Have to share my latest visit to Chicago. This time I visited Grand Piano Haus in Skokie, a suburb just to the north of Chicago.
What a wonderful time I had. I have to put in a plug. I was given all the time I wanted with the pianos, which I spent mainly on 5 grands. It was a chance to really burrow in and relate to each of these pianos. There are several display rooms so I could close a door and play without bothering anyone (I hope).
My objective was to play more Bosies. There was a 200 and a 185. A 214 had just arrived but was still in the crate. It was the 200 that I was most interested in anyway. To put it mildly, it lived up to my expectation of an intimate Bosie sound matched to a responsive, even action. For me, the 185, while in the Bosendorfer lineage, did not come close to the sweet spot, tone and action wise, of the 200. Here's hoping my ship comes in someday.
I discovered this was the same 200 that Valentina Lisitsa played a month or so ago so that added something to the experience for sure.
My next stop was the other piano she played, the Steingraeber 232. What an instrument! Several years ago I played a 272 and a 170. Both were glorious, but the 170 was unbelievable for a sub 6' piano. The 232 I liked even more than the 272, but it was very well prepped.
There's no doubt the Steingraeber is a concert piano made for the stage. Even the 232 "chamber" grand is meant for the stage. And it is just full of colors. IMO there is no other piano with such a color palate to play with. But for the living room, the more intimate Bosie 200 is better. Again of course, my opinion.
The last two pianos were a complete surprise. Yamaha CX's. I've always appreciated Yamaha actions. Not always the tonal character. But these are different. These are by no means in the Bosendorfer lineage, but I'd say Yamaha has gone to school on Bosendorfer. The tone is rounder and purer. It is coupled with an action that is smooth and sensitive and responsive. I think Yamaha has clear winners here. I played the c3x and c6x. Both have wonderful actions. The c6x obviously has the bass and it is a pure, tight, timpani bass. In the thread on cx pianos I commented the c6x is to me a benchmark piano for the price. If you like the tone, I think it is hard to beat for the price.
I'd like to thank Jeff Tasch and Fritz Tasch, of GP Haus, for a very special day.
Thank you so much for your kind words. And I'm so sorry for the delay in my response; Iâ€™ve been extremely busy lately.
When you last visited us, we actually had a BÃ¶sendorfer model 225 in a crate, not a 214. I even made a video of un-crating and setting up the 225SP. Once I finish time compressing, editing and rendering the video, I plan to post it on our website & YouTube. You are more than welcome to come back any time to play it!
Regarding the Steingraeber pianos, yes, I agree that they are amazing pianos. Everyone that touches them is in awe. The tone and touch are like no other piano. In a few months I plan to have the new B192 6â€™ 3â€ and a C212 Phoenix 7â€™. (For those interested in auditioning them, please visit our home page and provide your email. We will send out an email blast when these Steingraebers arrive.)
Going back to the subject of BÃ¶sendorfers, I must tell you that my father, Fritz, is invited by the BÃ¶sendorfer Pianofabrik GmbH to attend the 14th International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna, Austria. So next month, he will be attending the IBP Competition. The competition is held every four years at the Wiener Musikverein (Viennese Concert Hall). It will be so exciting for him to witness the winner of the 2013 IBP Competition.
Please visit this link to learn more:http://www.mdw.ac.at/beethoven-competition/en/
Also during his visit to Wiener Neustadt next month, I gave him my blessing to select a new BÃ¶sendorfer model 214 Limited edition Beethoven grand piano. Only 32 will be produced, one for each of Beethovenâ€™s Piano Sonatas. BÃ¶sendorfer plans on making them in case sizes 200 & 214 only. The Limited Beethoven edition will have an individually numbered plate with L.V. Beethovenâ€™s signature and a facsimile of the original â€œMoolightâ€ sonata manuscript located on the underside of the lid.
At some point later this year, we also plan to have the winner of the 14th International Beethoven Piano Competition at our store for a private gathering. If you are interested please visit our home page and simply provide us your email address.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.