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Straight strung grand piano (Read 2167 times)

Offline casioman

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Straight strung grand piano
« on: May 26, 2015, 09:16:37 PM »
Any comments on Daniel Barenboim's piano please?

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Straight strung grand piano
«Reply #1 on: May 27, 2015, 12:43:46 AM »
Here's the article: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-32885683

Sounds interesting to me.  I'd like to try one!  Not that I'll ever get the chance...

Note who were involved in making it: Chris Meane, a Belgian custom instrument maker, and Steinway.
Ian

Offline lazyfingers

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Re: Straight strung grand piano
«Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 05:33:08 AM »
Here's the article: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-32885683

Sounds interesting to me.  I'd like to try one!  Not that I'll ever get the chance...

Note who were involved in making it: Chris Meane, a Belgian custom instrument maker, and Steinway.
Apparently, Barenhoim asked Steinway first, and they couldn't/wouldn't do it.

Offline 28843253

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Re: Straight strung grand piano
«Reply #3 on: May 29, 2015, 05:23:10 PM »
I hope it catches on. It looks to be a superb instrument.

Offline justharmony

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Re: Straight strung grand piano
«Reply #4 on: July 12, 2015, 08:27:20 AM »
Think this is cool?  It is.  But it's not something so revolutionary.  This is where pianos CAME from.  You noted that he was inspired by playing a restored historic instrument?  Keyboard instruments used to be straight strung.  Erards were even straight strung into the 20th century, though they were sort of throw-backs in that.  There are reasons for how and why the piano evolved the way it did, and I, personally, have found it incredibly meaningful to learn more about the history of our instrument and how dramatically it has changed and how that affects the music we play (or hear).   

The piano was a VERY different animal in the time of Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart... to say nothing of anything prior to the classical era (generally... that "piano" would have been known as a "harpsichord"!) Actually... one might say that the piano was more like three instruments around the turn of the 19th century... with different properties of touch, sound, etc.  There's a reason why Mozart or Schubert zings around the keyboard or incorporates a whole bunch of repeated notes or arpeggios... it was because of the action, touch, and sound of the instrument for which THEY composed, which was a "piano"... (Viennese action) but a very different one than others from different regions, and notably different than the modern piano.  Check it out however you can.  It's worth getting familiar with these instruments and their properties, in my experience and opinion.

JH

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Straight strung grand piano
«Reply #5 on: July 12, 2015, 03:36:07 PM »
Which sort of brings up the question of what the composer thought the music should sound like, and what the audiences of the period might have heard.  Which, in turn, leads to considerations of the interaction between the artist and what he or she wants to say with the music, and what he or she wants to say about the composition and the composer!

This sort of debate has been around for quite some time with orchestral music, and particularly with opera, with opinions (and performances!) ranging all the way from strict period accuracy -- or at least what is fancied as period accuracy, which is not so difficult with regard to the actual sound of the instruments (sometimes pretty horrid, if the truth be known) but is really vexed with regard to performing style -- to sumptuous reimagining of works by modern conductors along the lines of "if composer X had had access to a modern orchestra, he would have done it this way".

One can get into rather heated arguments over this sort of thing!  But, in my humble opinion, there is no one right answer.  It is an area (one of several)), however, which really separates the artists from the technically superb, and it is a huge gulf.

I might add -- thinking momentarily as an organist which I was and am when I'm not playing piano -- that in organ music the situation is almost comical, as no two really significant organs are alike, and unless one has a really huge instrument one finds that there are whole classes of music which are simply unplayable even remotely correctly on the instrument at hand.  For example, the lovely little tracker I currently have available to me is fine for most Renaissance and earlier, and some -- but not all -- Bach, but is utterly hopeless with more modern music, particularly modern French.
Ian

Offline justharmony

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Re: Straight strung grand piano
«Reply #6 on: July 13, 2015, 06:11:00 AM »
Appreciate your post, ian, and I tend to agree with you that there is not any one "answer."  There are many ways of conceptualizing and creating music.  Ultimately, it's about sharing a meaningful, and often very moving, experience, and that can mean many things to many people. 

I simply would offer that for me, learning about (and listening to, in person, as well as playing, whenever possible, historic keyboard instruments and the respective tunings and temperaments that are more appropriate to any given time period than our modern "equal temperament" has been immensely eye-opening and enriching for me. I'd recommend to anyone exploring those things.  Certainly not much to lose, anyhow.

Best in your musical explorations...

JH