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Barenboim's new piano...


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Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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The historical instrument / HIP movement has really raised the awareness of mainstream musicians that there are advantages to the tools and techniques of past centuries, and hybrid approaches are more and more common. There are modern pianos tuned to historical temperaments, violins with modern setup but gut strings, modern orchestras playing with natural trumpets . . . and now Barenboim has commissioned a modern piano that doesn't have a Steinway-style cross-overstrung bass section. Should be excellent for the grumbly low passages in Beethoven or the thick textures that Schumann liked to create.

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We're going to see Barenboim playing his new piano tonight at RFH - his first of three Schubert Sonata programs. I'll report back what we see and hear.

 

We're also hearing Angela Hewitt playing Sunday at Wigmore - she usually plays a Fazioli. So other than the vastly different acoustics of the halls, we'll hear almost back to back the newest and one of the newest grand pianos to come on the scene.

 

We heard the wonderful violinist James Ehnes last night at Wigmore, with Andrew Armstrong accompanying - powerfully playing the Steinway (most probably a Hamburg Steinway). So we will also have a Steinway as a comparison.

 

Larry

Analog-VPIClas3,3DArm,LyraSkala+MiyajimaZeromono,Herron VTPH2APhono,2AmpexATR-102+MerrillTridentMaster TapePreamp

Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacificMicrosonicsModel2; Dig Play-Lampi Horizon, mch NADAC, Roon-HQPlayer,Oppo105

Electronics-DoshiPre,CJ MET1mchPre,Cary2A3monoamps; Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR

Other-2x512EngineerMarutaniSymmetrical Power+Cables Music-1.8KR2Rtapes,1.5KCD's,500SACDs,50+TBripped files

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We're going to see Barenboim playing his new piano tonight at RFH - his first of three Schubert Sonata programs. I'll report back what we see and hear.

 

We're also hearing Angela Hewitt playing Sunday at Wigmore - she usually plays a Fazioli. So other than the vastly different acoustics of the halls, we'll hear almost back to back the newest and one of the newest grand pianos to come on the scene.

 

We heard the wonderful violinist James Ehnes last night at Wigmore, with Andrew Armstrong accompanying - powerfully playing the Steinway (most probably a Hamburg Steinway). So we will also have a Steinway as a comparison.

 

Larry

 

I'll be very interested to hear your impressions of the two new (well, one new, one new-ish) pianos. Not sure how easy it will be to separate the instruments from the instrumentalists, but that will be part of the fun.

 

Edit: A friend's parents had a Bösendorfer, a fine instrument about/from which I hear next to nothing these days.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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We're going to see Barenboim playing his new piano tonight at RFH - his first of three Schubert Sonata programs. I'll report back what we see and hear.

 

We're also hearing Angela Hewitt playing Sunday at Wigmore - she usually plays a Fazioli. So other than the vastly different acoustics of the halls, we'll hear almost back to back the newest and one of the newest grand pianos to come on the scene.

 

We heard the wonderful violinist James Ehnes last night at Wigmore, with Andrew Armstrong accompanying - powerfully playing the Steinway (most probably a Hamburg Steinway). So we will also have a Steinway as a comparison.

 

Larry

 

Lucky you. Very interested in your review of the new piano sound and his performance of Schubert. Do you know is it gonna be recorded? Keep us posted and come back with feedback please.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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BTW, here: http://www.chrismaene.be/files/Press%20Conference%20Chris%20Maene%20-%20Barenboim%20Straight%20Strung%20Concert%20Grand%20FINAL%20Handouts.pdf is a nice presentation about the technical details of Berenboim's piano construction. Worth to read.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Just to give an idea of the discussion that goes on regarding pianos (Bösendorfer, Fazioli and Blüthner are mentioned), plus an interesting story about Garrick Ohlsson I'd never heard before: Why are Steinway pianos so expensive compared to those offered by competitors? - Quora

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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A friend of me has a Bosendorfer grand piano that sounds wonderful. But then, it is standing in the main hall of his Austrian castle, I guess the acoustics help...

 

:)

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Just to give an idea of the discussion that goes on regarding pianos (Bösendorfer, Fazioli and Blüthner are mentioned), plus an interesting story about Garrick Ohlsson I'd never heard before: Why are Steinway pianos so expensive compared to those offered by competitors? - Quora

 

Awesome, especially the story about taking off the grand from the concert hall almost just before the pianists recital because he mentioned about S&S competition! :-)

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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another radical redesign of the piano: Das vertikale Konzertklavier

 

Nils Frahm

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Cayin iDAC6 MKII (tube mode) (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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We're back from RFH and Barenboim's concert and the debut of the Barenboim piano. First, a couple of background comments. 1) It is difficult to separate the pianist from the piano. 2) The concert was sold out, including a very full audience on the stage, surrounding Barenboim and the piano. We had gotten our tickets a few months ago, but even then there were not a large number of seats left. So we had to sit in the balcony - piano side, fortunately, but very far away, in row J, 5 rows from the very back of the hall. We normally sit in the first 10 rows on the main floor - left center (piano side).

3) We have heard several performances of Schubert Piano Sonatas (the entire contents of this and the following 3 concerts over the coming week by Barenboim) over the past year - including the 3 late sonatas with Richard Goode and one of the later sonatas by Mitsuko Uchida, and one other concert.Two of the three sonatas were then quite familiar to both of us.

 

Given all that, what I could hear was that Barenboim could play very, very softly and I could hear everything he played. Second there was a very clear tone from the lowest notes to the highest, more than I normally hear, and without the "clang" that I sometimes hear when a piano is played very loud. The piano also isn't as bright sounding as a typical Steinway, although it projected very well, more subtly than a Steinway. It will be interesting to see whether others take up this new piano. In one interview Barenboim said it took him about 10 days to get used to playing this piano, and most concert performers fly in a day or two before a concert - so they wouldn't have time to get used to the feel.

 

BTW, we are fortunate to have a Bosendorfer 225 (the model with 92 keys) which we bought in 1985. My wife picked it out from several at the factory voicing building in Vienna. My wife is a fairly accomplished amateur pianist, having played all five Beethoven Piano Concerti with local orchestras (and was an early winner of the Van Cliburn Amateur Competition in Fort Worth, TX).

 

We should be hearing the Fazioli on Sunday - with Angela Hewitt playing, but from much closer - 5th row in a much smaller, more acoustically warm environment, Wigmore Hall.

 

Larry

Analog-VPIClas3,3DArm,LyraSkala+MiyajimaZeromono,Herron VTPH2APhono,2AmpexATR-102+MerrillTridentMaster TapePreamp

Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacificMicrosonicsModel2; Dig Play-Lampi Horizon, mch NADAC, Roon-HQPlayer,Oppo105

Electronics-DoshiPre,CJ MET1mchPre,Cary2A3monoamps; Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR

Other-2x512EngineerMarutaniSymmetrical Power+Cables Music-1.8KR2Rtapes,1.5KCD's,500SACDs,50+TBripped files

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  • 2 weeks later...
We're back from RFH and Barenboim's concert and the debut of the Barenboim piano. First, a couple of background comments. 1) It is difficult to separate the pianist from the piano. 2) The concert was sold out, including a very full audience on the stage, surrounding Barenboim and the piano. We had gotten our tickets a few months ago, but even then there were not a large number of seats left. So we had to sit in the balcony - piano side, fortunately, but very far away, in row J, 5 rows from the very back of the hall. We normally sit in the first 10 rows on the main floor - left center (piano side).

3) We have heard several performances of Schubert Piano Sonatas (the entire contents of this and the following 3 concerts over the coming week by Barenboim) over the past year - including the 3 late sonatas with Richard Goode and one of the later sonatas by Mitsuko Uchida, and one other concert.Two of the three sonatas were then quite familiar to both of us.

 

Given all that, what I could hear was that Barenboim could play very, very softly and I could hear everything he played. Second there was a very clear tone from the lowest notes to the highest, more than I normally hear, and without the "clang" that I sometimes hear when a piano is played very loud. The piano also isn't as bright sounding as a typical Steinway, although it projected very well, more subtly than a Steinway. It will be interesting to see whether others take up this new piano. In one interview Barenboim said it took him about 10 days to get used to playing this piano, and most concert performers fly in a day or two before a concert - so they wouldn't have time to get used to the feel.

 

BTW, we are fortunate to have a Bosendorfer 225 (the model with 92 keys) which we bought in 1985. My wife picked it out from several at the factory voicing building in Vienna. My wife is a fairly accomplished amateur pianist, having played all five Beethoven Piano Concerti with local orchestras (and was an early winner of the Van Cliburn Amateur Competition in Fort Worth, TX).

 

We should be hearing the Fazioli on Sunday - with Angela Hewitt playing, but from much closer - 5th row in a much smaller, more acoustically warm environment, Wigmore Hall.

 

Larry

 

Awesome!!

 

Lucky guy. Oh I'm just so jealous :-) Barenboim, Uchida, Hewitt..oh man... :-)

Let every eye ear negotiate for itself and trust no agent. (Shakespeare)

The things that we love tell us what we are. (Aquinas)

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