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[quote=ranjit]Askkenazy was good enough to win the Tchaikovsky competition and many would consider him to be a very great pianist.
This doesn't mean anything. Tons of people have won the Tchaikovsky competition, and I don't like to decide whether I like an interpretation by fiat. Sokolov is also considered one of the very best pianists nowadays and plenty of people consider him as good or better than Zimerman, and yet people don't seem to like his interpretation, so I don't see where this selective reading takes place. Hate to say it, but people should see their own bias. Pianist plays a slow, standard interpretation: They were a great pianist who won an international competition (which isn't that big a deal anyway). Pianist universally acknowledged as great plays fast: I don't know why they are showing off??? If a standard is applied, it must be applied equally.
That said, if you want to improve it, putting another strip of felt on the panel/cover above the keys should help. You could take a small strip of felt, or cloth, or whatever you have, and temporally slide it between the key top and cover at the back, and see if it helps.
These little pins in the back of the hammer flange:
in my August Forster they are present, but they dont seem to be there in all grand piano actions. Why are they in there? They don't completely fixate the alignment of the hammer, and also they make adjusting the alignment using an alignment tool kind of difficult. So what are they for? I'm kind of inclined to just pull them out....
Yes, the last damper is intentional and it was designed to blend the undamped strings with the damped strings. (Is there an echo in here?)
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Because their manufacturing process and quality control is rather rudimentary. Companies can make design errors, but they dont keep assembling wrongly pieces. If it is anyway recurrent, any thorough quality check should have spotted it.
A Bösendorfer grand piano is beautifully prepared before shipping. It is checked multiple times before it is ok'ed to be shipped. Each piano is wrapped in clear coat, then padded, then wrapped some more, then hermetically sealed, then crated, then shipped in a controlled container, and the crates themselves have a "shock detector" on them so anyone receiving the piano would know if it was dropped, bounced, or in any other way mistreated. They take many precautions and flipping the lid pin rest is just one. The reason is that a lid is heavy, and although it is unlikely that the lid would move at all during shipping, if it did happen, the lid receiver was not designed take that kind of pressure.
It was designed to help the lid settle in the exact correct location when it is put down only.
i had a fair amount of experience of playing quite a lot of acoustic pianos, acoustic harpsichords and acoustic organs until I went digital a few years ago, having to downsize and sell my acoustic grand. I also played/owned an acoustic harpsichord for a number of years before returning to the piano. I never had a problem moving from piano to organ and vice versa, maybe partly because of the time gap between playing one and then the other and partly because I suspect I was never a good organist, but it took me quite some time to switch between harpsichord and piano in the same room. (It took me even longer to learn how to tune it) I do not believe it's solely a question of weight. The harpsichord has a definite resistance very very early on in pressing a key, then effectively no weight at all once the quill has plucked the string. (The resistance of course varies according to the number of ranks of strings being plucked at the same (slightly staggered) time) This leads to the need for a particular hand position, a claw-like shape, so that the keys are pressed very precisely and withdrawn very precisely according to the length of the note. (Ultra legato is achieved by briefly overlapping notes) Without practice on an acoustic harpsichord it is difficult to learn the technique, so players are rightly dissatisfied when playing a digital harpsichord in a similar way to a digital piano. One way, apart from learning on an acoustic harpsichord - or buying one - is firstly to watch harpsichordists' hand positions and way of playing, then emulate them on the digital using the software harpsichord and listen, listen. Or, if possible, have a few lessons on an acoustic harpsichord.
Because I learned harpsichord playing technique I can switch it on, (and off) as it were, on my modest Kawai ES7 digital and it doesn't bother me. (It helps slightly to make the action feel heavier to replicate somewhat the initial resistance) Sorry to be negative, especially when acoustic harpsichords are difficult to find, let alone play, but I do believe it's more a matter of learning the technique rather than having a harpsichord action. IOW, even if you were able to buy a digital harpsichord, you would still have to learn the playing technique. Without the technique, it still wouldn't be satisfactory. (Phrasing, articulation, the illusion of accents/dynamics etc are all part of the harpsichord technique which differ from the piano) Piano requires fingers,wrists, arms etc. Harpsichord requires fingers. Just fingers.
There is no particular value for most amateurs to be an extremely proficient sight-reader. Unless one needs it for professional reasons or when one has to play new pieces in front of an audience, being an average sight-reader is enough. It is more important to be proficient in reading.
Totally agree. It's more important how well one can play the piece the third or tenth time which is related to how long it takes to learn the notes. This is related to one's reading ability.
Wonder why the exam syllabi include sight-reading in the exam fir adults?
I assume those tests measure if one is a reasonably good sight reader not an extremely proficient sight reader. And sight reading ability is usually related to reading ability. No one is saying sight reading ability is not important, only that it's usefulness can be overrated and that reading ability is probably more important.
I fully get and support both views here Yes, it works and mostly gets the job done and is pretty good compared to other DP control schemes in use our there. And yes, there are $100 phones, and $75 phones available globally today that are faster, smoother, more consistent and thought out. I used to write iOS apps and hand-coded a lot of design elements. I learned a lot about UI expectations and good UX/CUJs.
I will gladly spend time next to anyone who wishes to travel to the Netherlands.
... Or lives in the Netherlands? 😉
Anyway, great post. In general: tension is a red flag. I'm currently bettering my playing by watching just that. From having practised T'ai Chi Chuan for many years (but not recently) I am possibly a little more trained in observing tension and energy blockage, and in aligning body and intention.
The more I manage to relax and indeed play integrally from back, shoulders, arms, wrists, fingers the easier and more enjoyable it gets, including musically.
I just (today) got myself an acoustic bass, and exactly the same principles apply there: use the whole body to produce a decent sound and any tension and/or unbalanced technique would lead to serious injury rather quickly
One thing to keep in mind - there are great rebuilders of reproducing players that may not be great rebuilders of pianos, and vice versa. I do not know Craig Brougher at all, so this is in no way a ctricism of him or his work, just a "heads up" to keep in mind.
Here is my take on LI'L DARLIN Normally this is a big band tune but the audience wanted to hear it so I said ok this was what we came up with guitarist was Chris Champion and the flute player was Joe Coral two top players in Phoenix
Remember also that we are playing with both hands. To change the inversion thus, you simply need to change the bass note and nothing at all needs to move in your RH. Theoretically at least.
So to simplify things, you could let your LH control the inversion (like play C,E or G for root, 1st and 2nd inversion of C chord) and just worry about following the melody in your RH with some harmony that will fit as the inversion is already established by your LH.
Competitors Lots of familiar faces here from the recent competition circuit (Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Sydney, etc.), as well as several competitors who are entering the VCC for the second time: https://cliburn.medici.tv/en/competitors/
They've gotten rid of the long list of "institutional" jurors who made up previous editions (Kaplinsky, Vardi, Pressler, etc.) in favor of more concert artists, in addition to diversifying the ages and genders of the jury (previously mostly 70+ males). A good step, IMO.
On a side note, I might attend the finals in person. If anyone else will be there, please DM me.
Repertoire We're surprisingly light on Liszt Sonatas but heavy on most of his other rep (several people playing all the Transcendental Etudes, Dante, Spanish Rhapsody, transcriptions, etc.). Franck's Prelude, Chorale, et Fugue shows up from several people (a mistake, IMO; it's a better piece for a concert than a competition), as does Brahms-Paganini, Petrushka, Ligeti Etudes, and Prokofiev 7/8. The finals are mostly what you'd expect, with reams of Rach 3, Tchaik 1, and Prokofiev 2/3. I'd say that this candidate's programs intrigue me the most: https://cliburn.org/?performer=arseniy-gusev
On another note, there's been a big shift in classical music lately in terms of programming more music by historically under-represented demographics (women, BIPOC, etc.); little to no music in this category appears in this edition of the competition (two pieces total: Sofia Gubaidalina's Chaconne and Fanny Mendelssohn's Sonata in A major, which is basically the standard competition repertoire from most people. That either means something or doesn't; it's just an observation on my part.
Predicitions Who knows, really. Everyone plays at an astronomical level these days that it's impossible to predict what will happen with individual contestants, most of whom already have prizes from other major competitions. I will say however, that there's a familiar pattern: most everyone will play a stellar first round (100%) prepared, and from then the quality will start to drop because it's basically an extreme endurance test of juggling three recitals and three concerti in the span of two weeks. The finals usually end up being pretty dicey, so it's the more experienced players who can successfully run the gauntlet. My gut tells me that Shuan Hern Lee (who won the Cliburn Junior) will probably win a prize or make it to the finals.
If you asked Tiger Woods to reach you golf, he might just tell you to swing a stick like so
Exactly. And if you asked Tiger's teacher instead, he'd not only have a better idea of what to teach, he'd also have years of experience trying different methods to get the lesson across.
Yes, I had an experience like this when I went to a terrific flutist for some expensive lessons. She had been a prodigy and said she loved to teach, but she had no idea how to assess what a particular student needed and meet them where they were. I learned nothing of value from her.
Thanks for all the advice and wisdom. I might try starting with the audio cable isolator and see how far that gets me before buying new hardware... After an initial search, I see that these things can get expensive!!
Manufacturers don’t seem to bother with keyboard covers etc for this type of piano.
I’ve made a very simple one, and a rest:
It’s 3.5 mm plywood, painted with satin black spray paint.
A shop in town cut the pieces to size. Araldite or other epoxy is the best for gluing them together. I also needed two small hinges, which are glued in place on the large music rest. ..and a roll of insulation tape…and two clips, like bulldog clips.
The keyboard cover ( and rest) protects against my cat, especially in the early hours …coming in soaking wet. The foot pedal cable is threaded thro a garden hose pipe, (cut open along its length and wrapped round the cable). This protects against my free range rabbit’s snipper at all times.
The piano is gently pressed up against a low wooden board on top of the metal stand ( made by ‘Gravity’ in UK)…so that they both are pressing slightly against the wall. This makes the piano solid and the music rest good for writing on and it supports a large amount of stuff. A simple lid across the top is also useful.
The 2 hinges for the keyboard cover are simply two 2 inch strips of electric insulation tape, applied 2 on top and 2 underneath. This means you can easily remove the lid if you want to use the controls a lot, although you can reach around easy enough for on/off or volume. They don’t damage the casing.
The music rest is two boards, one longer than the other and is clipped to the original rest and sits over it and rests along the back of of the ES110 behind the originalrest. It raises up to allow the keyboard cover to open or close.
I originally made a shorter music rest as pictured , but realised it could easily be longer.
I have used this for about 6 months now and it works perfectly for me. I do a lot of writing ..and erasing …and I can do both on this rest. There is no negative effect to the piano itself.
You can put two small active monitors behind the music rest either side of the box. I did this for a while but I’m happy with the built in speakers now.
Hopefully the 20 images I loaded show up. Cant see them in the ‘preview’.
PS. Can’t get online often so apologies for no reply.