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Have fun with your Grotrian-Steinweg! Great instrument.

Last edited by zeitlos; 02/18/21 01:45 PM.
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Congratulations. You will love it!

Rich


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Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"
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Hi, Aritempo:

Congratulations on your purchase of a Grotrian piano!

I had the opportunity to play new Grotrian pianos during my piano search back in 2004 at Carl Demler's (rest his soul) piano shop in New York and also at Cathy Harl's shop in Virginia. I was super impressed with the sensitivity of the keyboard action. They were easy to play whisper quiet. Also, they sang beautifully way, way up into the upper stretches of the treble, much higher than many other pianos.

Congrats, again, on your new musical partner!

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

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Originally Posted by Jeanne W
Hi, Aritempo:

Congratulations on your purchase of a Grotrian piano!

I had the opportunity to play new Grotrian pianos during my piano search back in 2004 at Carl Demler's (rest his soul) piano shop in New York and also at Cathy Harl's shop in Virginia. I was super impressed with the sensitivity of the keyboard action. They were easy to play whisper quiet. Also, they sang beautifully way, way up into the upper stretches of the treble, much higher than many other pianos.

Congrats, again, on your new musical partner!

Jeanne W

I may have bought the Grotrian you played at Cathy's place in Virginia if you were there in 2005. smile

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Pianist Diana Boyle has just released Bach French Overture on Hyperion.

The piano is a 1991 Grotrian Steinweg 225, prepared by Peter Salisbury.

For this recording the hammers were made extremely soft because she likes a lot of colour but not a lot of bite.

They're available on Spotify, easily searchable. Personally I think it's wonderful playing and a beautiful tone.

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Goodness-- a Balsam student! That takes me back. He was close to retirement back in the early 80s.

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Hi, Piano Dad.

In response to your comment, I think I can clear up the question of whether you bought one of the Grotrians I played at Cathy Harl's shop. I hope it's all right to begin by writing a bit about my experience of Grotrian pianos.

My piano search began in August of 2003 and culminated in the purchase of my beloved Steinway A3 in December of 2004. During my search I played many different pianos in many piano shops located all along the east coast including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. I have detailed notes of every piano I played.

At Beethoven's in New York City on May 9, 2004 I played a 7' 4" Grotrian. On May 14, 2004, I played the 7'4" a second time and another 5'5" Grotrian that had recently arrived. Pique was also a frequent poster on PianoWorld during that time period. I believe Carl Demler, owner of Beethoven's, had both of those Grotrians voiced by Marc Weinert, the tech Pique writes about in her book, Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey - Perri Knize (very interesting read.)

On June 24, 2004, I visited Cathy Harl's shop and played two Grotrians and two August Forster's. There was a smaller and a larger model Grotrian. One of them, I believe it was the larger 225 model, had just been uncrated that morning.

Every time I visited a shop, I took along a sheet with a table I had created and rated each piano I played.

The table ratings include "Action"; Tone-Bass; Tone-Mid; Tone-Treble; Transition; Dynamics; Pedals-Pressure; Pedals-Control; Sustain; Overall Tone; Issues.

The table also includes "Make", "Case Color/Veneer"; "Size" and *TA-DA* - *Serial Number* I can therefore identify the exact Grotrian pianos I played.

Is one of the following Grotrians the one you bought?

Beethoven's Grotrians in NYC:
7'4" Model Serial #156018
5'5" Model, Serial #153928

Cathy Harl's Grotrians in Virginia:
7'4 Model 225. Serial # 156348
6'3 Model 192 Serial # 156455.

I'd like to add that my impression is every Grotrian piano I played was a superb instrument. I gave every one of them the highest ratings possible on my home-made rating table, 9 to 10 rating in all categories.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

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Mine is indeed #156455.

Small world. There was a 225 on the floor at the same time, but that one was out of my price range. I'm sure it was the one you played.

I also played a 192 at Carl Demler's shop. I was looking with a friend and we both wound up buying Grotrian 192s from Cathy. Cathy imported two more 192s so we had choice. She wanted to keep one on the floor and we were going to take two of them. Quite impressive to see three 192s all nicely lined up and freshly prepped for us to play. I chose the existing one on the floor and my friend opted for one of the two brand new ones.

I was buying primarily for my son, who was 12 at the time and becoming rather good. We traveled from NC to NY looking at pianos. I actually pulled him out of school for a few days so we could spend some time in NY together.

Nice story: we wandered by the old Steinway Hall at about 8:00 A.M. one morning before anything opened up. We looked into the central hall, which was silent and empty. Then I tried the door and to my surprise it opened. We looked at each other like, "should we??" and proceeded to walk into the silent space. There was a nice D sitting right under the dome with its lid up, almost inviting someone to sit and play if they were willing to disturb the silence and emptiness.

I nudged him, and he looked up like, "what, me, now?" He looked around, walked over to the bench, and sat down. Then he played Mozart's Fantasia in D minor start to finish. In the middle of it, I noticed that people had wandered out onto the balcony over the piano, where they stood quietly and listened. Son didn't notice that he had an audience. grin

The office staff had been in some sort of morning meeting, and they came out when they heard the music start.

He finished the piece and his ceiling audience broke into applause. The look of surprise on his face was priceless. One of the sales reps came down and introduced himself, and then proceeded to give us a thorough tour of the facility. The piano under the dome was prepped for some sort of youth competition later in the week, but no one seemed to mind that he had used it (or at least no one said anything!).

Son fell in love with a particular model A in a Carl Lagerfeld modernist case. He has always had expensive tastes ... Let me tell you about the Fazioli he fell for at Ruggero in North Carolina. smile

He did like the Grotrian as well, and it fit my budget rather better.

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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Mine is indeed #156455.

Small world. There was a 225 on the floor at the same time, but that one was out of my price range. I'm sure it was the one you played.

I also played a 192 at Carl Demler's shop. I was looking with a friend and we both wound up buying Grotrian 192s from Cathy. Cathy imported two more 192s so we had choice. She wanted to keep one on the floor and we were going to take two of them. Quite impressive to see three 192s all nicely lined up and freshly prepped for us to play. I chose the existing one on the floor and my friend opted for one of the two brand new ones.

I was buying primarily for my son, who was 12 at the time and becoming rather good. We traveled from NC to NY looking at pianos. I actually pulled him out of school for a few days so we could spend some time in NY together.

Nice story: we wandered by the old Steinway Hall at about 8:00 A.M. one morning before anything opened up. We looked into the central hall, which was silent and empty. Then I tried the door and to my surprise it opened. We looked at each other like, "should we??" and proceeded to walk into the silent space. There was a nice D sitting right under the dome with its lid up, almost inviting someone to sit and play if they were willing to disturb the silence and emptiness.

I nudged him, and he looked up like, "what, me, now?" He looked around, walked over to the bench, and sat down. Then he played Mozart's Fantasia in D minor start to finish. In the middle of it, I noticed that people had wandered out onto the balcony over the piano, where they stood quietly and listened. Son didn't notice that he had an audience. grin

The office staff had been in some sort of morning meeting, and they came out when they heard the music start.

He finished the piece and his ceiling audience broke into applause. The look of surprise on his face was priceless. One of the sales reps came down and introduced himself, and then proceeded to give us a thorough tour of the facility. The piano under the dome was prepped for some sort of youth competition later in the week, but no one seemed to mind that he had used it (or at least no one said anything!).

Son fell in love with a particular model A in a Carl Lagerfeld modernist case. He has always had expensive tastes ... Let me tell you about the Fazioli he fell for at Ruggero in North Carolina. smile

He did like the Grotrian as well, and it fit my budget rather better.


Cool story! thumb


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Indeed some lovely stories. Music has a way of connecting us all.

I am humbled though by Jeanne W's and Piano*Dad's travails to find their perfect instruments. It is akin to a pilgrimage that a heathen like me can never aspire too!

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Originally Posted by Aritempor
Indeed some lovely stories. Music has a way of connecting us all.

I am humbled though by Jeanne W's and Piano*Dad's travails to find their perfect instruments. It is akin to a pilgrimage that a heathen like me can never aspire too!

Yes, Jeanne W's too! Amazing details, and to still have them all.


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Piano Dad:

Small World, Indeed!

What a great experience you had at Steinway Hall! Good for you and your son! Your son was 12 in 2004, now he's around 29, I hope he's still playing the piano.

I have three questions for you…

Q1: When you visited Ruggero's in NC, were you shown a performance area hall located in the basement of the shop?

I'm thinking Ruggero's is the shop I visited in NC with basement music hall but I'm not sure. Whichever shop it was had the l-a-r-g-e-s-t of grand pianos majestically up on stage. My notes must have a few "holes" in them - I have no notes of my visit to Ruggero's so I'm not sure which pianos I played there. My husband's recollection is the piano on stage was a Fazioli, but I'm not sure.

Q2: As you were driving around North Carolina around the same year I was, did you happen to come across a piano shop with a unique name - something like "Quirk" or "Quark" Piano?

During our travels we happened to come across a sign advertising the shop so we went out of our way to take a look. An older gentlemen showed us about a huge warehouse full of used pianos and mega amounts of dismantled piano parts stored all around. That was quite the experience. Maybe you happened upon this place, too? My recollection this was in North Carolina.

Q3: At Cathy Harl's shop, did you see the small "butterfly wing piano" she had on the floor? It was a Wurlitzer. It was not a "Wowzer" piano, but it's smallish voice was charming and it endeared itself to me all the same. If I had the space, I'd have bought it. Cathy did say she was only storing that piano there for someone else though. She didn't own it, couldn't sell it.

Jeanne W


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1920 Steinway A3
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Aritempor - Congrats on the Grotrian!

Fun to read about the excitement from the Kids & Yourself

Good Times!


~Lucubrate


Bösendorfer 280VC
Steingraeber 130

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.“ ~Epictetus
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Jeanne,

Ruggero Piano has a concert hall attached to the main showroom via an unobtrusive doorway. Not in a basement as I recall. At some point during my visit I noticed that my son had disappeared. I had no idea where he had gone. Then one of the Ruggeros smiled and said that the kid had discovered the concert venue. He was happily ensconced on a Fazioli that was one step smaller than the concert model. The Ruggeros regaled us with the piano's specs, bells, and whistles, but it was so out of my price range that I didn't want to spend too much time messing around with it. Fortunately, my son was pretty good about being told that price did indeed matter!

Did not see any other dealers in NC, so I can't say I had any quirky visits to Quark's! I thought Quark's was a bar on Deep Space Nine... smile

Cathy Harl still posts, so perhaps she will see this and weigh in on the Wurlitzer. I have a vague memory of that, but I could be hallucinating.

BTW, son was 12 in 2005 when we were looking. He is 27 now and finishing a Ph.D. in planetary geology. He has no access to a piano at present, so I'm sure he has developed a thick layer of rust on his fingers. But it can be scraped off once he is more settled.

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Aritempo:

I hope you'll forgive the side step discussions or if Cathy Harl chimes in here.

It's time to swing the conversation back to your new music partner, your grand new Grotrian.

Congrats, again on choosing a terrific piano!

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

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Post Script: The name of the piano shop I was trying to remember is not "Quirk" or "Quark", it is Kluttz Piano CO, 7645 Us Highway 52, Salisbury, NC 28146. They are still in business and their work as praised by a customer on the company website is said to be "of the highest caliber".

Jeanne W

Last edited by Jeanne W; 02/20/21 08:16 PM.

Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

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Hi guys -- RichD clued me in on this thread. Brings back a lot of good memories. I miss my shop and all the cool people I met there. Those Grotrians really were pretty great. Hello again to all my old friends and customers.
Best,
Cathy


Cathy Harl - former piano dealer and tech.
Currently making and designing jewelry.
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