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Joined: Aug 2015
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Recently took receipt on my new Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7'0" Semi-Concert Grand Piano - Made in the USA - delivered direct from the factory!

[Linked Image]

Stunning 1,100 lb instrument (weighs more than a Steinway D 8'11" Concert Grand), even more gorgeous sound... from it's growling bass, to it's singing tenor and a crystal clear treble!

[Linked Image]

Only 150-200 a year hand-crafted in a factory just north of Boston (Haverhill, MA).

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The Golden Age is back... Mason & Hamlin is not only making the finest piano built in the USA today, but perhaps in the world right now! Wait until you hear it sing...

Below you can see some pictures with its sibling.. my 1980 Yamaha C3 6'1" Conservatory Grand, a fine piano in its own right... but not in same league as the Model BB. I truly believe that at the 7'0" size, there is no comparable instrument in the world!

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Stay tuned!

Jason Solomonides

Last edited by wolfgangmeister; 11/26/15 02:12 AM.

Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 266
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Franz Liszt - Transcription of Bach's Organ Fantasia & Fugue in Gm
Jason Solomonides, pianist
Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7’0” with PianoDisc iQ HD
Recorded September 25, 2015

https://youtu.be/LyouWZ91AHs?list=PLkP65I5BsNiq8-p9W3fyJKgMc7oqXCdQO

This MIDI performance was first digitally recorded using an 88-Key Yamaha Disklavier CLP-560 Digital Piano in 1992. This recording, completed on September 25, 2015, is a re-performance of this same work on a Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7’0” Semi-Concert Grand Piano, equipped with PianoDisc iQ and Silent Drive HD.

Mr. Solomonides was awarded First Prize - Hartford Symphony Competition (1981), Performer of Connecticut Competition (1981), Greater Hartford Youth Orchestra Competition (1981), Hartt School of Music Concerto Competition (1985)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 266
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Franz Liszt - 'Orage' (Storm) from Annees de Pelerinage, "Suisse"
Jason Solomonides, pianist
Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7’0”, with PianoDisc iQ HD
Recorded September 25, 2015

https://youtu.be/G09AZZc_mno?list=PLkP65I5BsNiq8-p9W3fyJKgMc7oqXCdQO

This MIDI performance was first digitally recorded using an 88-Key Yamaha Disklavier CLP-560 Digital Piano in 1992. This recording, completed on September 25, 2015, is a re-performance of this same work on a Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7’0” Semi-Concert Grand Piano, equipped with PianoDisc iQ and Silent Drive HD.

Mr. Solomonides was awarded First Prize - Hartford Symphony Competition (1981), Performer of Connecticut Competition (1981), Greater Hartford Youth Orchestra Competition (1981), Hartt School of Music Concerto Competition (1985)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
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Yamaha C is the wrong comparison. Mason & Hamlin BB should be compared with Yamaha S, which is more expensive.

Mason & Hamlin BB has beautiful sound, but I won't say nothing else sound better. Although I don't have money, I have very acute preference for musical quality since I was a teenager. I am fond of Steinway M, M&H BB, and Baltimore Knabe (king of golden age). As expensive as my taste is, I don't buy them new. Then I was humbled when I hear the sound of a Bosendofer. Here is the reality, people will kill me for telling truth; that is, Yahama is the 100% owner of Bosendofer.The world has changed, hasn't it?

At any rate, you have got a high quality piano. Congratulations.

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Beautiful Mason & Hamlin. It looks, though, as if it's awfully close to the fireplace!

Regards,


BruceD
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Fireplace in Music Room is Gas-only. It has been turned off, only to be possibly used during a power outage when no other source of heat is available. Placement is away from outside walls and blowing vents and heaters, with twin high volume ultrasonic humidifiers maintaining a constant 40%, and whole-house A/C with zone control for Summer. I had similar placement concerns, but when you have two large grand pianos in one room, options are a bit limited! So far, tuning is extremely stable in current location. Thanks for the concern!

With respect to Yamaha C3, the 1980-era may have been some of Yamaha's finest products, far superior to today's C-series and before the excellent S-series was even available. I selected it at the age of 17 - having recently won some piano competitions - from the old Watkins Bros Steinway dealer in Hartford, CT, which carried both Steinway and Yamaha. That particular instrument outshone five other Yamaha C and G series as well as all of the Steinways, which were at a low point having been owned by CBS throughout the 70's and early 80's. I have always loved my Yamaha, as well as many S-series and Kawai RS-series, but none of the Japanese pianos match the Model BB, including the Yamaha S6, except for Shigeru Kawai's of larger size. A S7 at 7'6" also might, but I have not personally found one that can match any of the three M&H Model BB's I auditioned at the factory recently. I have been looking for an outstanding Semi-Concert Grand for over thirty years, and this is the first one that knocked my socks off, relative to it's uniform sound, responsiveness and value.

As far as US or European competitors to the M&H Model BB, the Hamburg and NY Steinway B at 6'11" cannot come close to match it, nor can Bechstein, Schimmel (also Yamaha owned I believe) or Bluthner at this size... need a Concert Grand from each to match it. The Model BB asymmetrical sound board provides the instrument with a much larger soundboard than other pianos at this size. The full perimeter cast iron plate and unique hand-built construction of time-consuming assembly of an inner rim, custom fitting the soundboard and tension resonator for crown retention, followed by the outer rim, provide a rim/soundboard fit and continuity of sound transmission that is not matched in mass produced pianos, nor in many hand-built pianos. The Wessell, Nichol, Gross carbon-fiber/composite action also is quicker, more responsive and consistent than any other competitor out there, including Renner Blue and Steinway NY. If you haven't played a new M&H with one (standard since 2011), you haven't experienced the full capability of a new M&H. The only European (or US) instruments that I have played in the last decade that match the breadth of sound and responsiveness of today's Model BB at this size are the Fazioli F228 and Bosendorfer 225 which when new are more then twice the retail cost and more than five times what I paid for my new instrument. Certainly meant no disrespect in my post, was just shocked to find a new hand-made instrument of this quality available at this price range. Would urge others to give M&H models a try!

Last edited by wolfgangmeister; 11/26/15 10:04 PM.

Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
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Congratulations on a beatiful piano. The BB is one I would have wanted to take a look at. Nothing like the feeling of owning the piano of your dreams.

Last edited by Grandman; 11/26/15 10:00 PM.

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Thanks for all the positive comments on the purchase of my new Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7'0" Semi-Concert Grand. Thought you all might all like to hear a sample MIDI playback of Sergei Rachmaninoff playing Paderewski's Minuet in G on the Model BB via PianoDisc iQ with SilentDrive HD. Piano has had it's first tuning and action adjustment since this recording was made, and sounds even better than this sample... but it gives you some idea of the piano's expressive tone and dynamics. It's also historic listening to a great master play my very own piano!

https://www.facebook.com/jason.solomonides/videos/10207823379971256/?pnref=story


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
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Dear Jason,
Thanks for the pictures and wonderful recordings. And also the PianoDisc Rachmaninoff reproduction - wow!
I'm also delighted with my MH BB, brother of yours (serial nr. 93593). Even though I don't have a PD installed, it brings us home so much fun, to me and my 10 yo daughter.
Bellow I share some pictures, and youtube videos. I hope you enjoy.
Best wishes!

[Linked Image][Linked Image]
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http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2279701/Mason_&_Hamlin_finally_at_.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooi0JCbEzVQ&list=PLnkemINf3YXgpQ0XrMVkOgnjBooG3xSPc


Piano.Brazil
1987 Baldwin SD10, 2013 Mason&Hamlin BB, 2007 Euterpe/Bechstein 160, 1924 Hoepfner Upright
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Thank you Piano_Brazil,

Have enjoyed visiting your links, pictures, and the story about the move of your 2013 Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7'0" to Brazil, which given it's serial number 93593 was probably in the Haverhill, MA factory during the same six months mine was built (serial number 93623). So they truly are brothers! You've had some legendary classical and jazz pianists visit your instrument upon delivery as well! I too have been enjoying this beautiful instrument - my pianist friends are blown away when they sit down and play it. The Model BB was and still is a legendary scale design... as Pianist Garrick Ohlsson has said during a recent interview with Eric Johnson - the Mason & Hamlin instruments probably have the finest alto section in the business. In addition, the full sound from its growling and complex bass to its crystal clear treble is incredible, and the addition of the Wessel, Nickel and Gross Composite / Carbon Fiber action has given these modern Model BB instruments a dynamic range and responsiveness that is unmatched in the industry. I am in the process of reworking all of my repertoire with the intent to create new digital recordings and create PianoTube Live & MIDI tracks, via ProRecord.

In the meantime, my good friend Peter Phillips in Australia - a pioneer in the piano roll & emulation industry - has made available two Duo-Art roll emulations 7316/7317 issued in 4-1929 of the great Harold Bauer performing Bach's Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue in Dm. After my M&H piano technician recently visited for the piano's first key easing and regulation, I thought it might be fun to record this performance on my Mason & Hamlin BB - as Mr. Bauer was one of the most famous proponents of this prestigious maker back in the Golden Age! So here for your enjoyment is this performance, courtesy of PianoDisc iQ with SilentDrive HD:

https://youtu.be/jAItGVcwrKo

Harold Bauer, pianist
Bach - Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in Dm
Peter Phillips Duo-Art Rolls 7316/7317 (4-1929)
Mason & Hamlin 7' Model BB Serial # 93623
via PianoDisc iQ SilentDriveHD

P.S. Harold Bauer was also a visiting professor of piano performance at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford CT following WWII, and subsequently went on to become Chairman of Piano, Manhattan School of Music in NYC until his death in 1951. During that time, my teacher, Prof. Raymond Hanson, Chairman of Piano at Hartt School for over forty years through 1992 (and still teaching at age 96 in Heath, MA!!!) taught along side Prof. Harold Bauer, who also served as his mentor. Attached is a link to his "Memoirs Of Harold Bauer As A Teacher":

http://www.johnmortensen.com/hanson-ipq.pdf

Last edited by wolfgangmeister; 02/17/16 01:48 AM.

Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,192

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Jason -

You should DEFINITELY SHARE this video/recording with the folks at Mason and Hamlin. thumb



Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
Korg SP-100 Stage Piano
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Absolutely stunning!

I had the pleasure of playing a BB recently. Gorgeous sound! You may be right that it is the best grand of its size in tonality and quality. Would love to have one but alas don't have the space.

Looking forward to some sound files soon!

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Dear Jason,
Thanks so much for your words, friendship, and sharing of wonderful music!
Please let me know if you ever want to come down to Brazil as my guest. You´ll be very welcome.
Best wishes.


Piano.Brazil
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Thank you Carey, Antaeus and Piano_Brazil!

My plan has been to build-up and re-record my repertoire on my new M&H 7'0 BB new instrument... and that has been going pretty well. But interestingly enough, I recently viewed a fantastic Leif Ove Andsnes Steinway D selection at the Hamburg factory, for his recent Beethoven tour and Mr. Andsnes played the most hauntingly beautiful Edvard Grieg - Lyric Piece - Op. 68, No.5 Cradle Song ('Badnlat'), to compare instruments. I grew up playing many of these Lyric Pieces in my early years of study, but was unfamiliar with this particular song. So I decided to work on it, over the past week and recorded it before work yesterday morning - after dropping off our almost 4 year old twins at daycare! Thought that others might enjoy the piece and it's demonstration of the lyrical and singing nature of the Model BB:

https://youtu.be/I66-20d1f70

P.S. As Chief Engineer of Controls at P&W, we have been recently doing a lot of work with Embraer on their new EJets E2 ERJ-175 and 190/195 with our GearedTurboFans, so if I am ever scheduled to go to Brazil on business, I'll be sure to try and connect with you Piano_Brazil!!!



Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,192

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Beautifully played Jason !!!!! thumb

I've sent you a PM.

Carey (Phil)


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
Korg SP-100 Stage Piano
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
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Thanks for the wondeful music, Jason!

And please save 2-3 days in your schedule to visit my place in Florianopolis and Guarda do Embau, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil, where my Mason resides. You're very welcome, and if you fly Azul Airlines, you'll probably test your own TurboFans! thumb

Best wishes,
Felipe


Piano.Brazil
1987 Baldwin SD10, 2013 Mason&Hamlin BB, 2007 Euterpe/Bechstein 160, 1924 Hoepfner Upright
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Thank you Felipe (Piano_Brazil) and Phil (Carey)!

As I've been working on some old and new repertoire to record and share, (including Mendelssohn-Liszt "On Wings of Song", Schubert Impromptu in Gb, Op. 90, Bach-Busoni Chaconne in Dm, Scarlatti Sonatas, Rachmaninoff Preludes, etc.) I also went back to my Digital recordings from over 20 years ago and found a couple more to share, as played back on my Mason & Hamlin BB; Schumann Papillons, Op. 2 and Liszt Consolation No. 3 in Db. It's funny that I often don't listen to my old recordings, but I especially like the Schumann. It's an overlooked 'gem' set of variations that tell a story of attending "A Masked Ball", with the clock striking at the very end. So I thought I would share. I also added it to a YouTube playlist of past live recordings, which include my recording of the Liszt Piano Concerto No.1 in Eb, with the Hartt Symphony Orchestra in 1985 at age 21 and of the Grieg Piano Concerto in Am (1st movement) with the Greater Hartford Youth Orchestra in 1981 at age 17, if anyone is interested. Enjoy!

Jason Solomonides - Schumann: Papillons, Op. 2

Robert Schumann: Papillons, Op. 2
Jason Solomonides, pianist
Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7’0” with PianoDisc iQ HD
Recorded March 18, 2016

https://youtu.be/JGihayD9FCo?list=PLkP65I5BsNiq8-p9W3fyJKgMc7oqXCdQO

Jason Solomonides - Liszt: Consolation No. 3 in Db

Franz Liszt - Consolation No. 3 in Db
Jason Solomonides, pianist
Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7’0” with PianoDisc iQ HD
Recorded March 18, 2016

https://youtu.be/xKsHtAF57_I?list=PLkP65I5BsNiq8-p9W3fyJKgMc7oqXCdQO

Both MIDI performances were first digitally recorded using an 88-Key Yamaha Disklavier CLP-560 Digital Piano in 1992. The recordings, completed on March 18, 2016, are a re-performance of the same works on a Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7’0” Semi-Concert Grand Piano, equipped with PianoDisc iQ and Silent Drive HD.

Mr. Solomonides was awarded:
First Prize - Hartford Symphony Competition (1981)
First Prize - Performer of Connecticut Competition (1981)
Winner - Greater Hartford Youth Orchestra Competition (1981) - Grieg Concerto Am
https://youtu.be/udKjPrt8jXM?list=PLkP65I5BsNiq8-p9W3fyJKgMc7oqXCdQO
Winner - Hartt School of Music Concerto Competition (1985) - Liszt Concerto Eb
https://youtu.be/2YqQ-OpIQBk?list=PLkP65I5BsNiq8-p9W3fyJKgMc7oqXCdQO


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
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Congratulations on your new piano!

Mine is serial #93607, so it must have been just before yours and just after Felipe's.

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Thank you Benjamin!

I've been meaning to write you a PM for some time now... I've enjoyed your YouTube performances and development of the Blumenfeld Etude for the Left Hand, as well as your recent recording of the Chopin/Godowsky, and semi-recent performance of one of the Rachmaninoff Etude Tableaus. I also was pretty amazed that we both performed the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 in Eb back in college and that we ended up selecting M&H Model BB's after a long search... in fact I mentioned that fact in a post reply to Heather Reichgott just last evening! I never realized that Felipe, yours and my Model BB's were all built so closely together in the first half of 2013. Since annual production at M&H is around 150 for ALL models per year right now (for reference in August 2015, a Model BB I was also assessing right off the production line was #93835), and our Model BBs are just 16 apart, I can guarantee they were built alongside each other - Interior and Exterior Rims, Soundboards, Bridges, probably all cut, prepped, glued and cured at same time, in same humidity controlled drying rooms. Maybe our two Pianos themselves were assembled at approximately the same time!

Carey (Phil) and I have been commenting at how consistent the Burgett era BB's from 2000 to now are in tone and sonority. When I was auditioning amongst three Model BB's on the sixth floor at the factory, I did eliminate one pretty quickly, but I had a hard time downselecting between the Satin #93835 and my Polished #93623; both were even, had the famous growling bass, sonorous tenor, unparalleled alto and crystal treble section. In the end, I selected #93623 because it had superior voicing, a little more lyrical character and seemed to "bloom" more for me. I also unexpectedly found out after the selection process that I could get a slightly better deal on it because it was built in 2013 vs. 2015.

One thing of note... the Wessell-Nickel-Gross (WNG) composite/carbon-fber action - standard on all M&H pianos since 2011... offers a degree of touch and control that I believe is unparalleled in the market today. This results in each of M&H's handmade pianos being more even and consistent than I have seen from other high end piano manufacturers. This action only enhances the legendary M&H BB scale design, which has always been a favorite of vocalists and instrumentalists for it's sonority and orchestral quality... this has been true from the Golden Age to this day. It is my opinion that the WNG action has addressed what was once the weakest point of the M&H product line and made it one of it's strongest. The prior M&H wood action offerings (be they Renner-sourced or other) were typically too heavy and slow for me and also the single reason why I had never considered purchasing the Model BB before. Kudos to Bruce Clark, Kirk Burgett and Mike Collins for their vision and perseverance in bringing this to market! Manufacturers such as Steingrahber & Sohnes and exceptional designers such as Del Fandrich are offering the WNG action in high end models, recommending it for rebuilds and recently made it standard on all new Weber Grands manufactured by Young Chang.

Keep up the good work - both in your chosen technical career, and in your continued development as a pianist. With two four year old twin daughters, and a full-time career as Chief of Controls at P&W... I'm trying to do the same... And enjoy your beautiful instrument as well!


Last edited by wolfgangmeister; 03/31/16 12:08 AM.

Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
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Thanks Jason!

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This posting is for the many New and Golden-Age Mason & Hamlin owners out there, as well as any enthusiast of the great 20th Century Russian Composer and Piano Virtuoso Sergei Rachmaninoff. Many know of Rachmaninoff's close relationship to Steinway & Sons when he permanently arrived in the U.S. in late 1918. However, prior to his first tour of the U.S. in 1909 as a composer and a pianist, Sergei had been a very big fan of his precious Bluthner back in Russia, and was looking for the finest piano that he could perform, tour and record his famous Second Piano Concerto, as well as his new composition and calling card, the Third Piano Concerto... that piano? A Mason & Hamlin!

In addition, after arriving permanently in the U.S. in 1918, Rachmaninoff signed an exclusive contract with the American Piano Company to produce their "AMPICO" Reproducing Piano Rolls. Between 1919 and 1929, Sergei produced 35 such rolls, now legendary due to their commercial success via London Records 'Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov - The AMPICO Recordings' and via Wayne Stahnke and Telarc's outstanding two volume release of 'A Window In Time' - with all 35 works being recorded on the legendary Bosendorfer 290 SE Reproducing 9'6" Imperial Grand. However, there is a little known, yet important fact... Rachmaninoff recorded all 35 of these rolls on a 1918 Mason & Hamlin 6'4" AA equipped with the AMPICO system!

As both a new Mason & Hamlin 7'0 BB and PianoDisc iQ SilentDrive HD owner, I endeavored to videotape and record some of my favorite Sergei Rachmaninoff performances on my new piano, to get an idea of what that may have sounded like.

So without further adieu, Sergei Rachmaninoff plays 14 favorite compositions
of his own and by others on my Mason & Hamlin 7'0" Model BB Serial # 93623
via MIDI through PianoDisc iQ SilentDriveHD (4-2016). Stereo Recording was
made using a TASCAM DP-008EX Digital Portastudio Multi-Track Recorder

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIDqtDkqYDo

01 00:07 Rimsky-Korsakov/Rachmaninoff "Flight of the Bumblebee" - Ampico 70301; Recorded: 1-Feb-1929; Written: 1903; Russia
02 01:37 Paderewski Minuet in G, Op 14, No 1 - Ampico 68283; Recorded: 1-Feb-1927; Written: 1887/88; Poland
03 05:47 Bach Sarabande, Partita No 4, BWV 828 - Ampico 66483; Recorded: 14-Jan-1925; Written: 1726-31; Germany
04 08:57 Kreisler-Rachmaninoff Liebesleid ("Love Song") - Ampico 62103; Recorded: 6-Apr-1922; Written: 1920-21; Austria
05 13:32 Kreisler-Rachmaninoff Liebesfreud ("Love's Joy") - Ampico 66143; Recorded: 22-Dec-1925; Written: 1921; Austria
06 20:42 Rachmaninoff Humoresque in G, Op 10, No 5 - Ampico 57965; Recorded: 17-Mar-1919; Written: 1893-94; Russia
07 24:47 Rachmaninoff Elegie in Ebm, Op 3, No 1 - Ampico 69253; Recorded: 4-Apr-1928; Written: 1892; Russia
08 29:32 Rachmaninoff Prelude in C-Sharp Minor, Op 3, No 2 - Ampico 57504; Recorded: 17-Mar-1919; Written: 1892; Russia
09 33:32 Rachmaninoff Prelude in G Minor, Op 23, No 5 - Ampico 57525; Recorded: 17-Mar-1919; Written: 1901; Russia
10 37:24 Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableau in Bm, Op 39, No 4 - Ampico 69593; Recorded: 27-Mar-1928; Written: 1916-17; Russia
11 41:24 Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableau in Am, Op 39, No 6 - Ampico 60891; Recorded: 5-Mar-1921; Written: 1916-17; Russia
12 44:14 Rachmaninoff Polka de V.R. ('Vasilly Rachmaninoff') - Ampico 57275; Recorded: 17-Mar-1919; Written: 1911; Russia
13 48:38 Gluck/Sgambati Melodie (from Orfeo ed Euridice) - Ampico 64921; Recorded: 14-Jan-1925; Written: 1762/74; Austria
14 52:30 Beethoven/Rubinstein Turkish March (from Ruins of Athens) - Ampico 68771; Recorded: 1-Feb-1927; Written: 1809/11; Austria


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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That sounded terrific. The pianodisc system is amazing, as was Rachmaninoff. My sister played the second piece when young, but no longer plays. Then I fast-forwarded to the Prelude that I really like as well and is very popular. Your room looks "live" but sounds great with your recording setup. I recently recorded with mikes right over the strings and I think I'll try the "concert experience" setup as you did, next time.

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Congrats!!


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Is it Live or is it ProRecord? Fun with my Mason & Hamlin BB, PianoDisc ProRecord and SilentDrive HD record and playback!

An update... a couple of months ago, I recorded and posted a YouTube link to Edvard Grieg's Lyric Piece - Op. 68, No.5 Cradle Song ('Badnlat'), after being inspired by a fantastic video of Leif Ove Andsnes Steinway D selection at the Hamburg factory, prior to his recent Beethoven Journey tour. I thought a recording of this piece might provide an excellent demonstration of the lyrical and singing nature of my new Mason & Hamlin 7'0" Model BB. The stereo recording was made using a TASCAM DP-008EX Digital Portastudio Multi-Track Recorder.

What I didn't mention is that at the same time I digitally recorded this, I also made a quick impromptu MIDI recording using the new PianoDisc ProRecord system installed for me at the Mason & Hamlin factory. I thought it might be fun to do a sample video demonstration comparing the original live recording with a PianoDisc SilentDrive HD playback of the ProRecord MIDI recording. Below is a link to the demo, as well as a link to the original recording of Grieg's Cradle Song on the M&H Model BB:

Is it Live or ProRecord? (May 16, 2016):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6YIx3m1X50




Original Live Recording (March 18, 2016):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I66-20d1f70




Enjoy!


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Fabulous piano and thanks for all the recordings. I nearly had a WN&G action put in my piano, in fact I might do it in the future sometime. It's the way forward smile

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Hello!

I have not posted in a while, but have enjoyed reading about many other PianoWorld member's new or "new to me" piano experiences! Just had the Mason & Hamlin BB regulated and tuned earlier this month. What a joy to play and own such a marvelous instrument! After the WNG action was regulated, I worked on calibrating the ProRecord optical sensors with the SilentDrive HD proportional solenoids and did a recording of Liszt's transcription of Mendelssohn's "On Wings of Song" (Auf Flugeln des Gesanges), that I will post soon. I can share this calibration process on PianoWorld, if anyone is interested. I am also working on personally performing and recording a number of other works as well.

As I mentioned recently, my friend Peter Phillips (of http://www.petersmidi.com) from Australia has been a leading pioneer in refining the process of MIDI roll emulation since the late 1970's. He has recently made available approximately 4,000 MIDI files developed from Ampico, Duo-Art, Welte-Mignon and Welte Licensee sources. Attached is a sample of the great romantic Enrique Granados (a.k.a. "the Spanish Chopin") performing his beautiful 'Maiden and the Nightingale' - from Goyescas, Op. 11, No. 4, via Peter Phillips MIDI Welte-Licensee Roll 2786 Emulation on my Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7' #93623. You can really hear the longing of the Maiden and the singing of the Nightingale!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jo8S6mTbfs

This six minute recording was made between 1913-1915 and may have been one of his very last, just prior to his tragic drowning at the young age of 48, attempting to save his wife, after their boat was attacked by a German U-boat. And this was just after reaching a new pinnacle of success, having just performed the Goyescas Suite at the White House, at the invitation of President Woodrow Wilson in 1915.



What a historical treasure to hear the great masters such as Granados, Camille Saint-Saens, Claude Debussy, Edvard Grieg, Alexander Scriabin, Georges Enescu, Cecille Chaminade, Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff and many, many others perform their own works! In addition, piano virtuosos like Harold Bauer, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, Leopold Godowsky, Alfred Cortot, Frederic Lamond, Percy Grainger, Ferruccio Busoni, Josef Hofman, Josef Lhevinne, Wilhelm Backhaus, Artur Schnabel, Guiomar Novaes, Wanda Landowska, and countless others (including then young superstars Vladimir Horowitz, Artur Rubinstein and Rudolf Serkin) are also recorded for posterity! And all of this occurred during that amazing 'Window in Time' of 1905-1930 (pre-Depression). I will from time to time endeavor to post some of the more memorable of these recordings. Enjoy!

P.S. Also attached is a live recording of my teacher, the great Professor Raymond Hanson - Chairman of Piano at the Hartt School of Music for over 40 years - performing this same Granado's work "The Maiden and the Nightingale" as an encore following a performance of the Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto with the Hartt Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nathan Gottschalk on March 12, 1962:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvVMDrK4sjU&list=PLkP65I5BsNiqp-TBd8pA0nGWPAFTicP-5&index=7



Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Pdv0WcXzek



This posting is for the many New and Golden-Age Mason & Hamlin owners out there, as well as any enthusiast of the great 19th Century Hungarian Composer and Piano Virtuoso Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Liszt was my personal hero growing up; I couldn’t get enough of reading about his romantic exploits, unparalleled reputation as a fiery, yet lyrical pianist, mastery of many languages, writer of great poetry, devotion to the Church, and author of so many great original works (lyrical Consolations and Liebestraum, epic Sonata in Bm, virtuostic Piano Concertos, etc.) and transcribed compositions: including Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn, to the Rhapsodic Gypsy music of the Magyars. Unfortunately, although we have many lithographs, pictures and portraits of Franz Liszt and a great deal of mythology of his pianistic ability, there is no recorded evidence of his virtuosity… or is there?

Bernhard Stavenhagen (1862-1914) was a German composer and virtuoso pianist said to be the finest pianist of his time, apart from Franz Liszt (1811-1886). He was born in Grez on 28 November 1862, and in 1874 moved to Berlin. He studied piano with famous educator and teacher Theodore Kullak (1815-1882) entering the university in Berlin. Upon, Kullak’s passing, Stavenhagen also studied with Friedrich Kiel (1821-1885). In 1885, at the age of 22, Stavenhagen became a pupil of Franz Liszt in Weimar and travelled with him to Rome, Budapest, Paris, London and Bayreuth during the last two years of the Maestro’s life. What other pupil of Liszt had such an honor? Liszt said that Bernhard Stavenhagen was his finest young student and a loyal friend.

In 1905, Bernhard Stavenhagen was approached by Welte-Mignon to record some works by his teacher and mentor, in the style and manner “as played by Liszt”. Having recently purchased ~4,000 Ampico, Duo-Art, Welte-Mignon and Welte Licensee roll recordings, I endeavored to videotape and record three of Bernhard Stavenagen’s Welte-Mignon "Recreations of Liszt's Performances" on my Mason & Hamlin BB, to get an idea of what “Franz Liszt" may have sounded like. There is a great photo of young Bernhard taken with Abbe Liszt in 1885, included in this audio-video recording.

So without further adieu, Pianist and Liszt protege Bernhard Stavenhagen plays three of the great maestro's compositions “in the style of Franz Liszt” on my Mason & Hamlin 7' Model BB Serial # 93623 via MIDI through PianoDisc iQ SilentDriveHD (7-2016). Stereo Recording made using TASCAM DP-008EX Digital Portastudio Multi-Track Recorder:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Pdv0WcXzek

The following three Welte-Mignon Rolls by Mr. Stavenhagen were recorded on September 12, 1905:

01 00:07 Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 “as played by Liszt” - Welte-Mignon T100 (Red) Roll 1033

02 07:57 Legende No. 2 - "St. Francis of Paola Walking On The Waves" - Welte-Mignon T100 (Red) Roll 1032

03 15:37 Chopin-Liszt Chant Polonaise - “Meine Freuden (‘My Joy’)" - Welte-Mignon T100 (Red) Roll 1035

As his reputation grew, Bernhard Stavenhagen learned ten new piano concertos and toured Europe and North America with them. He was a genius and was appointed court pianist to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar in April 1890. The following year he married Agnes Dennighof (1860-1945) who was a soprano in the Weimar Court Opera. In Weimar, he conducted six operas in 18 months. and also helped introduce and conduct 'new' works by Richard Strauss, Hans Pfitzner, Mahler, Debussy, Ravel, and Schoenberg at subscription concerts. In 1898, he attained an appointment in Munich and in 1907 he moved to Geneva teaching piano master classes at the Conservatoire. He died on 25 December 1914 and was buried in Weimar. Author of at least two concertos, Piano Concerto No 1 in B minor, Op. 4 in 1894 and Piano Concerto No 2 in A in 1912, many of his works are sadly lost, including a Piano Sonata in F. Perhaps due to his modesty, it appears that he concentrated on his piano performances, teaching and other duties at the expense of insuring that his compositions would endure for posterity. His greatest legacy today are some of his recorded Welte-T100 (Red) piano rolls, including these three memorable performance of the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12, Legende No. 2 - "St. Francis of Paola Walking On The Waves" and Chant Polonaise "Meine Freude ('My Joy')", played in the manner of his mentor, teacher and champion Maestro Franz Liszt.

P.S. Also attached is a live recording of my teacher, Professor Raymond Hanson - Chairman of Piano at the Hartt School of Music for over 40 years - performing the final piece of this set - Liszt's written transcription of Chopin’s Chant Polonaise - “Meine Freuden (‘My Joy’) - as an encore on May 5, 1991:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFuya3ZDeww&list=PLkP65I5BsNiqp-TBd8pA0nGWPAFTicP-5&index=6



For those who don't know, Raymond Hanson is still with us - teaching his students and still playing beautifully as he approaches the age of 97! He is in the estimation of my good friend and esteemed pianist Jeffrey Biegel, "one of the greatest legends of pianism, artistry and pedagogy". Although one admire’s the virtuosity of Stavenhagen's recreation of Liszt’s performance of this work, one has to "love Ray's even more because he makes the piano sing and flow more organically.” I believe he truly capture’s Liszt’s lyricism! As Jeff also pointed out to me quite recently, "quite often, re-creators of music by other composers offer a more natural and compelling performance..."


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Had a few minutes of alone time Sunday afternoon on my new Mason & Hamlin BB and had a chance to digitally record Franz Liszt's beautiful piano transcription of Felix Mendelssohn's "On Wings Of Song". Video was created after the live recording, using PianoDisc and ProRecord. Piece is quite tricky as the transcription is written on three staffs and the melodic "voice" line is shared between the hands. I also just love the sound of my beautiful instrument and wanted to share... Enjoy!

Below is also a direct link for folks without a Flash Player:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7aJcfJZZvg&index=1&list=PLkP65I5BsNirTcv-nAHm4BXXsCbB_EbAJ




Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Lovely piece Jason, and a beautiful tone from the BB.


Dave In Denver
1916 Weber FR 6' Duo Art
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Thank you so much Dave for the very kind comments! I have also enjoyed reading about your restoration of your 1916 Weber Duo-Art 6' Grand Piano - a true labor of love. I see you have already obtained 400 Duo-Art rolls, don't miss the chance to obtain Harold Bauer's (1873-1951) performance of the Bach - Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in Dm - Duo-Art Roll(s) 7316 and 7317 (issued 4-1929). They are two of the best and most realistic performances on any player system that I've heard to date! Prof. Bauer was a student of Johannes Brahms, debuting I believe one of the Brahms Piano Concertos in America for the first time in the early 1900's with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was also a mentor and teacher to my teacher, 96-year old Prof. Raymond Hanson - Chairman of Piano at Hartt School of Music for over 40 years.

Harold Bauer's performance of the Bach - Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in Dm - Duo-Art Roll(s) 7316 and 7317 (issued 4-1929):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAItGVcwrKo

My visit and lesson with Professor Raymond Hanson - Chairman Emeritus of Piano Department at Hartt School of Music on 2-21-2016 - Still Playing and Teaching (Schubert - Impromptu in Gb) at Age 96 at his home in Heath, MA!:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sogEAWdz50s


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Thanks Jason, I have both of those rolls and love them. Until my Weber is restored I make periodic trips to a friend's home. He has several Duo Art pianos and an Ampico. I usually play the classical Duo Art rolls on his Steinway DR (one of 10 made). I worry the 9' steinway will spoil me for the 6' Weber, but he tells me I will be happy with the Weber. I have also been picking up both vintage and current 88-note rolls, since friends will want more current popular pieces from time to time. The one issue with the Steinway DR is that the manual expression controls were never connected on the DR's like this that were built solely for the concert stage. I have been told the few DR's built for private homes did have them connected.



Dave In Denver
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Hello Friends!

I haven't posted recently since I've been busy practicing, going to work, enjoying being a dad to our four-year old twin girls, etc. But I have enjoyed reading many, many interesting forum topics and lively discussions! Anyway, I was invited by Mason & Hamlin to join them up in Haverhill, MA next week to participate, speak and perform at their Annual Mason & Hamlin University meetings with their dealers. On Thursday, Master Voicer Boaz Kirschenbaum will be speaking on the company's recent efforts to re-establish their "signature sound" and more uniform quality for all pianos leaving the factory. And Boaz has asked me to be there to assist in demonstrating the type of pianist they are creating their "signature sound" for! On Friday, I will be giving a mini-recital and speaking on why I feel M&H pianos are so special, both in tone, construction, and technology, and to also discuss how I am using ProRecord and PianoDisc as a Classical Pianist in my recording efforts.

Although I have a lot of repertoire now back in my fingers, I am waiting for Boaz's visit to my house at the end of the month to voice and tone regulate my M&H BB, as well as my Yam C3 - both of which will now feature WNG flanges, knuckles, shafts and Abel hammers - before I produce any new recordings. Mini-Recital includes Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Grieg and Rachmaninoff.

In the meantime, I recently listened to a dozen or so old Vladimir Horowitz Welte-Mignon (1926) and Duo-Art (1928-1932) roll recording MIDI emulations and thought I might share one with everyone, featuring the M&H BB. I had the privilege of hearing Mr. Horowitz live in an unforgettable concert at the Bushnell Memorial in Hartford, CT around 1985... but would always hear, "if you think he's good now, you should of heard him when he was younger". Well here you go:

Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989) plays Frederic Chopin - Etude Op.25, No.12 in Cm, "Ocean"
Peter Phillips Emulation of Duo-Art Roll 7287b (issued 12-1928)
Mason & Hamlin 7' Model BB Serial # 93623 via PianoDisc iQ SilentDriveHD (9-2016)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sTfzCSvrog

[video:youtube]https:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sTfzCSvrog[/video]


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Mason & Hamlin University: Haverhill, MA - Sep 15/16, 2016

As I mentioned, I was invited by Mason & Hamlin to join them up in Haverhill, MA to participate, speak and perform a mini-recital at their Annual Mason & Hamlin University meetings with their dealers this afternoon and tomorrow. Have prepared a program of Bach, Scarlatti, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninoff, as well as a little history of historic Mason & Hamlin artists such as Harold Bauer, Ossip Gabrilowitsch and Alexander Brailowsky. What a fun opportunity!

[Linked Image]

Understand there is a pretty sweet Rosewood 6'4" M&H AA and two examples of each of their model line. There are also four 9'4" M&H CC-94 Concert Grand Pianos being readied and prepped for selection by an Australian Concert Hall the following week, and I get to try them and pick one for my performance!


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
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Talk about feeling like a kid in the candy store! Experience of speaking and performing over two days during the Mason & Hamlin University session was fantastic! Had a chance to play a brand new M&H 9'4" Polished Ebony CC-94 Concert Grand down on the 4th floor for the factory voicing and tone regulation team. I naturally also tried virtually all of the pianos on the 6th floor selection room. As you can see there were many high quality, beautiful looking and sounding pianos - but as they are hand-built, each had different tonal characteristics.

On the first day, I assisted Chief Voicing Technician, Boaz Kirschenbaum on his talk regarding the "Mason & Hamlin Signature Sound" on a number of instruments... from a beautiful M&H 6'4" Rosewood AA, to a Polished Ebony M&H BB to a another Polished Ebony CC-94 (one of four) - being prepped for a major international music school performance hall selection this coming Monday.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
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On the second day, the 9'4" Mason & Hamlin CC-94 Concert Grand that I ultimate selected to perform my recital on was a Satin Ebony Model with an inner rim and lid in Rosewood… quite sharp, but more importantly had a large and powerful bass, a buttery/singing and lyrical tenor section and bell-like quality in it’s treble… a true example of what I love about the Mason & Hamlin Signature Sound. Schubert’s Impromptu in Gb, Op.90 #3 never sounded better. And Rachmaninoff's Transcription of "The Star Spangled Banner" was particularly well-received by the entire Mason & Hamlin factory and dealer team, especially in a Made-in-the-USA factory!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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As part of his talk at Mason & Hamlin University 2016 last Friday, I assisted Chief Voicer Boaz Kirschenbaum in his lecture on The Mason & Hamlin Signature Sound, by demonstrating differing elements of this signature on various voiced and tone regulated Mason & Hamlin pianos. There were a total of 4 CC-94 Concert Grands, and 2 of each of the other Mason & Hamlin Models (BB, AA, A and B). Although touch and feel of the WNG actions were all quite similar, there was a degree of tonal shading differences that could be heard - comparing a concert grand to a baby grand for sure, but even comparing 2 of the same models. Even with perfect quality control, the wood parts for each piano come together in a unique manner. This is not a bad thing, but the voicer has to consider the inherent characteristics of the particular piano being tone regulated, in achieving one's voicing goal.

According to Boaz, the focus of the Haverhill Factory voice and tone regulating department is to insure that every piano delivered produces the Mason & Hamlin Signature Sound with the following characteristics: 1) a Rich (full) powerful bass, 2) a Smooth (singing) lyrical tenor and 3) a Clear bell-like treble. He introduced a Tone Lexicon that I am finding very useful when trying to communicate and describe a particular piano's unique tone and color. Of the ones below, Boaz felt that the top three for Mason & Hamlin are: 1) Smooth, round and creamy (balanced), 2) Powerful (balanced time to power) and 3) with maximum Sustain and ring time.

Forum Question: Using the Tone Lexicon (shown below) as a common means of communication, how would you describe your new, current or favorite pianos?

Tone Lexicon:

☐ Bright – tonal spectrum has more high frequencies in it. Resonant frequency peaks centered higher in the audio spectrum.
☐ Brittle – excessively bright, sharp and tense, clean but stiff, lacking harmonics, harsh and piercing.
☐ Buttery, Chocolatey – Rich, warm, smooth, round, fat and sweet.
☐ Clean – usually refers to a tone that is defined, clear, focus, articulated.
☐ Clear – well defined, distinct, not edgy, opposite of muddy.
☐ Creamy – smooth. The resonant peaks are broader and centered lower in the frequency spectrum.
☐ Dark – tonal spectrum with less high partials. Often used to generally describe vintage Steinways.
☐ Edgy – having more or too much high frequencies. Contains raspy harmonics and/or false beats. Also related: steely, harsh.
☐ Focused – defined, articulate, clean, accurate. Notes are distinct.
☐ Glassy – sharp, clear but grainy, ringing. Usually refers to an overly bright tone that is loud and piercing.
☐ Hard – too much upper mid-range paired with excessive volume and attack. Also related: harsh, strident, icy, edgy, glassy.
☐ Icy – very bright and piercing, ringing, may have excess false beats.
☐ Impedance – the degree of sound/tonal energy transfer in the soundboard.
☐ Long – maximum sustain, lot of ring time, releases tonal energy over time.
☐ Mellow – reduced upper mid range – opposite of edgy. Also related: warm.
☐ Piercing – excessive highs, harsh, strident, hard on the ears.
☐ Powerful – maximum volume available (headroom) with lots of sustain.
- Not just volume – all power at once vs. sustain
- Ring Time – time to maximum power
- Simple to make loud instrument...
- Hard to produce balanced power over time
☐ Punchy – supposedly having good reproduction of dynamics. This is another one of those overused terms to describe tone.
☐ Rich – full with complex, even-order harmonics. Has depth and body.
☐ Round – clear with high frequencies rolled off. Not edgy.
☐ Short – lacking sustain, has less ring time, loss of tonal energy.
☐ Smooth – balanced not harsh or edgy, like round, creamy, etc.
☐ Sustaining – notes continue to ring as long as possible. After the initial attack, notes decay to their maximum ring time. Impedance matched.
☐ Thin – fundamentals are weak relative to harmonics. Opposite of rich.
☐ Twang – bright, sharp sound. Usually refers to out-of-tune unisons.
☐ Unfocused – open strings/poor hammer fitting; lacks definition, unclear, indistinct; may include false beats or have impedance problems.
☐ Warm – having a more balanced sound spectrum. Broad and centered resonant peaks. Also related: creamy, round, buttery.
☐ Weak – lacking power, sustain, tonal energy. Impedance mismatched.


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 266
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P.S. As I mentioned in a prior post, my performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Transcription of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Mason & Hamlin factory last Friday was well-received by the employees and dealers in attendance, especially in light of it being a USA factory. Although there was no audio taken of the recital, a few of the dealer representatives in attendance asked me to record a video of me playing this work on my Mason & Hamlin BB. Recorded this last night after work at 5 pm in one take, just prior to picking up our twin four year old daughters from pre-K school! One interesting trivia note, Sergei used to open many a concert at Carnegie Hall, etc. playing this very transcription.... God Bless America! Looking forward to recording other works, after both the BB and C3 are voiced and tone-regulated in early October.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2fWDJyfztI



Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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I've been very interested to hear your comments about M&H's new master-voicer and quality control improvements. The local M&H dealer in Salt Lake City, who is also a nationally-known technician, quit carrying M&H about 4 years ago because "I got tired of having to fix them all." I have not had the chance to play a WNG action, although I'd really like too, having heard so many positive things about them.

I have considered getting the piano-disc pro-record system for my dad's 1974 M&H model A. I was disappointed to hear from the company last week that they do not offer incremental damper pedaling with this system. Do you find this limiting or problematic with your recording?

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Hi Corvus,

Part I: Mason & Hamlin Factory Voicing & Tone Regulation

As Chief Voicing Technician at Mason & Hamlin, Boaz Kirschenbaum has become intimately involved in the voicing, tone regulation and final quality assessment of each and every new M&H produced since April of this year. With his training at North Bennet School in Boston, his completion of the CF Theodore Steinway School for Concert Technicians in Hamburg, his 10 years of concert tech work in the famed Steinway Hall “basement” on West 57th Street and as a Licensed Stanwood Precision Touch Installer, this is a remarkable development. Boaz main focus at the factory is to establish what it takes to create the Mason & Hamlin "Signature Sound" and insure uniform quality for all pianos leaving the factory.

According to Boaz, his focus in leading the Haverhill, MA factory voice and tone regulating department is to insure that every piano delivered exhibits: i) a Rich (full) powerful bass, ii) a Smooth (singing) lyrical tenor and iii) a Clear bell-like treble. Relative to tone and color, Boaz says that the top three characteristics of the Mason & Hamlin "Signature Sound" are: 1) Smooth, round and creamy (balanced), 2) Powerful (balanced time to power) and 3) with maximum Sustain and Ring time. The use of the carbon fiber/composite Wessell, Nickel & Gross (WNG) action and carbon-fiber shanks, provides a consistent action "stiffness", with virtually no variation (1-2%; as compared to 15-25% with wood shanks), allows the M&H technicians and voicers to develop a very consistent process of similarly 'needling' hammers in a given section of the action. The recent movement and use of Abel Natural Felt hammers, also reduces the nearly 14,000 "needle strokes" required to properly voice an instrument. And because of the consistency of the WNG action, the voicing work and tone regulation done at the factory has greater staying power, through environmental variation (e.g. temperature and humidity) and significant playing. I don't know if it is because of the WNG action, or Boaz' background as a Stanwood Precision Touch Installer, but the Mason & Hamlin piano's I have recently had the opportunity to play at the factory exhibit a degree of control and touch that is world-class, reminiscent of the actions of the very best Fazioli, Bosendorfer & Hamburg Steinways.

Interestingly enough, this movement to have the factory play a much larger role in consistently establishing a piano's initial tone and color, is very much in-line with what was done at Mason & Hamlin and many of the other great Golden Age pianos. Pianos in that era, spent significant time in a factory's inventory, being voiced and tone-regulated until they were just right! This focus on consistent quality and tone color also reduces the burden on the M&H dealer network, which can have a great deal of variation in the skill of the piano technicians they can afford to employ.



Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Hi Corvus,

Part II: ProRecord & PianoDisc Recording and Playback Experience

Relative to ProRecord and PianoDisc there is one subtlety that is very important to point out. ProRecord - which uses optical sensors to measure key and pedal movement and stores it in General MIDI format - does indeed have the ability to record incremental damper pedal position, in addition to recording the on/off position of the soft and sostenuto pedals. Thus it preserves exactly what the performer played, as seen by the optical sensors. Now one can argue, that if ProRecord actually measured hammer velocity, it would be even more accurate... but herein lies the problem for both the PianoDisc/ProRecord retrofit market. In order to be compatible with virtually any make of piano, the chosen means to either record a keystroke or pedal movement must be as simple as possible. For ProRecord to use hammer velocity, a great deal of customization would be required as a function of the piano manufacturer and installed action. You can see why Yamaha chooses to only install their record mechanism on newly minted pianos from their factory. Relative to incremental or proportional pedaling, there is a great deal of variation between the damper action of a Steinway vs. a Mason & Hamlin or a Yamaha, for instance. Not only are there differences in the force required and distance to travel, but this varies from piano to piano within a given make, and requires a very beefy solenoid with a "closed loop" feedback sensor. So offering a proportional sustain pedal option, that would work in all retrofit applications appears to be both technically challenging and would be quite an expensive option for PianoDisc. Such an option would best be possible on PianoDisc's sister division Mason & Hamlin, but unlike the high volume output of Yamaha, for instance, Mason & Hamlin only produces 200-300 pianos a year... not a large market for such a feature. Same exact challenge exists with the implementation of a PianoDisc soft pedal solenoid across a wide variety of pianos in the retrofit market. Easier to do on a Mason & Hamlin, but again a limited market.

There are a number of settings both within ProRecord and via a variety of excellent MIDI scripting tools available for free from Spencer Chase at: http://www.spencerserolls.com/Files4Download.html
that can help map and convert ProRecord's proportional sustain pedaling to an on-off command for playback on PianoDisc. Similarly, using the above tools from Spencer, one can easily convert recorded MIDI soft pedal commands to a prescribed volume reduction (e.g. 15-30%)... much like what happens on an upright when the hammers are moved closer to the strings. Although the resulting tone is not identical to what was originally recorded on a grand piano (via a shift of the hammers to a different string alignment), the intent is preserved and heard. So in answer to your question, through the use of these tools, I have not found this limiting or problematic with my recording. Greatest challenge I have found to date was keeping ProRecord calibrated following initial easing and regulation of the keys and action and then aligning what is recorded volume-wise to what PianoDisc plays back volume-wise. The former has to happen after each visit of the piano technician; the latter is basically a one-time assessment that can be done after initial installation of both ProRecord and PianoDisc. I understand that PianoDisc is working on better automating this calibration process in the very near future. Hope this is helpful!


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Over the past few months, I've had the privilege of developing a close working relationship with a very skilled concert technician, Boaz Kirschenbaum, whose expertise is in tone regulation and voicing; In fact, he is the new Chief Voicing Technician at Mason & Hamlin. He spent the last two days working on both my new Mason & Hamlin BB and my older Yamaha C3 and now I have two beautiful sounding instruments that exhibit both beautiful tone and color! Over the next few weeks, I hope to provide some before and after comparisons of both instruments.

[Linked Image]

The experience of collaboratively working with such a skilled technician, who has many years of training at North Bennet School in Boston, at the CF Theodore Steinway School in Hamburg, as a Concert Technician working in the famed Steinway Hall “basement” on West 57th Street, as a Licensed Stanwood Precision Touch Installer and in his new role at M&H is one that I will never forget, and an experience that I would highly recommend for any new M&H owner. I tried to document each step in the process.

[Linked Image]

As M&H Chief Voicing Technician, Boaz main focus at the factory since April, is to establish what it takes to create the Mason & Hamlin "Signature Sound" and insure uniform quality for all pianos leaving the factory. This in theory should reduce workload on the local M&H dealer and also makes any follow-up "in-home" tone regulation & voicing touch-ups much simpler. Mason & Hamlin BB's are known for their rich & powerful bass, a smooth & lyrical tenor and a clear bell-like treble.

[Linked Image]

The goal of our all-day session was to recreate what Boaz and the Voicing & Regulation team now insure on each new piano being delivered from the factory; i.e. insure a consistent Mason & Hamlin "Signature Sound" that is: 1) smooth, round & creamy, 2) powerful (with balanced time to power) and 3) maximizes sustain & ring time. One must also make sure that the concert technician is provided the 'proper inspiration' for optimal voicing and tone regulation!:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

The process begins with insuring proper key spacing and let-off.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

He then sands the keybed for smoother operation of the soft/shift pedal.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Then he inspects and lubricates the sustain/damper mechanism and pedal to insure that friction is minimized.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Next, is the time consuming operation where he optimally shapes all of the hammers.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

The concert technician then moves on to inspect proper string-leveling.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

He then follows this up insuring that every hammer perfectly aligns with each of the strings it is intended to strike - at the same time.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Following this, he massages each strings in the undamped, treble section to insure that there are no false beats.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Next he does a critical inspection of each key's repetition, wippen assembly, pinning & shank action - e.g. insuring no "clicking" - and adjusting if necessary.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Now we are ready for a concert level tuning.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Upon completion of this step, the concert technician is now ready for final voicing. When he has completed, the pianist and technician optimally listen together and make any necessary adjustments.
[Linked Image]

Finally, upon request, the concert technician signs the piano, providing a seal of approval of the job! Great having the M&H Chief Voicer's signature of approval on my Mason & Hamlin BB... Thank you Boaz Kirschenbaum!
[Linked Image]

For a more comprehensive set of pictures from the session, here's a link to the PianoWorld Photo Gallery - Mason & Hamlin BB: Optimal Tone Regulating & Concert Voicing:

Mason & Hamlin BB: Optimal Tone Regulating & Concert Voicing


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Happy Halloween! From Vladimir Horowitz, Liszt's Transcription of Saint-Saens 'Danse Macabre' as played on my Mason & Hamlin BB Serial #93623. Courtesy Peter Phillips Emulation of Duo-Art Roll 970, issued 4-1931

Liszt’s Transcription of Saint-Saens Danse Macabre, Op.40

Pianist Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989) plays Liszt’s Transcription of Saint-Saens Danse Macabre, Op.40
Peter Phillips Emulation of Duo-Art Roll 970 (issued 4-1931)
Mason & Hamlin 7' Model BB Serial # 93623 via PianoDisc iQ SilentDriveHD (10-31-2016)


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Nice choice Jason. One of my choices if I have the Weber Duo Art finished by next Halloween. Put a full-sized plastic skeleton at the piano, dressed in tails, this playing, and some artistic lighting. The kids coming to the door will have a clear view to the 'pianist'.




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Question: Can a Dual Tank Dampp-Chaser Piano-Life Saver System be installed in a Mason & Hamlin BB 7'0" with Crown Retention System, along with a Full PianoDisc iQ, ProRecord, QuietTime and SilentDrive HD Installation?

Thought some folks might be interested that we recently undertook this adventure and the answer is YES! Attached are some pictures of the end result. When utilized with a Custom Black Taffeta Mason & Hamlin BB American Piano Cover (Clifton, NJ) the additional tuning stability this humidification/dehumidification system provides along with central A/C and whole room humidification is fantastic!

You can see the long primary dehumidifier bar way up front just behind and running parallel to the keybed and across the soundboard. The secondary dehumidifier bar was installed lengthwise on the bass side of the soundboard; the humidistat was installed on the treble side of the strings, where it also provides dehumidification. Both humidifier tanks were placed level and parallel as an "under the beams" installation, and away from any of the PianoDisc SilentDrive HD Control or Solenoid Power Electronic Boxes.

Highly recommend the benefits of the Dual Tank Dampp-Chaser Piano Life Saver system. Especially living in a highly variable New England climate and attempting to control humidity with and extra large and wide Mason & Hamlin BB instrument!

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Happy New Year! Hope everyone has enjoyed this holiday season with their families and wishing each of you a Very Happy and Healthy 2017! I haven't posted in a while as work at Pratt & Whitney was very busy in December and then getting ready for Christmas with 4 1/2 year old twin daughters has been equally hectic, yet wonderful. I have a number of my own recordings on my Mason & Hamlin BB in the works, but it's been somewhat difficult finalizing and posting them since I have been off from work entertaining the twins since Christmas! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I've also been reviewing my old repertoire and looking through Peter Phillips MIDI emulations of great reproducing roll recordings by the Masters. One that I had missed was of Sergei Prokofiev playing his own very difficult Toccata, Op.11 back in 1921. This was a work I had performed as a finale back in my sophomore year as part of a Mozart-Prokofiev series at the Hartt College of Music. Thought you all might enjoy hearing the composer's own performance and interpretation:

Prokofiev plays his own Toccata Op.11 - Mason & Hamlin BB #93623

Pianist Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) plays his own Toccata Op.11 in Dm
Peter Phillips Emulation of Duo-Art Roll 6391 (issued 2-1921)
Mason & Hamlin 7' Model BB Serial # 93623 via PianoDisc iQ SilentDriveHD (12-30-2016)


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Sounds great, Jason. I've been a little slack in my 'piano foruming' lately, otherwise I wouldny't have missed this thread until now. Not surprised to see more good work coming out of Haverhill. Bet it sounds even better in person.

Enjoy!


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I had a chance to record a few pieces over the New Year's break, that I thought you might enjoy. I think they demonstrate the power, tone and lyricism of my M&H BB.

First off, a piece in memory of my dad, who passed away 7 years ago yesterday... just shy of his 91st birthday. As I reflected on this, my mom's upcoming 89th birthday, my upcoming birthday and watching our 4 1/2 year old twin daughters enjoy life... I recalled many fond memories of My Childhood, and decided to record and share a few piano works that I felt best expressed my thoughts and feelings.

Here is: Schumann's beautiful 'Traumerai' (Dreaming), Op.15, No. 7 - from 'Scenes from Childhood'.

Schumann: 'Traumerai' (Dreaming), Op.15, No. 7
Recorded on January 2, 2017 on Mason & Hamlin BB Semi-Concert Grand Piano #93623, w/ ProRecord, PianoDisc iQ & SilentDrive HD.
Demonstrates both the tone of the piano and capability of the PianoDisc iQ, ProRecord, and SilentDriveHD system.



Next, in memory of my good friend - Lisa Bernardara, a dedicated mom and wonderful engineer, who's life was unfortunately cut short by cancer and would have been 52 on January 10; here is my audio/video recording of:

Frederic Chopin: Etude Op.10, No.3, "Tristesse"
Recorded on January 3, 2017 on Mason & Hamlin BB Semi-Concert Grand Piano #93623



Finally, in honor of my beautiful mom's upcoming 89th birthday on January 14; here is my audio/video recording of:

Frederic Chopin: Etude Op.25, No.1, 'Aeolian Harp'
Recorded on January 3, 2017 on Mason & Hamlin BB Semi-Concert Grand Piano #93623



Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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I haven't posted any new recordings recently on my 2013-era Mason & Hamlin BB, but I still love the instrument after two years of ownership! Upon a separate request from Ed A. Hall, I had a few minutes this evening after I came from work (as our twin five year old girls were getting ready for bed) to record Nicolai Orlov's AMPICO 67751 (7-1927) roll recording - via my PianoDisc SilentDriveHD system using a Peter Phillips MIDI emulation - of Chopin's Etude in F, Op.10 No.8. What a wonderful original AMPICO roll recording this is - it is fast becoming one of my favorites - and the emulation is also quite accurate. I didn't have time to fuss with mic placement etc - in fact, I just used the built-in mic's of my TASCAM digital recorder. I also wish my piano had been more recently tuned - it was done last January, and is scheduled to be done in the coming month - but this is the best I can provide in short order. Enjoy! More to come of my own recordings...

Link to SoundCloud:
Chopin Etude Op.10 No.8 in F - Nikolai Orlov, pianist (7-1927)

Link to YouTube:
Chopin Etude Op.10 No.8 in F - Nikolai Orlov, pianist (7-1927)


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Enjoyed thoroughly the youtube recording of the Liszt concerto from 1985!

I'm impressed you played the Prokofiev Toccata as a sophomore, it's a beast (along with the Schumann Toccata!)

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Thank you Shaheen (spk)!

I really appreciate the compliment! It was a very special performance that evening, and I did not know that it was recorded by the Hartt School of Music until many years later (although the pitch has shifted slightly over the years). I've always loved everything about Franz Liszt; the composer, the legendary pianist & romantic, the poet and the religious scholar! For others who may be interested, here is the performance:

YouTube Recording:
Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 in Eb - pb Jason Solomonides
IMSLP Recording:
Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 in Eb - pb Jason Solomonides

Relative to the original thread intent... but staying in the key of Eb! The maturing sound of my beloved new Mason & Hamlin BB:

When I came home from work at Pratt & Whitney last Thursday, my wife and twin daughters had not yet returned from their swimming lesson, so I had a few minutes to myself as I readied everyone's dinner. With precious few moments of silence available, I recorded spontaneous 'E-flat' takes of both Grieg's Lyric Piece "Arietta", Op.12, No.1 and Chopin's Nocturne, Op.9, No.2, and thought I might share them as part of this original thread. I really rather like the tone, coloring and my recording of the beautiful little Grieg Arietta; the recording of the Chopin Nocturne is just OK, but still demonstrates the character of this wonderful piano:

YouTube Recording:
Grieg: 'Arietta' - Lyric Pieces Op.12, No.1 - pb J. Solomonides
SoundCloud Recording:
Grieg: 'Arietta' - Lyric Pieces Op.12, No.1 - pb J. Solomonides


YouTube Recording:
Chopin: Nocturne Op.9, No.2 - pb J. Solomonides
SoundCloud Recording:
Chopin: Nocturne Op.9, No.2 - pb J. Solomonides


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
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Lovely piano and lovely playing, Jason. Congratulations

I am curious, though. Mason & Hamlins in the past had a reputation for less-than-stellar fit and finish, and requiring a lot of dealer preparation and finishing before delivery to the customer.

Your piano is only two years old, thus it would be a good example of M&H's current quality control. How was the fit and finish on your piano when delivered to you, and did your dealer have to "prep" it a lot before delivery?

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Originally Posted by Almaviva
Lovely piano and lovely playing, Jason. Congratulations

I am curious, though. Mason & Hamlins in the past had a reputation for less-than-stellar fit and finish, and requiring a lot of dealer preparation and finishing before delivery to the customer.

Your piano is only two years old, thus it would be a good example of M&H's current quality control. How was the fit and finish on your piano when delivered to you, and did your dealer have to "prep" it a lot before delivery?

Hi Almaviva,

Thank you so much for your kind words. Without rehashing too much of the past, you might take a look at some of the posts from earlier in the thread, which may very well answer some of your questions.

The short answer to your question: i. fit and finish of new Mason & Hamlin pianos has greatly improved over the past two decades, ii. instrument fit and finish is world-class and iii. the Mason & Hamlin Factory that I purchased it from spent a considerable amount of time both prior to and after delivery "prepping" my piano's voicing and tone regulation.

*******
Here's a slightly longer, albeit condensed summary. I purchased my 'new' 2013 Mason & Hamlin BB in August of 2015 after requesting a tour and visiting the Mason & Hamlin factory in Haverhill, MA with my wife. After the tour, there were three Mason & Hamlin BB's ready and available to play on their 6th floor 'selection' or show room. At the time, the factory did not have an official factory store like they do today up on the 6th floor. But after 3 hours of playing these instruments and narrowing it down to my first & second choice, I inquired about purchasing my BB; I knew right there and then that after searching for a 7'0" + semi-concert grand over the past two decades or so, this was to be my instrument. The fit, quality and finish of all three BB's was super. I have since come to find out that a lot of work has gone on at Haverhill to improve the fit, finish and quality of the pianos since the late 90's. This has been a continual journey for them, from studying the finish quality of the best German and Japanese instruments, to getting the right mix of hand craftsmanship, process control & use of key reference holes as part of the assembly initial & final fit, as well of the strategic use of CNC machining for decorative edges on music stands and curves, etc. I've always loved the lush American sound of both the old and new Mason & Hamlin instruments. But I also believe, that the design, development, implementation and incorporation of the Wessell-Nickel-Gross (WNG) composite/carbon-fber action - standard on all M&H pianos since 2010/11- has addressed what may have been the weakest link of Boston's Golden Age, Rochester-Aeolian Era and the early Haverhill instruments - the once sluggish wooden action. Although by 2000-2004, these actions had been improved greatly, the new WNG action provides a more even touch & consistent degree of control that is world-class... another significant characteristic of high quality instruments.

I may have had three additional advantages. 1) I purchased it from the Mason & Hamlin Factory directly and have subsequently got to know many of the people who made my piano very well. This does not mean that I couldn't have had a great experience purchasing it from one of the many fine worldwide M&H dealers I have met over the past two years, but buying from the factory made it even more special. 2) It turns out that of the three instruments I was looking at, the other two were brand new off the production line, but mine had some time to 'season' a bit over the two years. I often see people wonder on the PianoWorld forums if they should buy an instrument that has been sitting at a dealer (or the factory) for a long time - anxious that it is no longer a 'new instrument'. But high-end pianos are not cars! In fact during the Golden Age, it was part of each of the famous manufacturers process (e.g. Steinway, Chickering, Mason & Hamlin, etc) to let their instruments sit for up to two years before being sent out of the factory, so that the concert technicians could tinker with the voicing and tone regulation and make it just right. In this day and age, economics generally prohibit this with new pianos - it is more likely to happen with vintage instruments that are restored by a world-class rebuilder. But happily in my case, I felt the instrument I selected had a more mature initial voicing and was superior to the other two. Even so, the piano still needed some voicing work in the upper registers once it was delivered to my house... very different acoustics between a factory showroom floor and a living room! 3) The final advantage I had, was getting to know Mason & Hamlin's Chief Voicing Technician at the time - and still a trusted consultant to the factory - Mr. Boaz Kirschenbaum. Boaz has performed two voicing and tone regulation sessions in my house with my Mason & Hamlin BB, and is scheduled to come back after the change of seasons this fall for a tuning and checkup. Boaz was trained at the Hamburg Steinway factory school, and served as a concert technician in NY Steinway's famous basement for many years. He also has trained many piano technicians around the U.S. and across Europe in the area of voicing and tone regulation. With this experience, Mr. Kirschenbaum reinstituted the importance of this step through training at the factory, and stressed it's importance prior to dealer delivery. He even was/continues to be involved with some decisions to change the production line's choice of materials (e.g. moving to a softer Abel Natural (vs. Abel Select) hammer to reduce the number of hours required to soften the tone in the upper registers).

Mason & Hamlin BB: Optimal Tone Regulating & Concert Voicing

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P.S. Had a chance to record another great Chopin performance by the Russian pianist Nikolai Orlov (a.k.a. Nikolaij Orloff) on my M&H earlier today. Again, I apologize that it has been nine months since the instrument was tuned. Enjoy!

Pianist Nikolai Orlov (1892-1964) plays Chopin Fantaisie-Impromptu Op.66 in C#m
Peter Phillips Emulation of Ampico Roll 70243 (issued 10-1929)
Mason & Hamlin 7' Model BB Serial # 93623 via PianoDisc iQ SilentDriveHD (9-22-2017)

Link to SoundCloud:
Chopin Fantaisie-Impromptu in C#m Op.66 - Nikolai Orlov, pianist

Link to YouTube:
Chopin Fantaisie-Impromptu in C#m Op.66 - Nikolai Orlov, pianist


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,619
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Congrats to one of the absolute best pianos in the world!

Norbert thumb


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
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Posts: 266
Hello Friends!

I don't often get to post on PianoWorld these days, with my full time occupation in Aerospace Engineering and just trying to focus on spending quality time with my family! I will say, I do enjoy visiting often and reading many of my old PianoWorld friends posts on occasion, just to stay in touch. Some of you may remember that I started out as a double major in Controls - Electrical Engineering and Piano Performance back in college. Since we had our twin daughters over 9 years ago, it is often tough for me to get a quiet moment to record anything, except the occasional digital piano MIDI recording that I have posted from time to time in Piano World Members Recordings - Pianist Corner. Well, I finally had a chance to make a couple of uninterrupted acoustical piano recordings last Sunday morning on my Mason & Hamlin 7' BB, while our daughters were in Irish competitive dance class and our young puppy was taking her morning nap! I still love my BB after purchasing it six years ago - No regrets! Anyway, I thought I might update this old thread as a reference. The piano was last tuned by Boaz Kirschenbaum five months ago. I wish I had done these recordings back then... but I wouldn't have been able to get it this quiet!

Here’s my latest recording of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Prelude No.16, Op.32 No.5 in G Major:


Here’s my latest recording of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Prelude No.23, Op.32 No.12 in G# minor:


Take care!


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkP65I5BsNipAaT6BbTL-A7ibPdOv0DEZ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 95
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What a wonderful performance and nice sounding piano, it sounds in tune to me 😁.

Joined: Nov 2020
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love your recordings! piano sounds great!


Working on:
Bach Preludes and Fugues (Assorted)
Beethoven Appassionata Sonata
Chopin Scherzo #3

Practicing on:
Yamaha NU1X
Yamaha P-515

Playing on:
C. Bechstein Concert A192

Old Flames:
1987 Yamaha C2
2020 Kawai K-300 Aures
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 670
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Wolfgangmeister, so glad to see you back here again. Thanks for the videos of your beautiful piano. It’s nice to be able to see you playing it in the video. Hoping you’ll share more and visit more often. Hope all is well, my friend!


Shigeru Kawai SK-7
Mason and Hamlin BB
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