, a Steinway will likely be better. But a big part of wanting a Steinway seems coming not from the desire for musicality, but other more worldly motives. smile
I remember when I was a child I had a spinet (cannot remember what brand). I've heard people comment on this board that a low quality piano would discourage any new student, children, or anyone else. I'm sure that there are people who've had this experience, so I don't doubt it. However, in my own case, I loved piano all of my life. It didn't matter what it was that I was playing on or not. I never learned as a kid, for other reasons that are unimportant in this thread. But, that piano never discouraged me.

I think your point is well taken. It's the music within that is the driving force. An instrument is...an instrument.

With that said, currently I have a lovely AF piano that I enjoy almost every day! But, when I go to school to have a lesson, there's always students on the horrifically out of tune Yamaha uprights in the practice rooms. They don't have sheet music with them. They are just drawn there, to play, to have a moment of quiet. It's seductive--and I understand that. It's not the piano, if it were no one would come and visit the music floor of this school. I think we all know what draws us to this instrument!!!


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Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193106 03/09/08 12:06 AM
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I'm reading posts about learning sheet music first, then playing it later. Gould did that a lot. This was a logical, time saving way for him to learn a piece of music. I do not know if he did this with anything and everything, but he was known to study music in this fashion. I cannot site read very well. My teacher requires me to memorize everything...or else I wouldn't be able to play a thing. I memorize both by studying the score and playing with it. If one has the notes in their head or in front of them on the page, what's the difference? (NOTE: I memorize slowly! VERY slowly!...but it's faster than my site reading).


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Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193107 03/09/08 04:28 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by pianoca:
I've been reading a lot of posts claiming that you got to have the best Tier 1 piano to your music going. Some professor even claimed that all his previous pianos were wasted until he was able to buy a Steinway.

But I just wonder what Mozart, Beethoven, etc. would have thought about this ide while composing their masterpieces.

We will of course never know what Mozart or Beethoven would have thought of the sound of the modern Steinway or other modern pianos. When the modern piano first appeared, some people apparently thought that it sounded harsh and unpleasant.

We do know that the key dip and touch weight of a Steinway are several times what they were in a fortepiano of Mozart's day. It's entirely possible that, whatever they thought of its sound, Mozart or Beethoven would have found a modern piano to have far too heavy and cumbersome a touch.

Re: Neither Mozart or Beethoven had a Steinway
#193108 03/09/08 05:23 AM
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Thanks Jeanne, yours is a very interest observation, but I wonder how many steingraeber, boesendorfer & Co. were shipped to the US 100 years ago and known to the public?
I cannot imagine some beautiful bluethner of 1910 being considered not worth to be carefully restored today unless it was very badly damaged.

To remain in the car paragon: Cadillacs were very special cars 80 years ago; but Porsches were not even around.....

About the rebuilt pianos, I hear what you say but I would still wonder how much the skeleton from which to completely rebuild the piano has been paid ie has maintained its value.
This is to say that if it were my job to rebuild pianos I would probably prefer to work on Steinways because they are more marketable to the broad public, but I do not know if I as restorer would have to pay much more for a steinway than for a bluethner of the same age and quality class; there are a lot of restored steinway around because a great deal of work has been re-invested in them I'd say, not because steinway pianos have magically maintained their value this 100 years I'd say.

At least here in Europe, in my (difficult) internet searches about used pianos I do not note any particular differences in prices between say a 1905 quality piano of other make and a Steinway; I'd say the difference is more likely to be in the extent and quality of the restoration work put to it than in the name.

If there was a reason to believe that yes, in 60 years time to have a steinway at home will be fundamentaly different than to have a steingraeber, I'd say yes, the heirlom value is more in the steinway.

But I do not see this happening even today, so I wonder why this should be true in 50 or 60 years time.


"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin
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