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I watched a presentation of an interview with Garrick Ohlsson, and I found it mostly enjoyable and on point. There's a relatively brief Q&A with the audience at the end, and I've queued the video up to the asking of the last question.

'I noticed that this piano is not actually warmed up.' The claim is made that it makes it sound and play properly. A further claim (outlandish I think) is made that Beethoven and Mozart wrote 'warm-ups' directly into their piano music ... and the guy then imitates the opening statement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

So, is priming your piano by getting it played-in right before a performance a thing? Ohlsson's response seemed equivocal.


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The piano should be kept in a stable temperature and humidity. Otherwise it may de-tune and other issues may occur.

I can imagine situations eg in a cold church where you really need to warm up the environment to make it enjoyable to the public and performer. But it's taking the risk with the piano.

I think normally warming-up applies to the performer, not to the piano. Top performers often play some scale-like runs to warm up. In old times, there often was no time planned in for that, so the performer had to warm up in front of the public. Therefore they created introductions, that sounded nice but concealed scales and other practice stuff.


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If you didn't watch the 1 1/2 mins. of video first, there's no point responding.

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Originally Posted by parapiano
If you didn't watch the 1 1/2 mins. of video first, there's no point responding.
I did watch these 90 seconds and they were a complete waste of my time.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by parapiano
If you didn't watch the 1 1/2 mins. of video first, there's no point responding.
I did watch these 90 seconds and they were a complete waste of my time.


What was the conclusion? You are warming up the pianist at the same time, so therefore no objective conclusion. Ho hum.


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Imagine if great pianists hired other people to warm up the piano before the concert and the pride in saying: I warmed up the piano for Martha Argerich! With elbows!


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Originally Posted by dogperson
What was the conclusion?

There was no conclusion, just an introduction explaining the excellence of the pianist. Which I do not doubt, but which I am not interested in either.


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Originally Posted by parapiano
I've queued the video up to the asking of the last question.

I suspect this didn't work, at least not on my pc.

Originally Posted by parapiano
If you didn't watch the 1 1/2 mins. of video first, there's no point responding.

So probably this these 1 1/2 mins. are somewhere towards the end...


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by dogperson
What was the conclusion?

There was no conclusion, just an introduction explaining the excellence of the pianist. Which I do not doubt, but which I am not interested in either.


Yes, there was no objective conclusion. In fact I think Ohlsson may have been humoring the questioner


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I never noticed any change of sound in my piano during playing. Another fuzzy theory ?

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I recommend that all pianists warm up their ears before starting their practice session. No, not by sticking your head into the piano while your cat plays tone clusters col pugno (or more accurately, col paws), but by using hand-warmers (the ones skiers use) on the pinnae for 4:33 exactly - in perfect silence, of course.

Then, they'll realize that all the wrong notes they hear from their instrument is not the instrument's fault. A bad workman blames his tools, but a good pianist blames his ears.


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Animisha wrote:
Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by parapiano
If you didn't watch the 1 1/2 mins. of video first, there's no point responding.
I did watch these 90 seconds and they were a complete waste of my time.
and subsequently wrote

Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by parapiano
I've queued the video up to the asking of the last question.

I suspect this didn't work, at least not on my pc.

Originally Posted by parapiano
If you didn't watch the 1 1/2 mins. of video first, there's no point responding.

So probably this these 1 1/2 mins. are somewhere towards the end...

So ... you watched it, and then an hour later decided you hadn't watched it after all? Roger that.

Just to clear up confusion, I know the question was absurd. And yet I thought that maybe there was a .1% chance this was a thing I hadn't heard of. Even the idea is bogus, and I could sense, as another member suggested, that Ohlsson was humoring the man ... who really did say 'duh-duh-duh DAH' to illustrate his claim about pianos needing warning up.

After months, I have yet to see an interesting or beneficial thread here or noticed that any members are actually interested in musical structures and piano technique. I guess it's way easier to humor (as Ohlsson did) the poor souls who can sight-read Beethoven sonatas but want to improve their sight-reading or the ones claiming they Bach inventions after three months and have some vague injury that's not described well and probably not related to anything they could have done.

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Originally Posted by parapiano
After months, I have yet to see an interesting or beneficial thread here or noticed that any members are actually interested in musical structures and piano technique.

Which begs the question, "after months" - why are you still here, if nothing here remotely interests (or humor) you?

And if you want to discuss esoteric stuff, why don't you start a thread on "Discussing decadophonic structures in contemporary music" or "Comparing the use of double octaves and contrary sixths from Liszt to Rachmaninov" (or something similar) rather than something absurd like 'Do you warm up your piano?' (not to mention "attractive pianists"), which invites replies that offend your sensibilities?

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I guess it's way easier to humor (as Ohlsson did) the poor souls who can sight-read Beethoven sonatas but want to improve their sight-reading or the ones claiming they Bach inventions after three months and have some vague injury that's not described well and probably not related to anything they could have done.
Indeed it is, just as it's way easier to criticize others for failing to live up to your exalted standards than it is to start a meaningful discussion.


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Originally Posted by parapiano
If you didn't watch the 1 1/2 mins. of video first, there's no point responding.

Can't see the video. Need to prove first I'm not a robot which leads to captcha's that lead nowhere anyway. Thanks.

Your question is in the header and it seemed clear enough.


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I don't know about warming up the piano - but my physiotherapist recommends warming up the hands, or more specifically, working out the joints, as follows. Clasp the hands together with the fingers interlinked; imagine a bar of soap between the palms; then rub the palms on the soap, with a circular motion.


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