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Estonia Pianos
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Hi All,

Yes, I titled the last thread "1890's Bechstein", but the piano was indeed built in 1887. Yesterday I met Hugh and we made a quick video on the piano. Please enjoy!





Rich Galassini
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SO SORRY FOR THE BAD LINK!

Try this one instead:


Rich Galassini
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Baldwin M
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Oh, that is one sweet sounding piano!


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That's a beautiful looking and sounding piano. How tall is it? At first I was going to say that it looked shorter than around 52", but then I realized that the shape of the fallboard covers a lot of view of the case above the keys so the piano is, I'm guessing, quite tall.

I'm not at all knowledgeable about art history, but the shape of the arms and molding on the arms and other areas somehow looks art deco to me. Similar to the molding on the sides of this Wurlitzer butterfly grand(sorry, I don't know how to post pictures).
https://artdecocollection.com/acces...ly-baby-grand-piano-art-deco-streamline/

How were you able to find all about the history of the piano? Are the present owners related to the original owners?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 03/03/21 03:45 PM.
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All I can say is WOW! Your team did an excellent job of restoring it to it's original condition. The tone is amazingly vintage. And as you said at the end of the video, Hugh's playing really captured the era of the late 1880's. It's really a marvelous thing to have a sense of the music the way the great composer's would have heard it on the instruments of their time. I'm so glad you made this video.

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Well, Rich, what can I say? Honestly you've captured the Bechstein tone

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oh wow. I am totally in love with this piano. Helped by the fact that its cabinet is similar to my vintage upright ( - opposite end of the quality spectrum, and probably 30 years younger, but still much loved despite having a rival in the house).
It's such a fascinating story. I'm so glad that the family decided to have it restored, and that you have shared the amazing job you've done with us all.

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Wonderful sounding piano!


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Thank you for sharing everything about this piano Rich. We all wanted to hear Hugh playing this instrument. Thank you, it sounded wonderful, actually unique.

I would interested to know what this whole venture taught you or what you experienced "bringing it back to life" for the family ?

Last edited by Lady Bird; 03/03/21 05:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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Exceptional! Wow!

And it goes with out saying, so, of course, I'll say it: It was exquisitely played. Thank you, Hugh.

And thank you Rich, this was obviously a labour of love to have achieved such perfection.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by BruceD
Exceptional! Wow!

And it goes with out saying, so, of course, I'll say it: It was exquisitely played. Thank you, Hugh.

And thank you Rich, this was obviously a labour of love to have achieved such perfection.

Regards,


I’ll echo this— exquisite upright and exquisite playing
Liszt would be pleased at the way Hugh played his score


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
How were you able to find all about the history of the piano? Are the present owners related to the original owners?

Yes, the present owners are direct descendants of the original owners.

Originally Posted by Lady Bird
I would interested to know what this whole venture taught you or what you experienced "bringing it back to life" for the family ?

Lady Bird, I learn from pianists and piano lovers every day. Restoration has been a specialty for us since WWII, so this is a big part of what we do. We help a family enjoy an heirloom for another generation, we help a college preserve their inventory of fine grand pianos, an avid pianist find "the one". I think it some of the most gratifying work I could do.

Walking through an unusual piano and discovering what made it tick is so much fun. It gives me a perspective into what manufacturers were thinking then, and what a particular composer may have actually heard when they wrote their music.


Rich Galassini
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
How were you able to find all about the history of the piano? Are the present owners related to the original owners?

Yes, the present owners are direct descendants of the original owners.

Originally Posted by Lady Bird
I would interested to know what this whole venture taught you or what you experienced "bringing it back to life" for the family ?

Lady Bird, I learn from pianists and piano lovers every day. Restoration has been a specialty for us since WWII, so this is a big part of what we do. We help a family enjoy an heirloom for another generation, we help a college preserve their inventory of fine grand pianos, an avid pianist find "the one". I think it some of the most gratifying work I could do.

Walking through an unusual piano and discovering what made it tick is so much fun. It gives me a perspective into what manufacturers were thinking then, and what a particular composer may have actually heard when they wrote their music.
Inspiring Rich , Thank you for sharing!

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Rich, thanks for sharing, this is an absolutely wonderful interview featuring delicate playing. Amazing job on the restauration, appreciate the technical insights in the background work done and the efforts to preserve original parts.

Following up on a historical point you make early on in the video how British upper class people at the time would prefer German over British-made instruments because the latter connoted higher status (like today). There's actually a bit more to it.
The Royal family, for instance, owned a Bluethner piano, and so did quite a few aristocratic families at the time - not so much (or only) because they preferred (rarely played) superior instruments, but because quite a few of these families were of German descent. It was only with the advent of World War I and British fall-out with Germany in the 1910s that British royals and aristocrats restyled themselves - their culture, and their names - away from German culture.

For perhaps the most famous example, see here on the origin of the distinguished Mountbatton name that became so closely intertwined with the British Royal family in the early 20th century:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Louis_of_Battenberg

British royals being mostly German is much older of course (there's a famous joke about it in Blackadder Season 3), but this was the heyday of rebranding. I imagine that German pianos also went a bit out of fashion in the ensuing fall-out, but I have not researched it, and in any case, the instrument you've restored belonging to the late 1880s predates that trend.

Last edited by Windjammer; 03/03/21 10:16 PM.

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There was a great deal of anti German feeling during WW1. (1914) Kaiser Wilhelm II was blamed for leading Britain into war .He was the eldest grand child of Queen Victoria and a cousin to GeorgeV. ( I believe) So King George and the Queen had thier German surname changed to Windsor.
Bechstein Hall became known as Wigmore hall. ( not sure what it is called today ?)

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Amazing job on this Rich & Co. Anybody know the name of the piece Hugh played?


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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Amazing job on this Rich & Co. Anybody know the name of the piece Hugh played?

Romance by Liszt op 169.., this was an early composition of Romance; supposedly he forgot he wrote it and wrote another ‘Romance’ late in life


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
I think it some of the most gratifying work I could do.

I know you sell fine new pianos too, but the restoration path seems the most incredible to me.


Baldwin M
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― Duke Ellington
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