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August Forster in The Pianist?? #230010
04/19/05 06:39 PM
04/19/05 06:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 420
Virginia
klavierspielerin Offline OP
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klavierspielerin  Offline OP
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Virginia
I haven't seen the film yet, but I just read that a Forster piano was used in the film. Has anyone else heard this? If that's true, then I need to check this out. eek


"Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory."

"A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become." --W.H. Auden
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Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230011
04/19/05 09:36 PM
04/19/05 09:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 237
Chicagoland, IL, USA
Oleander Offline
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Chicagoland, IL, USA
Yes. I believe I remember the piano Brody played in the film was indeed an August Förster.

Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230012
04/19/05 09:37 PM
04/19/05 09:37 PM
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Posts: 276
McFarland, WI 53558
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Bachsky Offline
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I have seen the movie and I was quite sure I could read "Forster" on the fall-board of one of the pianos used near the end of the movie. It appeared to be a vintage instrument appropriate to the historical time. However, I don't believe we are hearing the same piano in the soundtrack that visualy appears on the screen.

It is an exceptional story and an exceptional film. I first saw it in the cinema and then purchased the DVD. It took me many months before I could bring myself to watch it at home. Much of the story parallels "Schindler's List."

I would be very interested in knowing more of the details on the manufacturers of the pianos used in the filming and the instruments used in the soundtrack. Part of the "magic" of the movies is the assumptions we make about what we are experiencing at the time of the viewing. If the film is well done (and this one most certainly is) then we are not so conscious of the details that we become curious about after the fact.

I remember reading that the actor's hands were actually filmed playing for some of the scenes even though most of the sountrack was "dubbed in" by a concert artist.

Again, more factual information on this topic would be of interest.


1904 Henry F. Miller Concert Grand * 2002 Estonia 190 Satin Bubinga * 2008 Schulze-Pohlman vertical 125 polished cherrywood peacock design * 2008 Schoenhut minature grand (49 keys) * 2008 Roland Digital Harpsichord, 2010 Roland FP-4 (88 key slab).
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230013
04/20/05 06:40 AM
04/20/05 06:40 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 698
Dallas, TX
WynnBear Offline
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WynnBear  Offline
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Dallas, TX
I recall that when the family was forced to sell his own piano, it was a Bechstein.


Wynne
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230014
04/20/05 09:36 AM
04/20/05 09:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 420
Virginia
klavierspielerin Offline OP
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klavierspielerin  Offline OP
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Virginia
Hmm....all very interesting!


"Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory."

"A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become." --W.H. Auden
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230015
04/20/05 11:16 AM
04/20/05 11:16 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 262
Leipzig, Germany
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Jens Schlosser Offline
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Leipzig, Germany
There were several pianos used in the film. The piano in the recording studio quite at the end of the movie is indeed an August Förster, which can be read on the fallboard. The (probably) most famous scene of the movie where the pianist plays for the german commander in a burnt out villa after not having touched a piano for several months or years features another piano, which is not an August Förster.

I have seen this piano. It is in a nice piano store in Berlin / Germany who provided it for the movie. The name of the store is "Die Klavieretage" in case someone wants to visit this place. I think it was a 7 foot piano (or slightly shorter than that) but I forgot which brand it was. It was not one of the very famous brands like Bechstein, Steinway, Blüthner, Förster and the like. I believe it was one of the lesser known german brands. Maybe it was a Duysen or Perzina but I'm not really sure anymore. The owner of the store seemde to have been very poud that his piano was used in the movie and he said that it is not for sale anymore (as it used to be before it was selected for the movie). He said it is also the piano that we hear in this scene.

If it is interesting for you I could call the store and ask what it is.

Best regards,
Jens

Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230016
04/20/05 12:22 PM
04/20/05 12:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 7
California
musicfan Offline
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musicfan  Offline
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California
In my research for a piano I read "The Piano Book" from cover to cover. That's were I learned of the August Forster. It is completely made by hand in Lobau Germany. The town resides in what was Eastern Germany and so has not been well know to much of the western world until the fall of the wall. It peaked my interest because it is spelled the same way that my father in law spelled his name prior to imigrating. Their family came from East Germany, migrated into Russia and then came to the US at the turn of the century. Their son americanized it to Fairshter upon arrival because that was how the pronounciation sounded.
Anyway, if you want to know more please see Alex Hernandez at Classical Grands in Seattle, Washington. He can tell you all you want plus show you pictures of the family (still running the company) and the factory.
He can also sell you one too. It took me almost two years to visit him and it was worth it.

Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230017
04/20/05 01:23 PM
04/20/05 01:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 420
Virginia
klavierspielerin Offline OP
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klavierspielerin  Offline OP
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Virginia
Thanks musicfan. But I've pretty well already lined up a dealer. I visited earlier this year, and now I'm obsessed with AF. That's why I was so surprised that an appearance in a film (even if it's not the actually piano played) passed me by!

BTW, has anyone noticed if they ever put piano names in the music section of credits? Or under "special thanks"? I don't think I've ever bothered to look. I know there was a discussion about the lack of piano maker recognition on CDs and LPs, but what about films?


"Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory."

"A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become." --W.H. Auden
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230018
04/20/05 01:39 PM
04/20/05 01:39 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,918
idaho
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teachum Offline
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Joined: May 2004
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idaho
They should put the names, especially on cd's. Drives me nuts!


You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

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Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230019
04/20/05 03:08 PM
04/20/05 03:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,054
NY
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jon-nyc Offline
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NY
Quote
Originally posted by klavierspielerin:
BTW, has anyone noticed if they ever put piano names in the music section of credits? Or under "special thanks"? I don't think I've ever bothered to look. I know there was a discussion about the lack of piano maker recognition on CDs and LPs, but what about films?
I think they figure the product placement is thanks enough.

Its frustrating for us piano folks, though.


If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230020
04/20/05 05:15 PM
04/20/05 05:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 420
Virginia
klavierspielerin Offline OP
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Virginia
Well, sometimes they try hard not to let the name on the fallboard or on the side of the piano show. I was thinking particularly of Legend of 1900. But I haven't seen the film in awhile...

Anyways, I guess it's kinda like seeing a Pepsi bottle in a scene, huh?


"Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory."

"A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become." --W.H. Auden
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230021
04/20/05 10:45 PM
04/20/05 10:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 912
Oregon
Jeff135 Offline
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Jeff135  Offline
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Oregon
The piano at the end is a Steinway and Sons, the one used in the Grand Polonaise.


The clown is watching you.
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230022
04/21/05 06:36 AM
04/21/05 06:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 15
Montreal
ChopChop Offline
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ChopChop  Offline
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Posts: 15
Montreal
I was just about to post something along the lines of what Jeff135 said. I have a promotional brochure of Steinway & Sons and it does have an article about all Steinways used for Hollywood movies, and the last piano in the movie "The Pianist" is said to be a Steinway. They even have a picture of Adrien Brody (the actor) besides that little article, which of course caught my attention.

Since I don't have the DVD at hand, I was wondering how accurate is the statement that a few people make about the name being something else? I don't pretend to know what the truth is, but obviously it cannot be both an August Förster AND a Steinway, can it? wink

Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230023
04/21/05 07:32 AM
04/21/05 07:32 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 912
Oregon
Jeff135 Offline
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Jeff135  Offline
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Oregon
I think the August Forster could have been the piano used for the Nocturne he plyaed right before. All I know is tha S & S's Logo caught my eye so that's why I remember.


The clown is watching you.
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230024
04/21/05 02:19 PM
04/21/05 02:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 20
Munich
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braunegger Offline
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Munich
I recall people saying that August Förster was kind of the Steinway behind the iron curtain, found in most concert halls in DDR (GDR) and Poland. Right? So its use in the movie would have been very authentic.

Dieter.

Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230025
04/21/05 02:48 PM
04/21/05 02:48 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 797
port washington, ny, us
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pete Offline
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port washington, ny, us
I thought it was a great movie. Too bad the director is a convicted child molester.

Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230026
04/21/05 07:08 PM
04/21/05 07:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 61
USA-Russia-France
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Baron de Cardenale Offline
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USA-Russia-France
I have a DVD with the movie at home, but never actually looked at what piano brands Brody was playing in it. I just remember for sure that the piano played at abandoned building for a German commander was vintage "Bluthner" - I remember seeing the name on the fallboard clearly. One of my friend has a Bluthner just like that one used in that scene.

Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230027
04/21/05 07:10 PM
04/21/05 07:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 61
USA-Russia-France
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Baron de Cardenale Offline
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USA-Russia-France
I have a DVD with the movie at home, but never actually looked at what piano brands Brody was playing in it. I just remember for sure that the piano played at abandoned building for a German commander was vintage "Bluthner" - I remember seeing the name on the fallboard clearly. One of my friend has a Bluthner just like that one used in that scene.

Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230028
04/23/05 07:38 AM
04/23/05 07:38 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 736
Charlottesville Virginia
hgiles Offline
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Charlottesville Virginia
after the war and Szpielman's resurgence.
AF - used in the radio studio
S&S - used on the concert stage

I just watched the movie again last night, but I couldn't make out the Bluthner.


Haywood
-------------
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230029
04/24/05 05:24 AM
04/24/05 05:24 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,010
NM, GE & Wash. DC
JPM Offline
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NM, GE & Wash. DC
There were a number of different pianos used in the film. The piano in the scene that has Szpielman (Brody) at home doodling on the family piano is a C. Bechstein.

The fallboard name does not appear distinctly but, if you look closely, I think you can make out "Bechstein". The "sunburst" music desk also strongly suggests the piano maker. It matches the style Bechstein used during the period. Less obvious clues are the shape of the fallboard, the shape of front edge of the plate (seen between the music desk and top of fallboard), and the profile of the keyslip and cheek. The piano "feels" like a Bechstein.

JP

[Linked Image]


"Piano music should only be written for the Bechstein."
-- Claude Debussy
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230030
04/24/05 06:14 AM
04/24/05 06:14 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 171
Sydney, Australia - Cologne, G...
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Hannibal Offline
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JPM:

You're right, it's a C.Bechstein. If you mark the picture, it's brightened up a bit and one can read the name on the fallboard quite clearly.


Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.
Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230031
04/24/05 06:21 AM
04/24/05 06:21 AM
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Posts: 180
Spain
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Nice clues, but I think the definitive one in this case is the following scene of the film to this one, where the family has to sell the piano to the only purchaser they can find who's taking advantage of the situation offering a ridiculous amount, to what the sister answers something like "but but... it is a BECHSTEIN"

Re: August Forster in The Pianist?? #230032
04/24/05 07:26 AM
04/24/05 07:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 420
Virginia
klavierspielerin Offline OP
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Virginia
I can definitely see Bechstein on the fallboard. Nice detective work, everyone! laugh


"Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory."

"A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become." --W.H. Auden

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