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Frederick Piano Collection Comments

Posted By: tonyf

Frederick Piano Collection Comments - 05/05/07 04:03 AM

Six Piano World members (TonyF and Wife, Terrytunes, Irish Mac, John Citron, and ED from Cape Cod) attended the May 3rd tour of the Frederick Historic Piano Collection host by Patricia Frederick. It was one of the most amazing tours my wife and I have ever experienced.

Pat devoted over three hours showing us her and her husbands piano collection beginning with the youngest piano in their collection, a 1907 Bluthner, and gradually going back to the oldest piano built in 1795. Pat not only explained the origins of the piano companies and their names, but expanded the review of the piano construction and then played each instrument for us with their period music. She had a wonderful way of expressing to us, the characteristics of the sound, with such adjectives as "the sound is more transparent", or the treble had a "melting ice cicle sound" which fully embodied the sound of a particular piano. About a third of the way into the tour, Pat began to explain how the older pianos did not compete with the Opera singers of the time and Pat then began to play and sing in her beautiful soprano voice along with playing the piano. All of our mouths dropped open in awe of her singing and playing without music.

Pat then explained the background of the composers (Chopin,Beethoven, Bach, List) and how their compositions complimented the pianos of their period. The older piano designs actually made rapid keying quite easy due to the small key dip and actions.

Each of the pianos allowed so much expression of sound and texture that simply would be extremely difficult or impossible to achieve on modern piano designs. Many of the Pianos had extraordinary veneer and cabinetry work.

Pat then offered us the opportunity to play any and all of the pianos in their collection. They now have five spring and five fall concerts scheduled and being performed by top pianists using these pianos.

It was indeed the thrill of a lifetime to have spent over three hours at the collection and especially to have Patricia as such a thorough and entertaining hostess. We cannot thank you enough.

Posted By: lilylady

Re: Frederick Piano Collection Comments - 05/05/07 11:25 AM

Sounds like you had a wonderful tour. I wish I could have been there. I was actually hoping for a downpouringrainy day so I wouldn't be able to work outside and could join you!

Thanks for the review, Tony. Did you play?

Posted By: Terrytunes

Re: Frederick Piano Collection Comments - 05/05/07 02:50 PM

Tony, thank you for your excellent detailed review. Pat would be pleased.

Lily... Tony and Sheryl headed out immediately after the tour since they had almost 7 more hours of driving time before arriving home.

This was my 2nd tour of the collection and first time with Pat at the helm in her husbands absence. It was a solid 3 hour lecture on piano design, singing & playing, composers. I will have to check with her and Michael to find out if they've considered writing a book on their collection. I believe it's definitely in order.

I only played for a few minutes on one of the pianos (1830's) in the main room. I was exhausted and besides I couldn't hear myself playing since someone else was playing mezzo forte in another area! laugh (only kidding, JC!! you know how I love hearing you play)!!

I have a few pics but haven't found the time yet to review and upload. There were lots of pictures taken with cameras far superior to mine. Perhaps others will post a few pics.

I'll setup another tour date in the early fall for other members who would be interested in attending as a group.
Posted By: IrishMak

Re: Frederick Piano Collection Comments - 05/09/07 02:38 PM

As stated, it was a fascinating tour. All those lovely old grands. And I got the chance to play a little bit on a Mason & Hamlin screwstringer grand- the "big brother" of my M&H upright. And this one is 4 years younger than mine. Much wonderfully informative information and beautiful playing from Pat. She obviously loves what she and her husband are doing with those pianos.

I have pictures- some not so great, but many came out rather decently. I will, I promise, get some up "soon"...

Terry, please keep us informed of a possible tour later in the year. I know my hubby and possibly my piano teacher might be interested.
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