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Estonia Pianos
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Very interesting movie and a way to experience the unique Steinway 'tone'.. I am surprised at how percussive the bass notes sound... and delighted to watch the individual craftmenship. It would be really fun to work at THE piano factory.

http://www.pbs.org/notebynote/


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It is quite a process, isn't it? It's too bad though the one guy said he wa building pianos he could not afford to buy for his kid.


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I wouldn't necessarily agree that it's THE piano factory, but nevertheless it is very interesting! It's a long, involved process to build something as complex as a piano.


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Fascinating film- not only about the building process, but about the people who build and perform on them. I was fortunate to view a screening of it in the company of Henry Steinway.

fingers


Playing piano at age 2, it was thought that I was some sort of idiot-savant. As it turns out, I'm just an idiot.
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I enjoyed that movie, too. I grew up in New York, so it was nice to see that there's still things being made there.

I've toured the Yamaha Hamamatsu factory, so I had something to compare it to.

I would be nice to see a similar movie from a Tier 1 maker. Rims that aren't made from bent plywood would take much longer, but probably lack the excitement of getting a bunch of people to do a massive bend.

I'm still amazed how Steinway prides itself on its lack of consistency, as evidenced by the scene in the selection hall where that pianist rejected one after another after playing just 5 notes of that Gershwin prelude.

I hope they continue manufacturing in NY for a long time! I think the NY DNA adds a lot to their appeal.

Last edited by Thrill Science; 12/23/11 02:23 PM.

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This may be the finest documentary/marketing video ever made on a music company. Everything that makes a great video is there - great subject matter, beautiful editing, photography, lighting... it all tells the story so eloquently.



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Interesting... I've seen excerpts of the film on YT, but don't remember seeing them voice the hammers.

The Steinways do sound great! However, I know I could never afford one... not even a pre-owned one, unless it was a distress sale... :-)

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Originally Posted by Thrill Science
I would be nice to see a similar movie from a Tier 1 maker. Rims that aren't made from bent plywood would take much longer, but probably lack the excitement of getting a bunch of people to do a massive bend.


Thrill,

This is not NEARLY as professionally done as "Note by Note", but look for the slideshow tour of the Bosendorfer factory:

Cunningham's Bosendorfer Page - with a slideshow tour of the factory

I think you should fly to Vienna and see it in person!


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Originally Posted by Thrill Science

I would be nice to see a similar movie from a Tier 1 maker.



Would August Forster do?

Here is a YouTube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6ED7bapucQ


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One of my all time favorite DVD's.

Last edited by jollyroger; 12/23/11 09:26 PM.

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Originally Posted by Thrill Science


I would be nice to see a similar movie from a Tier 1 maker.


Here is a Sauter piano manufacture video. (please note that I am posting videos of pianos in the general grouping of "highest quality performance pianos" (Fine, 2008 - 2009 Supplement.)

Enjoy.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAHGrPwgyyw


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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
[quote=Thrill Science]

I think you should fly to Vienna and see it in person!


We're planning to go next year for a tour. I've been to Austria several times and always have fun. They really appreciate music there!

Here's me in front of Mozart's statue last year:

[Linked Image]



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Originally Posted by A Rebours

Would August Forster do?


AR


Absolutely! They're another company that refuses to use kilns to speed up the drying of their wood, and single-strings.


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Kiln drying is not just to speed up the process. It results in a more stable material. The amount of drying depends on the use of the wood, but you are not going to get a better product from eschewing kilns. You will not get a better product from single stringing, either.


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Faziola made a wonderful documentary.. ... but it doesn't seem to be on amazon or anything.

Do you think they inject the bass hammers on Steinways? they sure sound sharpish to me... maybe i am used to the lushness of the Estonia.


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I honestly was not very impressed by the movie. It was pleasant and interesting enough to sit through, but I have no interest in watching it again.
I mentally compared it to an excellent (but now hard to find) documentary entitled The Mystery Of The Stradivarious, which examined the famed violins and the quest for a perfect violin sound. It captured the culture and elusiveness of the subject, and basic construction principles, just like Note By Note did.

However, the Stradivarious movie went further and actually analyzed the violins scientifically, with X-rays, 3D modeling and resonance analysis. They even conducted a double-blind test of the Stradivarious against 2 other excellent violins, rated by experts (spoiler: the Stradivarious didn't win). Finally, it examined future developments of violins, such as the use of carbon fiber materials and radical new shapes that can improve resonance.
I didn't see anything like that in Note By Note. It just had this strong feeling of "we are the best, and I'll show you a bit of how we do it so you can admire how good we are". There were no hints, that I remember, towards future innovations, or even a mathematical/physical explanation of how a piano resonates or what makes it distinctive (if it can be explained for a violin, then it can be explained for a piano too).
It felt too much like walking through an art museum. Everything was old, and I couldn't get away from the feeling that it was all dying very slowly but they didn't know it yet. The phrase "jumped the shark" is applied to TV shows like this: it means that it is still good, but its best moments were in the past and it cannot reach the same level anymore. This may not be accurate in terms of piano quality (though Steinway probably has more competition now than 40 years ago), but that was my feeling from the movie.

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I got to play this (L1037) in Moline Illinois 2 hours ago. I was not worthy of it but it was quite an awsome piece of machine.

The action was smooth like butter and the strings sounded a mile long and I felt like a king playing Mozart and Beethoven.

I actually asked how much but alas it's not for sale (it's part of the Steinway artist concert network) and I could not afford nor fit a 130 K concert D anyway... But it was sure a good 10 minute ride!


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Very surprised at the topic! *.*

I have seen this movie more than thirty times. Fifty times? Maybe tonight too after work. Although I could not be satisfied with the Steinway in a store after playing Chopin's etude 25-1, still I enjoy the movie. Every worker from every nation moved me. I saw in the movie their enthusiasm, their life and their pride. I did see people and pianists rather piano.


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Excellent video... but (for Newyorkers) P.L. Aimard play his concert with a Hamburg!!
Very interesting see him also in "Pianomania"...


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