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!

Piano Forums & Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

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

Advertise on Piano World

What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Who's Online Now
99 registered members (Bachus, anotherscott, anamnesis, apassionata, Bambers, augustm, 32 invisible), 1,317 guests, and 1 spider.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
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
#2041816 - 03/02/13 11:28 AM Pianomania documentary  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,588
Euan Morrison Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Euan Morrison  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,588
I watched an interesting dvd documentary last night, called 'Pianomania'.

It's a journey behind-the-scenes of the concert hall, focusing on Steinways (head?) piano tuner, Stefan Knüpfer and his struggles to keep the world's top pianists happy with their instruments and sound.

It's not the easiest 90min documentary I've ever watched, but it's worth it to see the absolutely insane attention to detail and strive for perfection from both the pianists and the tuner himself - trying to prepare pianos for both concert use, and also recording.
Definitely worth a watch, if you can get it.


Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2041834 - 03/02/13 12:11 PM Re: Pianomania documentary [Re: Euan Morrison]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,489
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Mark...  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,489
Jersey Shore
Saw it on Netflix...outstanding for people who love piano.

#2041887 - 03/02/13 02:39 PM Re: Pianomania documentary [Re: Euan Morrison]  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 49
UKPianoMan Offline
Full Member
UKPianoMan  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 49
London, UK
I too watched this only a few days ago. Interesting to see the work of Piano technicians, also a nice accompaniment to The Making Of Steinway L1037 (which unfortunately I haven't seen for a few years). I admire the technician's work having to constantly adjust tuning and action, among a million other things, to satisfy their customers.

Currently play on Casio PX150
Hummingbird Bosendorfer.... Yeah, right!
#2041933 - 03/02/13 04:33 PM Re: Pianomania documentary [Re: UKPianoMan]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,588
Euan Morrison Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Euan Morrison  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,588
Originally Posted by UKPianoMan
I too watched this only a few days ago. Interesting to see the work of Piano technicians, also a nice accompaniment to The Making Of Steinway L1037 (which unfortunately I haven't seen for a few years). I admire the technician's work having to constantly adjust tuning and action, among a million other things, to satisfy their customers.

Thanks, I hadn't heard of that documentary before, so off to order it. Looks interesting!

(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#2041967 - 03/02/13 05:49 PM Re: Pianomania documentary [Re: Euan Morrison]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,607
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member
4evrBeginR  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,607
Yes saw this a while ago. It's a bit dry and quite a bit on logistics and technical aspect of dealing with concert pianos and piano artists. It's worth watching for those interested in the life of a top piano tech.

Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci
#2043844 - 03/06/13 09:35 AM Re: Pianomania documentary [Re: Euan Morrison]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 391
Brad Hoehne Offline
Full Member
Brad Hoehne  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 391
I was browsing through NetFlix last night and ran across Pianomania, which I enjoyed very much as it expressed a great love for the beauty and nuances of the piano sound. Piano tech Stefan was a delight to meet. He seemed creative, passionate, resourceful, funny, and looked a bit like a younger brother of Garrison Keillor.

I didn't find the film dry at all, and there were several times when I laughed out loud. It's hard not to get sucked into the passionate enthusiasm with which these artists and technicians pursue the smallest detail of their work. (I was reminded of documentaries I'd seen about Glenn Gould.) I thought it was particularly funny when Stefan made a phone call to look for someone "important" to give weight to his request to scrounge up some movers at a late hour drag out piano #780 from the basement at Pierre's last minute request. Polite by nature, he didn't want to impose too much on anyone, but he had to get this one small task accomplished, so he enlisted "inside help." Brilliant.

Regarding the central theme of the film, I remember a few clear instances when the changes and tweaks he made to the pianos sang out to me. First, when Stefan was installing the sound reflectors on top of the piano and testing out how the higher register sound projected into the hall, the difference between the sound with and without a reflector as it died away in the room was clear. Second, when working Alfred Brendel, they seemed to run into a number of notes that were slightly "deader" than others. (This calls to mind another funny moment when Stefan walks towards the camera to leave Brendel alone with a freshly tuned piano, takes about five steps while Brendel plays, and then turns right back around again to fix something they both have clearly heard.) Most of what was done for Brendel in evening out the tone was fairly clear to me.

However, the documentary or my system streaming a video through NetFlix, it seems, did not readily allow me to hear most of the changes that Stefan was making. Perhaps somewhere in the chain of recording, digitizing, compressing, streaming, and filtering sound through my fairly good( though hardly superlative) sound system's speakers, something was lost. Because of this, the film gave me the impression (perhaps untrue) that these artists are living in a realm of subtlety and nuance that most of us will never- or are, indeed, unable- to hear. Or am I just insensitive?

Would the changes be clearer standing at the side of the piano? Or are these artists pushing for a tonal balance so refined that only they can appreciate it. In other words, are the sonic nuances in the recordings they make only really able to appreciated by those at their own level of mastery?

However, I wondered if what Stefan was doing was working as much on the minds of his pianist customers as he was on the pianos themselves. That he would be able to make, say, Steinway #245 more "chorus-like" or more "clavichord-like" with a little tweaking and voicing seems to me the most ephemeral of ideas. Since the changes were so subtle, I suspected, while watching, that much of his job was one of salesmanship- that is, one of convincing his charges that the piano was, indeed, as they liked it.

I wondered, too, about the amount of work and people involved in making a classical piano recording. Classical music (indeed music in general these days), does not sell all that well. With so much involved in getting all the nuances right, and the obvious costs involved in paying the technicians, for the hall, and in renting, moving, and servicing the instrument, I wonder how likely it is for the record label to break even on such an endeavor.

Last edited by Brad Hoehne; 03/06/13 10:34 AM.

1999 Petrof 125-111 (upright)
Casio Privia PX-330

Currently working on:
Chopin Etude op 25 #2 and op 10 #5
Schubert Op 90 #2, #3
Playing by ear and "filling out" pop tunes

Moderated by  BB Player, casinitaly 

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)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
PianoTeq 6 Out now
Pierce Piano Atlas

New Topics - Multiple Forums
Silly question, perhaps, but ..
by pianopi. 12/16/17 02:02 PM
No piano lessons
by Wayne2467. 12/16/17 12:34 PM
New Old Songs . . . .
by peterws. 12/16/17 11:05 AM
Dexibell Vivo H1
by clothearednincompo. 12/16/17 10:09 AM
Legnica piano for £50
by Honkytonkman. 12/16/17 09:36 AM
Forum Statistics
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
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