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Joined: Mar 2003
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The timing of this release should go well with the Let's talk about Steingraeber thread.

Please enjoy the wonderful pianist Dr. Matthew Bengtson's demo of both the Mozart rail and the sordino pedal on a Steingraeber concert grand.



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I found the video very interesting, clearly presented, and enjoyable. But I think one important thing was left out unless I missed it. How does the Mozart rail work?

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It looks like it drops the height of the keys by 1mm or so. Jump to 3:22 in the video.


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Beautiful playing on a beautiful instrument.


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It is easy to feel piano lust for that instrument. Of course, Matthew Bengtson's musicianship is also on display. I thought his comments on the lightness of action of earlier instruments was similar to my experience having had both an 1869 and later a 1914 grand. In the case of the 1914 grand, it was an amazing find in that it was all original - and yet was like it just came off the showroom floor. The action was a joy to play. I had to sell that piano going through a divorce and replaced it with a new S&S M with a very firm action. The tone was exceptional on the new instrument - but the action was a lot of work. Almost any piano I played after that seemed much lighter. I remember reading that Paderewski was upset with the pianos he played in America because of their firmer action. Having played the Horowitz piano, I was amazed at how light it seemed to compared to nearly every other S&S D I'd encountered. I'd love to play that Steingraeber though I'd also love to plays as well as Mr. Bengtson. :-)

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Interesting piece of alchemy. It sounds very much like a modern Steinway-ish grand (OK-- I know it's a bit cleaner, etc.), and the two add-ins make it much more suitable to earlier periods. Doesn't completely change the color and quality, but removes the need for the pianist to struggle to sound human.

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My Ritm├╝ller upright piano also has a sordino pedal. It's quite convenient but I don't often use it, only when I want to play a little less loud. It can be locked into place as well and it is a pleasant enough effect. It is extremely low tech.

My piano also has something similar to the Mozart rail mechanism, but it's pedal operated. I never use that one and I don't really see the point of it, it's kind of crude since it tilts the action and reduces the key dip. Maybe it's for more advanced players. I think having it be operated as a rail is definitely better or at least allow the pedal to be locked into place.

All in all, what Steingraeber seems to be doing here is bring innovations from upright pianos to the grand pianos, but with much better marketing. I think Steingraeber are on the right track with the quest to tame the volume of a grand piano, especially for a home setting.


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