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Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
piqué #2804495 01/20/19 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by piqué


Hahahahaha! That is absolutely hilarious.


Wow, a visitor from the past! Grand Obsession is on my list of books to read. What a story and what an accomplishment, not only with regards to the piano but writing the memoir in a novel! Some of us newer PW members would love to have you around some more!


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Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
pianoloverus #2804502 01/20/19 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by piqué
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There was something puzzling about this book. IF I remember correctly the key to getting the sound the author liked was the "Schubert tuning" used by the technician that prepped the piano for the dealer. If that's the case, why wasn't that brought up by the technician or the dealer as soon as the author found she didn't like the sound of the piano anymore because it sounded different from the sound in the showroom? Why was it necessary to send the original tech all the way from NYC to the author's home? It seems like the tech could have just told the next tuner to use that tuning and saved a lot time and grief.
Hahahahaha! That is absolutely hilarious.
Did I remember things incorrectly? What do you mean?


If anybody had known any of that at the beginning of my journey of course there would have been no problem--And no book.

But what is funny is the idea that there is something really called the Schubert concert tuning that the dealer or any tech would know about. As I think was pretty clear in the book, it was just something that Marc made up. I think you've forgotten most of what the story is about. smile


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Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
sue_deutscher #2804503 01/20/19 08:25 PM
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Oh i drop in once in a while. smile What inspired a visit this time is a very old friend of mine--someone i go back 30 years with--is in the midst of a piano search and she mentioned she's been hanging out here. Just trying to snoop on her. wink


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Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
piqué #2804506 01/20/19 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by piqué


If anybody had known any of that at the beginning of my journey of course there would have been no problem--And no book.

But what is funny is the idea that there is something really called the Schubert concert tuning that the dealer or any tech would know about. As I think was pretty clear in the book, it was just something that Marc made up. I think you've forgotten most of what the story is about. smile
What do you mean by he made it up? He just made up the name for a special tuning he used or it was an historical tuning or? In either case it seems like he could have told that to a tech in your area who could have duplicated the tuning. I was at a presentation you and Marc did at Beethoven pianos and I believe he referred to it as a Schubert tuning.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 01/20/19 08:41 PM.
Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
sue_deutscher #2804513 01/20/19 08:55 PM
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count myself among the many readers who found Grand Obsession informative and entertaining. quite a feat of non fiction in a specialized realm, made very accessible and vivid. the notion of 'schubert tuning' has intrigued me since. the tuner who worked on our vintage (pre-aeolian) mason & hamlin tunes solely by ear, not devices, and it's among the most colorful equal temperament tunings in my limited experience. schubert strikes me as potentially benefitting from a temperament that enhances his constant modulations. peace + namaste, Ms.Knize

Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
sue_deutscher #2804518 01/20/19 09:20 PM
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I absolutely loved the book and I cannot believe I am getting to actually "meet" you.

Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
sue_deutscher #2804620 01/21/19 08:36 AM
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You just never know who will be dropping by PW!



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Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
pianoloverus #2804701 01/21/19 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by piqué


If anybody had known any of that at the beginning of my journey of course there would have been no problem--And no book.

But what is funny is the idea that there is something really called the Schubert concert tuning that the dealer or any tech would know about. As I think was pretty clear in the book, it was just something that Marc made up. I think you've forgotten most of what the story is about. smile
What do you mean by he made it up? He just made up the name for a special tuning he used or it was an historical tuning or? In either case it seems like he could have told that to a tech in your area who could have duplicated the tuning. I was at a presentation you and Marc did at Beethoven pianos and I believe he referred to it as a Schubert tuning.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by piqué


If anybody had known any of that at the beginning of my journey of course there would have been no problem--And no book.

But what is funny is the idea that there is something really called the Schubert concert tuning that the dealer or any tech would know about. As I think was pretty clear in the book, it was just something that Marc made up. I think you've forgotten most of what the story is about. smile
What do you mean by he made it up? He just made up the name for a special tuning he used or it was an historical tuning or? In either case it seems like he could have told that to a tech in your area who could have duplicated the tuning. I was at a presentation you and Marc did at Beethoven pianos and I believe he referred to it as a Schubert tuning.


That's what we called it. But it's just a tuning Marc created for me when I told him I thought my piano would be perfect for Schubert. How on earth would he communicate to another tech what that was? It's something that only exists in his ear, in mine, and in the ears of the very few people who have actually heard it on my piano. It's not like he or Carl could have called up the local tech and said "Just put a Schubert concert tuning on it." That's what's so hilarious about your post. And none of had a clue which thing it was that made that piano special for me. None of us. It was a long process of discovery.

Your comment seems to suggest you didn't really read the book or you would know this.


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Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey
Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
nancyde #2804703 01/21/19 01:34 PM
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Thank you, Nancy! Glad you liked it!


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Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey
Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
huaidongxi #2804706 01/21/19 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
count myself among the many readers who found Grand Obsession informative and entertaining. quite a feat of non fiction in a specialized realm, made very accessible and vivid. the notion of 'schubert tuning' has intrigued me since. the tuner who worked on our vintage (pre-aeolian) mason & hamlin tunes solely by ear, not devices, and it's among the most colorful equal temperament tunings in my limited experience. schubert strikes me as potentially benefitting from a temperament that enhances his constant modulations. peace + namaste, Ms.Knize



Thanks so much for your kind words.

Marc came out to visit me for a week nearly 2 years ago, worked on the piano nearly every day, refined and refined the tuning, and then we threw a piano party for local musicians and music lovers. We wondered--will anyone else hear what we hear? Will it affect them the way it affects us? It was a kind of experiment. There were non musicians at the party, too, and my husband, who is nearly deaf.

EVERYONE heard it, immediately. An opera singer who studied in Berlin said to Marc: "thank you for ruining for me every other piano I will ever hear for the rest of my life." A trio that was in town to perform rehearsed on the piano the rest of the next day. The pianist couldnt tear herself away from it. Everyone in that room--including my husband--was struck and mystified by what they were hearing.

I asked Marc to explain what we were experiencing--What I called, in the book, "The Marlene Experience"-- He said what we experienced is "vibrational coherence."

Now we know it is real, and not subjective. It is a matter of art and physics.
And I personally do not know of any other techs who know how to do this to a piano. Though there may be, certainly. But most techs think there is only one way to tune a piano, so I have my doubts.


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Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey
Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
piqué #2804708 01/21/19 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by piqué
Marc came out to visit me for a week nearly 2 years ago, worked on the piano nearly every day...

So Marlene is still well! One often wonders when reading a first-person account, what happens to the characters after the book ends? How does their later life go? And Marlene is certainly a character in your book smile


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Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
sue_deutscher #2804710 01/21/19 02:02 PM
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I'd say the piano is in her prime now. The first day of Marc's visit, he said, "I'm madly in love with your piano."


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Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey
Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
sue_deutscher #2804711 01/21/19 02:03 PM
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We've talked about him coming out again this year. Very much up in the air at the moment.


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Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
sue_deutscher #2804748 01/21/19 04:11 PM
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I loved reading the book during my (re)introduction to piano a couple of years ago as a very-adult (re)beginner. It provided my introduction to some of the nuances that go in to making one piano sound different from another. This led me on to a lot more reading and learning, enriching my search for my own piano. Thanks, Author, for telling your story!


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Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
sue_deutscher #2805221 01/22/19 09:12 PM
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I just finished the book and enjoyed it very much. I'm very much a beginner and could hardly believe the journey the author went through. In fact, as i worked through the book I was not only fascinated but almost paranoid to shop for a grand piano for fear that I'd never duplicate a tone i settled on once the piano left the store!. But, in truth, I've found some of the insights in this book actually helpful and the story has made me look and listen in a new way as I shop. It's actually inspired me to play as many pianos as i can until i find the right one for me and not settle. So, in that sense the book has helped make my experiences piano shopping more fun and allowed me to be more patient and enjoy the journey.

Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
piqué #2805255 01/22/19 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by piqué
I'd say the piano is in her prime now. The first day of Marc's visit, he said, "I'm madly in love with your piano."

That's so great! It's good to know that the "main character" of your book is still doing so well!


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"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
piqué #2805382 01/23/19 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by piqué
That's what we called it. But it's just a tuning Marc created for me when I told him I thought my piano would be perfect for Schubert. How on earth would he communicate to another tech what that was? It's something that only exists in his ear, in mine, and in the ears of the very few people who have actually heard it on my piano. It's not like he or Carl could have called up the local tech and said "Just put a Schubert concert tuning on it." That's what's so hilarious about your post. And none of had a clue which thing it was that made that piano special for me. None of us. It was a long process of discovery.

Your comment seems to suggest you didn't really read the book or you would know this.
I certainly read the book but that was a long time ago and the presentation at Beethoven Pianos with you and Marc was also a long time ago. But I have some other questions/comments:
1. Can't any tuning be described accurately in words(maybe not words that a layman would understand but that a tech would understand) or even more precisely by using one of those electronic tuners to exactly record how each note is tuned?
2. Was the piano tuned with the special tuning when you first played it in the showroom?
3. If this tuning is superior does Marc tune all his pianos this way or is this just a tuning that you personally prefer? Have any other techs adopted this tuning approach?
4. If the tuning was unusual and special, it would seem like that would be the first thing that Marc would have thought of in terms of what made the piano sound so special for you. It seems like the only other thing would be the inherent sound of the make you bought but that would have meant that any good tuner who tuned the piano is the standard way could have made the piano sound the way you liked it.

Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
sue_deutscher #2860392 06/19/19 11:00 AM
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Currently I am a little better than halfway through the book and enjoying it quite a bit. For a non-tech I am impressed with the author's highly accurate descriptions of piano technical matters (about 98%). As I am not only a 40 plus year piano technician, I am also a musician. I have been able to identify (often with tears) a number of her experiences noted in the book.

As I was reading through this thread I said to myseif: "I'll bet this guy simply made it up (the tuning) to affect her emotionally. He seems like quite a character, one that obviously knows his stuff and does it well. I agree with much of what (virtually all) he is quoted as saying. It is true that the piano is always changing and maturing just like a person. However, it is also possible that he is applying a slight alteration of equal temperament that mimics some of the qualities of "well temperament" theory and practice. If done intelligently (as in Bill Bremmer's EBVT) a sensitive pianist will react to this (not realizing that it is not ET) very pleasantly because the music they are playing was composed with this in mind.

I have changed over to tuning this style almost universally as well as tuning my own piano this way. It could accurately be referred to as a "Schubert" tuning since it is constructed to enhance the simpler keys and put a "shimmer" into the more remote keys, but not so much as to shock someone used to equal temperament. I used to reserve this for my classical only clients but have found that it makes all pianos sound better, can only be done properly by ear (different on each piano), and SOMEHOW seen a to improve the resonance overall.

I am impressed with Perri's writing style and technical comprehension. I personally know some of the people mentioned in the book, including Lucien Hut from whom I learned many years ago about the fact that a person's bone (and particularly skull) structure has a big impact on how they are affected by the vibrational energy in a piano, and why a sensitive pianist can be repulsed by one instrument and fall in love with another. It is truly vibrational. Yes. I had an A3 that affected me that way.

Good book tech or no tech.

Pwg


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Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
P W Grey #2860395 06/19/19 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
I am impressed with Perri's writing style and technical comprehension.

I just corresponded with Perri by email a few days ago. She seems like a wonderful person!


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize (a book)
sue_deutscher #2860416 06/19/19 11:50 AM
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PW Grey
Tyrone just alerted me to your post. Thank you for your positive comments--very high praise from someone such as yourself. I had no idea Lucien knew about such things or I would have sought him out for an interview. A very interesting man! I won't spoil the rest of the book for you but the answers to your suppositions lie within smile


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