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Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: BerndAB] #2166514
10/15/13 05:39 AM
10/15/13 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by BerndAB

See and Like the picture of Rich G - it is a "White Elephant of Steinway's Technical History."

Early 1875...

The capstan screw was invented...


I love the pianos of the early to mid-1870's from Steinway because they are different almost piano to piano. There were so many choices and experiments made - it is like discovering a new piano each time.

Quote
and if you see this plate and if you are able to compare this plate with the Centennial one, you can smell the sweat of their steady work.. : They tried and they calculated, and they changed the plate design, they could do so because Theo had his Flame New Foundry in Queens... , a very special kindergarden playground ... for a technician and engineer.


Yes, I wish we could have seen the pianos from those years as they were being produced.



Quote
And they put it to the Centennial Fair Philadelphia on stage.

And, voila: it then was evaluated as the ever best piano produced until summer 1876.


Well, not exactly. There was the whole bribing the judge thing at that competition. It was press fodder for many weeks and it is well explained in either "Steinway & Sons" or "The Steinway Saga", both published around 1995.

I wonder though if S&S would have won without that bribe? I think they certainly could have, even up against the established Chickering company. In retrospect, a different decision could have easily changed piano history.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Rich Galassini] #2167435
10/16/13 09:31 PM
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Well, not exactly. There was the whole bribing the judge thing at that competition. It was press fodder for many weeks and it is well explained in either "Steinway & Sons" or "The Steinway Saga", both published around 1995.

I wonder though if S&S would have won without that bribe? I think they certainly could have, even up against the established Chickering company. In retrospect, a different decision could have easily changed piano history.


Hi Rich,

While both books you cited make a number of startling conclusions given some fairly sketchy gossip, "The Steinway Saga" does not offer any clear proof that Steinway bribed any judges and the so called scandal could just as easily have been part of an extortion plot against Steinway. Whatever the case, Steinway won the judges' vote (there were no legal trials, civil or crimininal, no proof or evidence brought before a jury) and that's pretty much the end of the story.

Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Mike Carr] #2167445
10/16/13 10:34 PM
10/16/13 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr

While both books you cited make a number of startling conclusions given some fairly sketchy gossip, "The Steinway Saga" does not offer any clear proof that Steinway bribed any judges and the so called scandal could just as easily have been part of an extortion plot against Steinway. Whatever the case, Steinway won the judges' vote (there were no legal trials, civil or crimininal, no proof or evidence brought before a jury) and that's pretty much the end of the story.

Mike


Hi Mike,

You might want to reread that book and check the footnotes for their source. Sketchy gossip? smile


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
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Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Rich Galassini] #2167449
10/16/13 10:57 PM
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You might want to reread that book and check the footnotes for their source. Sketchy gossip?


Hey Rich,

You might want to glance at the bottom of the pages in "The Steinway Saga" and tell me if you see any footnotes(it's often very tiny writing). While you're working on that you might also explain what Fostle wrote that led to your assertions that Steinway bribed judges. My guess is that you are either misinterpreting or simply don't understand his analysis (such as it is).

Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Mike Carr] #2167625
10/17/13 08:18 AM
10/17/13 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr
Hey Rich,

You might want to glance at the bottom of the pages in "The Steinway Saga" and tell me if you see any footnotes(it's often very tiny writing). While you're working on that you might also explain what Fostle wrote that led to your assertions that Steinway bribed judges. My guess is that you are either misinterpreting or simply don't understand his analysis (such as it is).

Mike


OK Mike,

This is taken from footnotes on pg. 322 of "Steinway & Sons" by Lieberman:

"On the $1,000.00 paid to Boscovitz [a judge], the resulting bad press, and William Steinway's response, see William Steinway's Diary, 9 June, 16, 17, 19, 20 July, 1 Aug., 11Sept. 1876"

It also lists "New York Herald" 16 July 1876.

Further, James Barron, who wrote "The Piano" in 2007 based on the making of a Steinway Grand Piano dedicates 4 pages to this event. Barron was allowed access to the factory, interviewed many personnel, and refers to Lieberman as a "Steinway Biographer".

It is there if you care to look for it.

Given, this does not mean that it isn't all rumor, Mike. There are those who deny some very well documented historic events simply because they believe they did not happen or it supports their particular agenda.

I am not sure why a man would write about something in his personal diary that never happened though.

To be clear, I think that Steinway was building the finest American piano at the time, and certainly one of the best in the world. My original comment:

Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
I wonder though if S&S would have won without that bribe? I think they certainly could have, even up against the established Chickering company. In retrospect, a different decision could have easily changed piano history.


was meant to make us think about what might have been. Chickering was the giant of the industry at the time, with Weber taking a big percentage of local NY area business.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Rich Galassini] #2167709
10/17/13 12:40 PM
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Hi Rich,

We were talking about “The Steinway Saga”. You told me to reread “that book” and look at the footnotes. Have you found the footnotes yet?

Since you cited “The Steinway Saga” as one of the proofs of your accusations of Steinway bribing judges, I’ll ask again, what did Fostle write that compelled you, in effect, to start spreading rumor and innuendo as fact?

As far as Lieberman’s footnote, "On the $1,000.00 paid to Boscovitz [a judge], the resulting bad press . . .” Professor Friedrich Boskowitz was not a judge at that event. He was hired by Steinway to play their pianos.

“Given, this does not mean that it isn't all rumor, Mike.” Now we are getting somewhere (finally). Since you agree that this could all be rumor, why not then preface some of your “facts” ("bribing the judge thing" . . . "I wonder though if S&S would have won without that bribe?") with “according to rumor”?


Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Hedahl] #2167721
10/17/13 01:06 PM
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Actually, Mike, as you quote the original post at issue here, it says "it is well explained in either 'Steinway & Sons' or 'The Steinway Saga', both published around 1995."

Citations were supplied to "Steinway & Sons." This surely meets the "either/or" language of the original post.

Not sure whether it makes a difference in which book the information appears or why it matters to you so much. This is an informal blog, not a scholarly journal article.

Last edited by Rank Piano Amateur; 10/17/13 01:06 PM.
Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Rank Piano Amateur] #2167750
10/17/13 02:27 PM
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Hi RPA,

The truth should be important to anyone, whether it's on an informal blog, as you charachterized PW, or in a scholarly work.

Rich, after he told me to reread the Steinway Saga and consider the footnotes (I'm still looking for them) offers footnotes from another book (Lieberman's) that refers to money given to a man reffered to as a judge who was not a judge at the event in question.

What is that proof of other than Lieberman's accuracy is as questionable as Rich's. Why is Rich shying away from "The Steinway Saga"? He's used it and its "footnotes" in the past to bolster his Steinway, er,"facts".

And while Piano World, in your estimation, may be an informal blog, neither you nor Rich are teenagers and should take the truth seriously without quibling or enabling one another, especially when Rich is talking about his competition.

I guess I'm just going to have to settle for Rich's, "Given, this does not mean that it isn't all rumor, Mike."

Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Mike Carr] #2167787
10/17/13 04:01 PM
10/17/13 04:01 PM
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Aahh, I have so missed you Mike Carr. smile

Originally Posted by Mike Carr

We were talking about “The Steinway Saga”. You told me to reread “that book” and look at the footnotes. Have you found the footnotes yet?


Actually I was talking about 2 books. You chose to talk about one of them and I responded quickly without double checking which book was which. Semantics.

For those not familiar, both books have great footnotes. "Steinway & Sons" has them on this issue, "The Steinway Saga" does not... Mike knew that.

Quote
Since you cited “The Steinway Saga” as one of the proofs of your accusations of Steinway bribing judges, I’ll ask again, what did Fostle write that compelled you, in effect, to start spreading rumor and innuendo as fact?


Yes Mike, "The Steinway Saga" does not have footnotes on this issue.

Quote
As far as Lieberman’s footnote, "On the $1,000.00 paid to Boscovitz [a judge], the resulting bad press . . .” Professor Friedrich Boskowitz was not a judge at that event. He was hired by Steinway to play their pianos.


The [ ] is meant to show my comment. I made an error. Boscovitz paid F.A. Kupka, who was the judge according to the sources and books I mentioned. Thank you Mike.

I will say again that none of us were there (although Mike could be old enough to have been), and it is possible that it is all rumor, but I brought up several dependable sources of the information.

You are certainly welcome to have your opinion on the subject, Mike, and you are nothing if not entertaining. smile I am looking forward to what you have to say next.




Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
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Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Mike Carr] #2167789
10/17/13 04:06 PM
10/17/13 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr
And while Piano World, in your estimation, may be an informal blog, neither you nor Rich are teenagers and should take the truth seriously without quibling or enabling one another, especially when Rich is talking about his competition.

For the sake of truthfulness and accuracy, I must point out that Steinway pianos of that era are not competition to Rich. Instruments of that era are proudly displayed and sold at Cunningham Piano Co. They are a source of income rather than lost sales to the competition.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Rich Galassini] #2168111
10/18/13 11:41 AM
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Hi Rich,

Seems a bit clumsy mislabeling Professor Boscovitz as a judge even if it did show a ready connection favoring your argument that did not exist. While I’ll admit most of my energy is conserved for rocking, I do wake up occasionally. And while I don’t mind arguing the various merits of the case, for brevity’s sake, let’s just cut to the chase.

Here’s a quote from D.W. Fostel who wrote "The Steinway Saga" one of the two books you originally cited. His words are directed to a reviewer (Ms. Eva Hoffman) who reviewed “ Steinway & Sons” by Mr. Lieberman, the second of the two books you originally cited.

“Ms. Hoffman writes that the family members ‘repeatedly bribed officials at international exhibits and competitions.’ This statement is false. In the one documented case, of which there is voluminous record unconsulted by Mr. Lieberman, it is unclear if the Steinways were enmeshed along with others in bribery or were the target of attempted extortion . . . . Your review gives wide notice to a work whose scholarship might charitably be described as questionable.”1

Obviously, Ms. Hoffman and Mr. Lieberman did not agree with the above statement and we must also take into consideration the natural animosity and bias of competitors.

The prudent man, noting that one of his “dependable sources of information” seems to be arguing with the other and offering little support for his position, would likely refrain from unqualified statements that rely on the integrity of those sources, even if it did happen nearly 140 years ago, but then I’m guessing that when it comes to Steinway you and prudent haven’t seen eye to eye for years.

Mike














1D.W. Fostel, A Steinway Story, New York Times, January 21, 1996, Letters.


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Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Hedahl] #2168127
10/18/13 12:17 PM
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As Minnesota Marty pointed out, and as I know from personal experience, Rich has a profound respect and love for Steinway pianos, which his company rebuilds to perfection.

Mike, I really think you need to lighten up a bit. Sources have been cited that may not agree, but there is no need to get so hot under the collar about the whole thing. Certainly whatever happened to Steinway all those years ago has nothing to do with Steinway today. Moreover, Rich has repeatedly demonstrated his immensely positive feelings about the pianos produced during the era under discussion. Clearly, whatever happened back then with respect to judging, etc., has had no impact on how he feels about the pianos from that era. And as he himself said, it is more than possible that Steinway would have won anyway, no matter what happened surrounding the judging.




Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Mike Carr] #2168248
10/18/13 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr
Quote
Well, not exactly. There was the whole bribing the judge thing at that competition. It was press fodder for many weeks and it is well explained in either "Steinway & Sons" or "The Steinway Saga", both published around 1995.

I wonder though if S&S would have won without that bribe? I think they certainly could have, even up against the established Chickering company. In retrospect, a different decision could have easily changed piano history.


Hi Rich,

While both books you cited make a number of startling conclusions given some fairly sketchy gossip, "The Steinway Saga" does not offer any clear proof that Steinway bribed any judges and the so called scandal could just as easily have been part of an extortion plot against Steinway. Whatever the case, Steinway won the judges' vote (there were no legal trials, civil or crimininal, no proof or evidence brought before a jury) and that's pretty much the end of the story.

Mike


I like these words written anywhere: "there was a Weber judge, and there was a Steinway judge, and there was a judge for rent".

These stories happened 137 years ago. There was no 1st 2nd 3rd place, no gold silver bronce medal, only the written judge votings existed.

The written reports were taken for the purpose of advetising, with a lot of interpretations by every manufacturer involved: to interpret that his pianos were the best. And the reports were re-written, and again re-written.

Last edited by BerndAB; 10/18/13 07:16 PM.

Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain
Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Mike Carr] #2168253
10/18/13 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr
As far as Lieberman’s footnote, "On the $1,000.00 paid to Boscovitz [a judge], the resulting bad press . . .” Professor Friedrich Boskowitz was not a judge at that event. He was hired by Steinway to play their pianos.


Right Mike.

William Steinway used Boscovitz to transport the money. So he later could assure that he never had handed out any bribing money to one of the judges.

Not William S gave money to a judge. It was Boscowitz. So it was done indirectly. If I read it right, and if it was written correctly.

Last edited by BerndAB; 10/18/13 06:57 PM.

Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain
Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Hedahl] #2168256
10/18/13 06:44 PM
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Well,

We have attained an amazing new level of absurdity in Piano Forum.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Rank Piano Amateur] #2168339
10/19/13 02:18 AM
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Hey RPA,

I’m not sure if your post is a scolding, a rebuttal, or another astonishing Cunningham/Rich infomercial.

Anyway, with Rich’s own “witness” (Fostle) impeaching him and Rich looking for footnotes that don’t exist and then making up his own that’s pretty much the end of the Steinway bribing judges story. Or is it?

Let’s go back about two years. Rich was running a promotion, some kind of recital spotlighting one of his grand pianos and I noticed he had misstated his performer’s credentials, claiming Ang Li was a 2009 Van Cliburn Finalist (a winners ranking) when she was, in fact, only a competitor.

So, when I mentioned the supersizing I got the same run around as I’m getting now, but Rich, after aknowledging the mistake, changed things to reflect the truth. In other words, he did the right thing. And I’m sure that made Van Cliburn happy and the actual winners of the 2009 competition.

Fast forward, I’m looking at the Cunningham piano web page and there it is, proud as spiked punch, Ang Li, 2009 Van Cliburn Finalist with a link to her playing a Cunningham piano or whatever on the TV.

And I get to thinking about the metaphysical implications, Rich going on about Steinway bribing judges almost 140 years ago, the Cunningham website giving a Van Cliburn winners ranking to an artist who was not a winner.

I’m sure it’s all just another misunderstanding, no big deal, those things just happen, but it’s kind of funny when you think about it, especially if you think that kind of thing is funny when you think about it.

Mike

PS

Rich, just so you know there are no hard feelings, next time you drive into the Carr Wash, I’ll see you get a free car freshener and a box of those Slims Jims you like.



smoke 'em if you got 'em
Re: WHY the HECK analyze Vintage Steinway Concert Grands ?? [Re: Hedahl] #2168396
10/19/13 07:09 AM
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My only point, Mike, was that Rich cited two sources on an either/or basis, and then briefly misspoke in specifying one source when the material he wanted to reference was in the other.

As far as I can tell, the only threat to accuracy here was that Rich specified the wrong source, an error he quickly corrected. In my view, this is not all that serious and does not warrant the kind of personal attack into which you have turned it. It probably does not warrant the kind of response I have posted to your response, either, because, let's face it, your effort to pound Rich into the ground over a citation mistake looks pretty silly. So that makes me silly too.

In a scholarly journal, such an error might be worthy of note; scholars occasionally declare World War III over things like this after a lifetime of arcane research and battles with each other in even more arcane journals that no one reads. While I do not know what you do for a living, I have no reason to think that you are among those to whom such an error is the lifeblood of their work.

Maybe this is one reason no one reads such journals! These absurd "gotchas" over errors like this just turn people off. Although I have to admit that yours often make me laugh.

Last edited by Rank Piano Amateur; 10/19/13 07:10 AM.
Re: Vintage Steinway Concert Grand [Re: Hedahl] #2168402
10/19/13 07:37 AM
10/19/13 07:37 AM
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Mike,

I know you're fighting for Truth, Justice and the American Way, but Superman needs his cape back. The nights are getting a bit chilly. smile

Besides, what is Truth? Even in the most quantifiable of tasks, absolute Truth is elusive. I've spent a career explaining to fledgling medical doctors that a glucose of 100 mg/dl is not 100...that if the test is rerun on the same sample 20 times, you may get 5 or 6 different answers...but if everything is working properly, I can assure you with approximately 99% certainty that your result is within the medical decision parameters you need to treat a patient.

Did a bribe take place in the situation being discussed? I don't know. Neither do you. But I think you have to admit, when certain evidence is considered, the optics are bad. And if there is anything Mr. Obama has taught me the last few years, optics can become Truth, even if a somewhat subjective Truth, especially when considered in light of 19th century business practices.

Anyway, this line of thought, while semi-amusing, doesn't make any difference to most of the readers of this board and over 1,000,000,000 Chinese. smile I think the essential question of this thread is whether the piano in question is worth rebuilding? And, if so, who do you hire to do the work? There are a few shops in the U.S. that the knowledgeable would trust to do the work and I feel positive that Cunningham's would be on most people's list. I've been bouncing through internet boards for over ten years, and I assure you that the complaints about Cunningham rebuilds are few and far between.

Which brings up another interesting question...Who is Steinway's biggest competitor, if not Steinway, itself? And just which is the best piano? A new Steinway? Or a total rebuild of a classic Steinway from the company's best years of production?


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Re: Vintage Steinway Concert Grand [Re: Jolly] #2168431
10/19/13 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Jolly
Besides, what is Truth?


Truth is that this thread about a vintage Steinway piano was hijacked - by several people who seem to discuss anything else (judging in 1876..., yess Sirs: very actual politics which might save mankind., bribing the judges...bad bad & evil.., Rich G's behavior in the past, Superman, Batman and Robin, The Eternal Myths of the Holy Church of The Invisible Pink Unicorn, and of course, The Holy Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, et cetera) than discuss Vintage Steinway Concert grands.

This said only to fulfil the promise to get here some further absurdities, to spread joy, fun and ideas how to spend everybody's plenty offtime, better than TV w. popcorn.

There was no Vintage Concert grand - presented by the thread opener. See one of the first postings above.

It is a Parlor Grand (7ft), no Concert Grand (9ft).

So, conclusion: "mission accomplished". Admins, Moderators to close this thread.

THX.


Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain
Re: Vintage Steinway Concert Grand [Re: Hedahl] #2168441
10/19/13 09:35 AM
10/19/13 09:35 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Minnesota Marty  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Vintage Steinway Concert Grand [Re: Hedahl] #2168553
10/19/13 01:44 PM
10/19/13 01:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,071
Georgia, USA
Not so sure what’s truth or fiction here, but how about a little less talk and a lot more action…

Thread closed…

Rickster


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