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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:14 am 
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Andreas - I got your present. :wink: Did you get mine?

Book time:

Quote:
. I found to be interesting the comparison to what a man of the middelage must have been felt, when he saw Notre-Dame in Paris, that´s what must have felt a musician of the 19th century when sitting on Beethovens "Graf"-grand.

Yes – I thought that was a good analogy as well.

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I could imagine, there is a reson, why the keys are black and white. Since the keys were made of ivory until 1980, they are white of their nature and I suppose, the best colour to make them different from these white ivory-keys was black for the chromatic tones. That´s my personal explanation, what do you think?


Technically, any two colors would work. I once saw a Steinway concert grand where the black keys were yellow, and the white keys were green. Or maybe it’s orange and purple – now I can’t remember.

My grand has the modern substitute. I wish I had the ivory keys. My keys can get pretty slippery sometimes. But then I do what Rubinstein did – spray hairspray on them to make them sticky.

Quote:
If we think of the silent intimacy of a clavichord (I recently have listened to a recording of Bachs prelude in b-flat-major of WTCI played on a clavichord, it was so fascinating and beautiful) and compare it with the loud and full tone of a modern Steinway, than it´s clear, that even a tone played piano on the Steinway corresponds nearly to a tone played forte on a clavichord.


I was at a luncheon not long ago and our guest speaker was a man who builds clavichords. He gave us a concert on his clavichord and it was very hard to hear. Everybody in the room had to sit very still.

Andreas - I read the next two chapters, but I'm too tired to write anything about them now. I promise to do it in the morning.

Nighty-night

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:00 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
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Andreas - I got your present. :wink: Did you get mine?


No, not yet, but I received an e-mail, which seemed to be uncomplete, it stoped in a setence and had no attachment. BTW, I have another nice present for you. But you have to wait a little bit. :wink:

Quote:
I could imagine, there is a reson, why the keys are black and white. Since the keys were made of ivory until 1980, they are white of their nature and I suppose, the best colour to make them different from these white ivory-keys was black for the chromatic tones. That´s my personal explanation, what do you think?


Quote:
My grand has the modern substitute. I wish I had the ivory keys. My keys can get pretty slippery sometimes. But then I do what Rubinstein did – spray hairspray on them to make them sticky.


Oh, that´s interesting, I didn´t know that. I´d test it, if I still would have my old Kawai. (I think, I wouldn´t like the smell while playing.)

Quote:
I was at a luncheon not long ago and our guest speaker was a man who builds clavichords. He gave us a concert on his clavichord and it was very hard to hear. Everybody in the room had to sit very still.


Wow, that´s interesting. I´d like to hear also a clavichord live.

Quote:
Andreas - I read the next two chapters, but I'm too tired to write anything about them now. I promise to do it in the morning.


I´ve not read chapter 11 until now, because yesterday I have recorded two Chopin-pieces and I had severe problems with my video-program (I sat on it until 3 o´clock in the morning, then I fall into my bed. :roll: )
On monday school begins again, then I´ll see, how it goes with reading further. May be this night I´ll read chapter 11, if I find the time.

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Nighty-night

That sounds funnily, translated into German it´s like a word-play "nächtliche Nacht", I suppose.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:50 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
That sounds funnily, translated into German it´s like a word-play "nächtliche Nacht", I suppose.


Try to say that fast 3 times! :lol:

Ok, our character is taking lessons now. Great! Sounds like he likes Anna a lot. Some of the things she is making him do are interesting, although I don't think I would like doing them that much. I'm sure it helps when you need to memorize a piece, though.

And then chapter 11 - I like this part - all these different and interesting people gathering at the atelier. I don't quite understand what Luc said about the Freemasons. It seems he does not agree with their philosophies. Mozart was a Freemason - so was my grandfather.

ok - that's it for now.

I re-sent that 'present' a few moments ago.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:27 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
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Try to say that fast 3 times! :lol:


Indeed, that´s not too easy. :lol:

Quote:
Mozart was a Freemason - so was my grandfather.


That´s very interesting. I have read a book and visited a symposium about MOzarts "Zauberflöte" (Magic flute) as a Freemason-opera. This theme is absolutely fascinating for me, because I personally for me am on a similar way. I´ll read chapter 11 tonight.

Quote:
I re-sent that 'present' a few moments ago.


Thank you so much Monica. I have received your complete mail now and I´ll write a reply soon. :D

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:45 am 
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PIanolady wrote:
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Ok, our character is taking lessons now. Great! Sounds like he likes Anna a lot. Some of the things she is making him do are interesting, although I don't think I would like doing them that much. I'm sure it helps when you need to memorize a piece, though.


Hurray, I´ve read chapter 11, too. I have done all these things very much, too, like Thad, and I think, they help very much to understand music deeply and profoundly, you are a complete other interpret, if you understand a piece in its structure. For me this is immensely important and part of my musical base and philosophy, may be I´m a bit like Anna in this point.
But I don´t like too much the literary recommendation, Anna gives to Thad. The book "Zen und die Kunst des Bogenschießens" is by Eugene Herrigel, which was a famous professor of philosophy and later in the time between 1933-45 he joined the NSDAP under Adolf Hitler and advanced to the director of the University of Erlangen. He always was an enthused adherer of the japanese and zen-budhism, but in the 1930th he worked on the communities between the NS-ideology (like fidelity to fatherland, to die for the fatherland etc.) and the zen-philosophy. This book (Zen und die Kunst des Bogenschießens) was adjusted in the 1950th from its racial ideals and was first translated into English and Japanese. It´s the only work of Eugene Herrigel, people are speaking about today.

Quote:
And then chapter 11 - I like this part - all these different and interesting people gathering at the atelier. I don't quite understand what Luc said about the Freemasons. It seems he does not agree with their philosophies. Mozart was a Freemason - so was my grandfather.


Are you sure, you are talking about chapter 11? I didn´t find something about the Freemasons here. Probably you mean chapter 12. Tomorrow I´ll make my visite to "Café Atelier". :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:54 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
But I don´t like too much the literary recommendation, Anna gives to Thad. The book "Zen und die Kunst des Bogenschießens" is by Eugene Herrigel, which was a famous professor of philosophy and later in the time between 1933-45 he joined the NSDAP under Adolf Hitler and advanced to the director of the University of Erlangen. He always was an enthused adherer of the japanese and zen-budhism, but in the 1930th he worked on the communities between the NS-ideology (like fidelity to fatherland, to die for the fatherland etc.) and the zen-philosophy. This book (Zen und die Kunst des Bogenschießens) was adjusted in the 1950th from its racial ideals and was first translated into English and Japanese. It´s the only work of Eugene Herrigel, people are speaking about today.



Very interesting. I didn't know anything about this.


musicusblau wrote:
Are you sure, you are talking about chapter 11? I didn´t find something about the Freemasons here. Probably you mean chapter 12. Tomorrow I´ll make my visite to "Café Atelier". :wink:


Oops, sorry – yes, the Freemason part is in Chapter 12. And Andreas – are you going to become a Freemason? I don’t’ think they take women, do they? For a long time I have wanted very much to find out what my Grandfather was up to when he was one.


Unrelated to this, but related to pianos - I was doing some other reading about pianos today and learned that Grotrian has a duo grand piano – two grand pianos placed side by side with keyboards at opposite ends, with removable rim parts, connected soundboards, and a common lid. Doesn't that sound interesting? Wonder if there is a photo of it somewhere.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:20 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
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Oops, sorry – yes, the Freemason part is in Chapter 12. And Andreas – are you going to become a Freemason? I don’t’ think they take women, do they? For a long time I have wanted very much to find out what my Grandfather was up to when he was one.


No, don´t worry, Monica, I´m not going to become a freemason and I have to admit, that I don´t know, if they take women. I´m just very interested in the religious symbols of Mozarts opera "The Magic Flute" and I have read the following book:
"Die Zauberflöte" (=The Magic Flute) by Alfons Rosenberg. He lived 1902-1985, at the beginning he was a communists, but then he developed to a philosoph and god-seeker. He wrote some books about symbols and there history. There exists also a famous book about Mozarts "Don Giovanni".
The Freemasons in their origin had a deep human and religious philosophy, but later, they became quite secularised, they were also a community of craftsmen and businessmen and got an important influence on the development of politics. There are theories, that they also are responsible for the French Revolution. And these secularised things are more mentioned in chapter 12, which I have read now, btw.
I´m only interested in their religious and mystic symbols, which are very deep. Mozart was a true adept, so far it is sure for me.

Isn´t it interesting, that Luc buys sitar-strings for his spinets and harpsichords? I found also very interesting this typical french atmosphere of discussion of the several people, who were in Lucs "Cafe Atelier". I can second this by own experience. (I still several times was in France and when I was still a pupil I had a french correspondent in an exchange of students. He visited me in Germany and I did the same and went to France.)

Quote:
Unrelated to this, but related to pianos - I was doing some other reading about pianos today and learned that Grotrian has a duo grand piano – two grand pianos placed side by side with keyboards at opposite ends, with removable rim parts, connected soundboards, and a common lid. Doesn't that sound interesting? Wonder if there is a photo of it somewhere.


Yes, this sounds extremely interesting. I really would like to see a photo of it! Do you know the name of this model?
In the middle of nineteenth century nearly Grotrian and Steinweg separated. Steinweg went to New York, Grotrian continued to build pianos in Braunschweig (Germany). Steinweg changed his name into "Steinway" and his sons took the enterprise and named it "Steinway and sons". But the old Steinweg didn´t stay in New York. In the 1880th he went back to Hamburg (Germany) and built the "Steinways" there. So, there are German and American Steinways now. (My tuner says, that the German Steinways are better than the American ones, because they have another technique.)
Grotrian continued to built his own pianos, and that are the "Grotrian-Steinweg"-pianos of today. (They are not as expensive as Steinways, but expensive enough. F. ex. my model the Concert grand with a length of 2, 26m costs nearly 60000 Euro today, if you buy a new one. I recently saw an actual price-list. So I had a big luck to buy my nearly 25 years old model for 14000 Euro only. I think, I have made a bargain with it. I feel this piano really to be a great treasure, because of it´s high capability to produce shading nuances. This is possible because of its wide measure, my tuner has explained to me.)

Now book-time again:
In chapter 13 I find very suitable and adequate Thad´s thoughts to Beethovens Diabelli-variations. He said, that they are like an abstract of the classical era like Bachs Goldberg-variations are for the baroque epoch.
Here in chapter 13 it becomes clear again, that Thad likes the spontanous and private sphere of music-making respective piano-playing. So, he is deeply moved by listening to several musicians, which he heard either by passing through the streets of Paris or through open windows on the courtyard, f.ex. the older lady playing Beethovens Diabelli-variations, the jazz-guitarist, harpenist, flutist and the accompanist, who has several singers in his appartment.
He visits Jean Paul, the accompanist, and has an interesting discussion about perfect pitch and relative pitch and about song against piano, which is considered as a percussion-instrument by Jean-Paul.
Jean-Paul tells us about the advatanges and disadvantages of perfect pitch (I think, in German it´s "absolutes Gehör", "absolute ear"). The problem is, that his pitch is trained on the usual a=440 Hz, and if an instrument is tuned a bit higher he gets big problems. He also said, that a piano can never made to be singing like a real voice, even most pianists want to make the piano sing.
He describes the qualities of an accompanist: tact, humility, kindness and firmness about musical principles. I personally second that.
Very interesting for me is, that Farinelli as an exemplar of the old singers, had much knowledge in musical harmony and theory. I think, this is very important not only for the instrumentalists, but also for the singers. So, I agree to Jean-Pauls attitude at hundert percent again.
And I really didn´t know, that Swjatoslaw Richter worked in Odessa as an accompanist in clubs and for light entertainment in his early years, and that he got the knowledge, that "some things come only out, if you are forced to join the discontinuous notes of a piano to the ceaseless stream of the voice". Accompaning means for Jean Paul to breath together "and the music is your breath".

Truely, chapter 13 is a very profound one. I like it very much.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:42 am 
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pianolady wrote:
I was doing some other reading about pianos today and learned that Grotrian has a duo grand piano – two grand pianos placed side by side with keyboards at opposite ends, with removable rim parts, connected soundboards, and a common lid. Doesn't that sound interesting? Wonder if there is a photo of it somewhere.


I found a photo of this intriguing piano on the internet - I think its peculiarities show fairly well in this picture. I also remember reading that another piano company has come out with a duo-piano just very recently - maybe it was Fazoli? Can't remember. Enjoy!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Thanks for searching that out for us, Sarah. It looks to be the exact piano I was talking about.

musicusblau wrote:
I´m only interested in their religious and mystic symbols, which are very deep. Mozart was a true adept, so far it is sure for me.


I like learning about religious and mystical symbols, as well. I also like trying to break secret codes, or overcoming obstacle-like courses.

Quote:
. (My tuner says, that the German Steinways are better than the American ones, because they have another technique.)


I think he says that because he is German! :wink: In reality, both American and German Steinways are equal in quality. The difference lies in their sound – Hamburg Steinway’s hammers are a little harder than American Steinways and so the sound is slightly different. And you can’t argue the fact that professional performers choose between the two pianos equal number of times, some even going as far as using both when they are offered. Here in Chicago at our Orchestral Hall where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs, pianists are offered a Hamburg Steinway and an American Steinway, and you see both the same amount of times.



Book time:


Quote:
In chapter 13 I find very suitable and adequate Thad´s thoughts to Beethovens Diabelli-variations. He said, that they are like an abstract of the classical era like Bachs Goldberg-variations are for the baroque epoch.

I’ve never taken the time to learn about the Diabelli variations. I will do that someday.

Quote:
He visits Jean Paul, the accompanist, and has an interesting discussion about perfect pitch and relative pitch and about song against piano, which is considered as a percussion-instrument by Jean-Paul

I thought everybody considered the piano to be a percussion instrument, didn’t you? And yes – don’t we talk about our attempts to make the melody line sing on our pianos. I think this is somewhat possible with good legato, although of course we cannot make the volume of the tone change once we have struck the key. But singers can’t make their voices sing a chord, either, so we all have our limitations.

I enjoyed this chapter too - mostly because I like how Thad was so interested in hearing how all his other neighbors are busy practicing their instruments too.

And Andreas - I know you are back to work this week, so don't worry if it takes you some time to do the reading and commenting.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Sarah wrote:
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I found a photo of this intriguing piano on the internet - I think its peculiarities show fairly well in this picture. I also remember reading that another piano company has come out with a duo-piano just very recently - maybe it was Fazoli? Can't remember. Enjoy!


Wow, that´s very interesting and amazing, Sarah! Thank you so much for to have posted it here! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:36 pm 
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You're welcome! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:41 pm 
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Pianolady wrote:
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I like learning about religious and mystical symbols, as well. I also like trying to break secret codes, or overcoming obstacle-like courses.


May be there exists a translation into English of the book of Alfons Rosenberg?

Quote:
I think he says that because he is German! :wink: In reality, both American and German Steinways are equal in quality. The difference lies in their sound – Hamburg Steinway’s hammers are a little harder than American Steinways and so the sound is slightly different. And you can’t argue the fact that professional performers choose between the two pianos equal number of times, some even going as far as using both when they are offered. Here in Chicago at our Orchestral Hall where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs, pianists are offered a Hamburg Steinway and an American Steinway, and you see both the same amount of times.


I think, you are absolutely right with that. I personally like the softer Steinways more than the harder ones, so, I suppose, I would prefer an American Steinway.

Quote:
I thought everybody considered the piano to be a percussion instrument, didn’t you? And yes – don’t we talk about our attempts to make the melody line sing on our pianos. I think this is somewhat possible with good legato, although of course we cannot make the volume of the tone change once we have struck the key. But singers can’t make their voices sing a chord, either, so we all have our limitations.


I agree at hundert percent.

Quote:
And Andreas - I know you are back to work this week, so don't worry if it takes you some time to do the reading and commenting.


O.k., thank you, Monica. In every case I want to read further, because I find this book to be very interesting and it´s a personal enrichment for me to improve my English with it. I truely still feel much surer with it now.
This evening f.ex. I´ll still find some time, I think, and I like to read also in the evening instead of to watch TV or so. Í´ll see, what I can do. So, if you´ll have a look into this thread from time to time, you´ll see, if I could proceed or not.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:35 pm 
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O.k., a short book time before I go to bed now:
I ´ve read chapter 14. Very interesting, what Luc said about the tempered and equal tuning. I knew all that and that Bach wasn´t the first, who has written for the well-tempered clavier, before him - and this is not mentioned in the novel - there was Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer, who wrote 22 preludes and fugues for a tempered organ respective piano. He called it "Ariadne Musica". So, Bach was the first, who wrote in all 24 keys.
Very interesting, that Thad says, a tuner has to be a tuner, an artist and a psychologist. I think, that has much truth, because the tuner shouldn´t tune mechanically, but care for special conditions and for what his client prefers.
Really new for me was this theme of inscriptions of invisible parts of the piano. Very interesting. And I was moved by the story of a Steinway-master, who found the name of his late father in a grand-piano, he had to repair.
Does your piano have any invisible inscriptions? I´ll look, if my one has some...

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:22 pm 
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Good morning, Andreas! :wink:

Just a quick note to tell you that I have not had the time to read Chapter 14 yet. I can probably read it later today or tonight, but you may not see any comment from me until late today or early tomorrow.

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Pianolady wrote:
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I can probably read it later today or tonight, but you may not see any comment from me until late today or early tomorrow.


Don´t mention. We are not in any hurry. :wink:

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OMG!!!! :shock: I leave for a week and half camping trip with the monsters and you're almost done already!!!! hehehehe

I checked at local library and that's a no-go ... so I'm gonna go order from Amazon upon finishing this post. thank goodness ya'll are reading slowly! :)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:07 pm 
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OK, book is ordered and will be here mañana! yippee!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:03 pm 
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Wow, that's fast, Nathan! Read up to chapter 14 as fast as you can. You will be happy to know that they are short chapters.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:44 pm 
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Wow, that´s great, Nathan, that we get a third reader. It´s a nice book.

Today my order arrived and I have received the normal book of our novel from the bookshop I have ordered it first, but they have said to me, that there are problems of delivery. Until now I have only read in my e-book-version on my computer. Although I had annuled this order (,because I had bought it already as an e-book), they send it to me, strange isn´t it?
Now my wife said, that she wants to read it eventually, too. So, I didn´t send back the consignment I received, but I think, I´ll keep it.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Ok, I have read chapter 14. I think it was interesting learning about piano tuners. And also the fact that the ear should be trained to listen to piano strings early - like before a person turns 25 years old. Guess it is too late for me then!

I have watched my tuner tune my piano many times. He uses a laptop computer but also sometimes uses only his ear. It amazes me how he can hear the slightest of pitch changes.

And I also think it is neat for a piano craftsman to sign his name in some hidden place inside the piano. I would if it were me. In fact, I have signed my name all over my house - inside walls, under stairs, etc. We did some major home improvements when we first moved into the house I live in now. Build new walls, took out flooring, things like that. Whenever we built new walls, my husband and I, even our kids sometimes, signed our names before the new drywall (sheet rock) (plaster board)(there are several names for this material)went up.

My tuner has also signed and dated his name inside my piano. Just on one of the keys. I bought my piano new, and the first time he tuned it is when he did that. It is to make a reference for anyone to know a little bit as to the date of my piano. Whether there any other names inside my piano, I do not know.

Ok, on to chapter 15. Remember - no need to rush. Plus, it will give Nathan time to catch up.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:03 pm 
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Oh, Andreas - I'm just sneaking in here for a moment to tell you something. I'm reading chapter 15 right now, and found something in it that you will like! :)

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Hi Monica,
I was really to curious to read on, so that I have finished chapter 15. (Sorry, Nathan, but you can write something also to the previous chapters and we could discuss it, if you like, this would be very nice anyway.)

Thank you for your nice advice, Monica. I can imagine, what you mean. :) There is mentioned an old Grotrian-Steinweg-grand from the 20th, which was restored for an old lady. :wink:
In this chapter I find interesting Luc´s behaviour to people, who have to sell their pianos, but are not in fact ready to separate from them. He is full of respect and comprehension. I think, his idea, that the people should burn their old pianos, if they aren´t to repair and to use anymore and to cook their sausages on them, is a good one. So, they could process their close to a certain part of their lifes better, I suppose, as if they just give it away and always remember it and suffer from this. What do you think?

I think, Carhart does narrate in a sensitive and descriptive manner of singular fates related to pianos. This is very interesting and increases the pleasure to read this subtle work of literature.

I really ask me, if pianos in our times of today still have so much meaning to so many people like it is described in the book. (Though it´s written in 2000, isn´t it?) I´m sure, there still exists men, who feel so and who can find themselves in the novel of Carhart, but the number of them probably decreases, I suppose. Do you agree?

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So, book is in ... I just read first chapter and had to come comment. first of all, yummy yummy writing, no? "voluptuous fantasy" .... wow

In any case, I'm too poor to be reading this book ... I can already tell it's gonna wake up buried desires that I've long been repressing ... hence, ya'll will have to listen to me whine about my pitiable POS baldwin upright. My wife would have an attack if I tried to get a real piano. *sigh*

Ok, gonna go get the kids and will catch up to ya'll this evening.

PS-- my book has an afterword with notes for a book club. how funny is that??

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I'm supposed to be working right now, but I'm not. haha

I'll write notes on chapter 15 later. Nathan - yes, go ahead and post any thoughts you have on the earlier chapters.

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ok, brief post before supper .... I just finished ch9.

When he brought home his piano, I actually got a little turned on ... I love his description of those first moments .... reminded me of my first time with the missus. Quite sweet actually.

And I do that thing too with pianos ... I have to touch and open them, wherever I am ... wholly inappropriate if completely voyeuristic. It was also humbling to realize how little I really know about the workings of the instrument. Of course, i've never been with a piano I love so much. I'm sure that would make a difference.

What was your first public performance like? I really had trouble identifying with his terrifying experience ... I remember my first recital and I loved it (being the quiet and introvert type that you all know me to be). And I always played for guests at house constantly. Only recently do I not perform for others ... unless you count the competing with spongebob for the kid's attention! heh

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Good – you are catching up fast, Nathan.

I never lift the lid of pianos I see in different places and play them. I’m too chicken. Although a couple years ago I was in Liberace’s museum and took a picture of one of his pianos with my cell phone camera. I had to sneak it!

I can very much relate to our character's terrifying experience at his recital. I get that way now! Nerves didn’t bother me as much when I was younger. Don’t remember my first recitals, but I do remember the one when I was 12 and played a Chopin Waltz. It was my first Chopin piece and I felt like a grown-up playing it.

But I absolutely hated playing for people when they came to our home. When I was very young, like between 5 and 13, every time my parent’s friends came over, they always said, “Let’s hear little Monica play something.” I was extremely shy back then and would try to run and hide. There was one solution to the problem, though: We had a grand piano in the living room and an upright piano downstairs, so to help alleviate my fear, I was allowed to go downstairs and play that piano, while everyone else stayed upstairs and listened.

How about you, Andreas – what was your first public performing experience like?



more book time – regarding chapter 14 – burning an old piano and cooking your sausage over the fire. Well, I have never done that! Actually, I’ve never seen a piano being burned. I think that would make me cry a little.

I dunno – I think people today still get hooked on their pianos. It might be that I am too biased, though. I get hooked on anything that I happen to like and then I don’t want to part with it. Others may not feel as sentimental about objects. Not really sure what I think about this one….

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that imagery of burning a piano was a bit shocking and sacreligious at first ... but now I think maybe it'd be cathartic. Kindof like a wake for an beloved family member I guess.

I don't think sausages though ... smores maybe??

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I love smores!

Nathan, looks like you have definitely caught up!

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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
How about you, Andreas – what was your first public performing experience like?


My first performing experience was, when I played guitar before my class in elementary school. I was seven years old. I think, I have played some melodies of well-known songs and little pieces of my guitar-school (Dieter Kreidler, Gitarrenschule, Band 1).
I have enjoyed it and got much applause!

BTW, what are "smores"? I couldn´t find the word in the dictionary.

Nathan, wow, I can´t imagine, how someone can read so fastly a book, and even in English :lol: . I have needed two weeks for coming to chapter 15.

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This is how you make a smore:

1. build a fire

2. find a long stick

3. Stick a marshmallow on the end of the stick and then stick it in the fire. :lol:

4. The marshmallow may catch on fire, but that's ok - just blow it out.

5. Then take a graham cracker and break it into two equal pieces (squares).

6. Take half of a Hershey chocolate bar and but it on one of the graham cracker squares.

7. Then put the hot marshmallow on top of the chocolate and put the other graham cracker square on top of that.

8. What you get is like a sandwich - graham cracker, chocolate bar and marshmallow. Because the marshmallow is hot, it starts to melt the chocolate and the whole thing gets a little gooey. It's messy to eat, but it sure is super yummy!

Ok, I'm reading chapter 16 now.

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Thanks, Monica. Sounds really tasty.
First I´ll play a bit Chopin, thenI´ll read chapter 16.

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Ok, I just finished ch. 16.

I like that music school that Thad found for his children. And isn't it neat that Debussy and Albeniz (others as well) also studied there? I am hoping to go to Paris in a couple years. If I do, I will try to find this building. I'm also going to visit every place where Chopin visited and lived. Maybe if I am lucky, his ghost will pay me a visit me too. :D

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Phew, I have finished chapter 16. :D
Yes, it´s really a school full of history and atmosphere, I think. I like Thads idea, to look for a piano-teacher for his daughter, which will motivate her and not to teach her "solfège". This kind of theory has made me dislike music, too, when I was a child. I still could play the guitar, which I learned in private lessons, and sight-read, when I had to learn "solfège" at the civic music-school, where I first started to learn Cello with 11 years. After a half year I stopped with this (very beautiful and soulful) instrument and changed to piano, because this was my very wish.
It must be a very interesting atmosphere with all the old Erards, Pleyels and Gaveaus on the one side and the more modern instruments on the other there in the Schola Cantorum.
My tuner says, that the individual characters of the piano-brands decrease more and more, because they all try to approach to the Steinway-like piano-building and give up their old manners to built pianos. As an example he mentioned Bechstein. They always said, that their manner is better and that they don´t need steinway-like building-manner, but now they have taken over some techniques of piano-building, which Steinway uses.

All this development is really a pity IMO! Sometimes I wished to have lived in 19th century. :roll: May be we should open a synthesizer-forum to stay up to date and write a book called "The synthesizer-shop on the right bank", isn´t it? Oh my dears, we are on the headed south. :wink: :lol:

Monica, if you´ll meet the ghost of Chopin, tell him, I´ll try my very best to play his third Scherzo and send him my regards! 8) :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:58 am 
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I wonder why albeniz is so neglected in comparison with some others??

It must be a joy to be surrounded with so much sound. I find myself quite envious of Thad.

andreas, I read ridiculously fast ... just like I make love! :? I'm trying to rein myself in and go at same pace as you guys ... so I'm reading other books while we do this one together! ... if only I could use my powers for good ....

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Albeniz was very good friends with Granados.Image

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:44 pm 
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very VERY?? good friends?? hhmm

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How good was the "very"? :shock: :wink:

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Oh, you guys....:lol:

I'll explain in a few minutes. Just walked in the door from shopping and have to unload my car.

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Ok, I'm back. (not that you knew I was gone - LOL)

Anyway, Albeniz and Granados were not that THAT close. I put that heart next to my last post because I love Granados! If I could go back in time and meet with him, I would flirt with him a little. Well, maybe a lot.

Granados and Albeniz were just good friends. They hung out with each other almost daily, usually in a cafe where they ate the wrong kinds of foods, drank too much wine, smoked too many cigars, talked about their problems, told about all the women in their lives, (secret love affairs) etc... Each of them had their own health problems because of that kind of lifestyle. When Albeniz died, he had not yet finished a piece of music he was working on, and so his wife or daughter - can't remember which one - asked Granados to finish the piece, which he did. I think that is kind of touching - don't you?

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Pianolady wrote:
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Oh, you guys....


You really touch me with this, Monica.Image


Seriously, wow, that were really friends. That´s very nice and very touching.Image

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You are funny, Andreas. I bet you spend more time looking for just the right smiley than on actually typing out your comments! haha ( I do too - LOL) (I'm too lazy right now put one up right this second).

Ok - Chapter 17:

That poor piano! My goodness, I can’t believe how terrible Jos behaved!

I can relate to Anna paying him anyway just so that he would leave and to prevent something else bad from happening. My tuner has never done anything wrong to me or to my piano. He is a very nice and normal guy. But when I think about it, he comes to my home when I am by myself. If he were to become ‘weird’, I would pay him so he would leave right away too.

And what do you guys think about Anna and Thad talking about how they can ‘escape’ into a different place in their minds when they play music. That’s exactly how it is with me. I am most of the time making up a story in my mind when I play. It’s not always good to do that though, because often times I get to the end of a piece without realizing I just played the whole thing. I really should have been working on some technical issue and instead just wasted all that time with my fantasizing! So then I have to back to the beginning…

What say you both?

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O.k., chapter 17 was a sad one somehow. It´s really sad, that Luc seems to be an alcoholic and at the end it isn´t clear, if he had replaced also the broken string in Annas Bechstein. It´s just clear, that he has retuned the piano and that he has done this properly now.
I had good luck until now, because never a string break down in any of my pianos until today. (O.k. anytime there will be the first time, I think.) But I knew, that a new string has to be retuned several times, until it sounds correctly.

I seldom can be absent, if I play piano, Monica. I´m mostly very concentrated. In the case it´s a piece I know well and if I´m not concentrated I can play it through while thinking on other things, f.ex. what happened in my school-lessons or similar. If it´s a new piece (or a more complicated one), I´m not able to play it properly through, if I´m not truely concentrated.

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It's not Luc that is the alcoholic, but the piano tuner, Jos.

I have never broken a string, either. I have never even seen a broken string.

But Andreas, are you saying that you broke a string today? How did that happen? What were you playing? Did it make a loud noise when it broke? Did it shoot out of the piano? Did you jump?

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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
It's not Luc that is the alcoholic, but the piano tuner, Jos.


That´s what I meant, when I told you, that I´m an absent-minded professor sometimes. :roll: I´ve read so much literature (because of my profession of a German-teacher), that in moments, I´m tired and not more so concentrated, it easily happens to me, that I change names of the figures of the novel. Of course, I knew, that´s Jos.

Quote:
I have never even seen a broken string.


I have seen some during my life, but fortunately on other pianos than mine.

Quote:
But Andreas, are you saying that you broke a string today? How did that happen? What were you playing? Did it make a loud noise when it broke? Did it shoot out of the piano? Did you jump?


No Monica, that´s also fortunately a missunderstanding. May be I didn´t express me correctly. I have never broken a string, not today either. I just think: anytime always could be the first time, so it´s possibel (and probable), that it´ll happen to me and to most pianists one day. (Especially to such wild players like me. :wink: :lol: )

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Chapters 18 and 19 are short, so here is my summary on both.

Chap. 18 – Thad is finally getting his pedal brace. And what quirky behavior from that locksmith. It does seem like a complicated relationship between the business owners in that little neighborhood. I think that is kind of neat, though; like a sort of ‘you rub my back, and I’ll rub yours’ kind of way. And weren’t you excited to know about the new Erard coming in? And especially if Luc was actually going to receive it?

Chap. 19 – Never mind the Erard, now we have what could actually be Beethoven’s piano! Wow! I would love to have seen that. And now we clearly know why Beethoven seemed to easily smash pianos – they did not have the metal frame yet.

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Hi MOnica,
this weekend I had only time for the first half of chapter 18. I think, I need a little break now, because at this time I have very much to do for my job.

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No problem, Andreas. Whenever you feel like posting something is fine. Nathan has probably read the whole book by now, and I am just sort of following you guys. So we will all just go with the flow.
(that means to take it day to day)

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No, actually ... I didn't read it at all over the weekend .... although it's KILLING me not to know!!!

anyway, I thought the drunk Jos was hysterical ... I don't know why, but I couldn't stop laughing at his really horrible behaviour.

I too like to go other places when I play. I loved your comment thought about suddenly being at the end of a piece and wondering where the rest of the music went!!! hehe

Gonna catch up to you this morn. So, bbl.

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I would like to play on some of these pre-iron harp pianos.
I remember when I was really being forced to perform Mozart at about 12-13 years old, I complained to teacher at time "I feel like I'm being squished into a too-small box". I now think about how frustrating it must have been for those composing greats of time to be confined to a lesser sound than they wished.

I'm starting to wonder if Luc is a smuggler?? That scene with the blacksmith was bizarre. Is there a piano black-market?

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Yeah - poor Beethoven. At least Liszt was around when the piano he needed came to be.

And Nathan, was it that the Mozart pieces you were playing felt like 'small' pieces and therefore you weren't interested in playing them, or were you playing on a different instrument?

A piano black market - hmmm. Wouldn't surprise me. There are piano collectors who probably get into some shady dealings to get the piano they want.

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