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Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
#2871535 07/22/19 04:10 PM
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Good day pianoworld.

For anyone interested in playing this Steinway model D see the link below. These are the NY /Tri-state locations but assume there may be others. I'm bringing my son to one in August...


https://www.steinway.com/news/featu...fUwu6bTAOtwxy7v0wBFrQQ6W04vyk03uF8xcbaMU

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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871552 07/22/19 04:42 PM
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Fun!
I got to tune and play CD-503 recently, when it was here in Georgia. I’m posting from a phone, so I can’t easily post images, but I was tuning another D for a two-piano concert while this was being unpacked from its dedicated flight case. The entire underside of the piano (even the unfinished parts of the legs) is covered in signatures. The action has been changed since Horowitz played it, so it doesn’t have the same characteristics as his preferred setup; however, the belly appears to be original, and the piano is quite powerful.


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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
terminaldegree #2871560 07/22/19 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
The entire underside of the piano (even the unfinished parts of the legs) is covered in signatures.
Random people or famous pianists?

Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871579 07/22/19 06:16 PM
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Random people: movers, pianists, roadies, etc.
My favorite signature under there is “Billy Deathwish”!


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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871580 07/22/19 06:16 PM
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As long as it is not signed by termites!


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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
terminaldegree #2871581 07/22/19 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree

The action has been changed since Horowitz played it, so it doesn’t have the same characteristics as his preferred setup;


I played it a few years ago when the Steinway dealer here in Chicago had it (thanks again, Andrée!) and loved the experience (still have the picture), but it was a little disappointing not to get a chance to feel the legendary Horowitz setup.

Larry.

Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871639 07/22/19 10:01 PM
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There were many differing Horowitz "setups" over the years. At one time the action had jiffy weights on the backs of the keys in addition to the usual front weighting. Franz Mohr told me he did this so Horowitz would notice less change to the feel when he replaced the hammers. Needless to say, this is not a good approach.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871647 07/22/19 10:42 PM
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Sheesh people...


If anyone has been a band roadie, one would know shlepping amps, monitors, drum kids etc etc knows the hard work it takes to set up for a gig.

Imagine shlepping a Steinway model D around and getting it set up from location to location and sounding just right to perform at a high level...

I'm just looking forward to seeing my kid play an iconic instrument in person, feel free to do the same or move on...


SMH

Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
terminaldegree #2871653 07/22/19 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
The action has been changed since Horowitz played it, so it doesn’t have the same characteristics as his preferred setup


Those who played this piano on its first tour know that Horowitz's set up was very "un-Steinway-esque" (Did I just invent a word?).

The story goes that Horowitz, who was an artist who received substantial pay from Steinway for playing their piano for years, had arrived at a place in his career where he did not need to be compensated anymore. He began to have a wandering eye for other great pianos. (How much of this was due to simple inconsistency of the S&S pianos at the time, and how much was his desire to play on something different, I don't know. I wish I did)

Rather than risk having one of their greatest devotees being unhappy, or far worse, begin playing another brand, the company set up a D to be exactly what he desired. By the accounts of many musicians, it was unlike any other Steinway. The plan was for that piano to go with Horowitz where ever he played.

That is all history. But, now that the piano has had the action replaced and it is now a standard set up, we have lost a bit of history. Young musicians who turn out to play this piano leave thinking this must be what Horowitz loved, which is not the case.

Anyway, go and play the piano if you can, but keep in mind that it is no longer the touch and tone that Horowitz desired.

My 2 cents,




Rich Galassini
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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871657 07/22/19 11:09 PM
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It reflects one of the things I say: the piano takes on the characteristic of the technician who takes care of it.


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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871790 07/23/19 08:58 AM
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How much does the action have to do with the actual sound of the piano?

I get that the action has changed and may not 'feel' like it did when Horrowitz played it, but knowing each piano's soundboard is different and an integral part of the piano in regards to how it will sound, I would expect that (for me at least as just an observer) plays a much larger role than the action does in hearing it played.

Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871794 07/23/19 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by RJ's dad
How much does the action have to do with the actual sound of the piano?

I get that the action has changed and may not 'feel' like it did when Horrowitz played it, but knowing each piano's soundboard is different and an integral part of the piano in regards to how it will sound, I would expect that (for me at least as just an observer) plays a much larger role than the action does in hearing it played.



I played his piano when it was on tour last year..., the sound is SUPERB
Make an appointment and do it.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871825 07/23/19 10:04 AM
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The hammers would also have been changed, which significantly changes the tone.


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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871837 07/23/19 10:26 AM
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Hammers are the most significant variable regarding touch and tone in any given piano.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871841 07/23/19 10:31 AM
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Also sorry if my comments dampen your enthusiasm for playing Horowitz's piano. I don't want to dissuade you from the experience.

I played the Christofori piano at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC once. The fact that it does not have the original hammers didn't lower my enthusiasm, I had to touch what Christofori built.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2871877 07/23/19 12:49 PM
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I second what Ed just said. CD 503 is an iconic piano and the fact that it is no longer set to Horowitz specs does not detract from that. Play it, if only to know later that you once played it. That's what I did.

Larry.

Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2871881 07/23/19 01:02 PM
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Does anyone know when Steinway changed the Horowitz piano. My wife played it in February 2002 when Steinway had the piano and several others (Cliburn's was another) next to Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, during the Olympics there. She had just finished learning (and playing with local orchestras) all five Beethoven Piano Concerti over the previous 5 years, so it was fun for her to play excerpts from all of them on the different pianos - fun for the audience also! Thanks.

Last edited by astrotoy; 07/23/19 01:04 PM.

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Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2872003 07/23/19 05:22 PM
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I played it in the mid 90s. It was slightly on the shallow side, and had a very light and responsive touch, and it repeated very well. I don't know if that was Horowitz's set-up, but it certainly was a nice piano to play on.

Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2872035 07/23/19 07:55 PM
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I wonder if it ended up sounding more like Hamburg Steinway?
Or perhaps like a Bösendorfer?

Re: Vladimir Horowitz's Steinway tour
RJ's dad #2872038 07/23/19 08:08 PM
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Since my wife was and still is playing our Bosie, I don't think she thought that the Horowitz Steinway played like our piano. At the time she remarked on how light the touch was.


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