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 Post subject: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:45 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
A friend of a friend, who frequently visits Prague, has been hearing
rumours, probably malicious, that cashflow problems at Petrof, the Czech
family business which has been making pianos for nearly 150 years, are
sufficiently severe as to risk forcing the company to close within a
year unless a backer can be found to provide a major cash injection.

He says secret negotiations have been taking place with various possible
parties, and the latest gossip on the street is that agreement has just
been reached with the giant consortium ONAI, little known outside the
Czech Republic. The deal, due to be announced this week, is in effect a
takeover, but the piano business will continue to be permitted to use
the family name alongside that of the consortium. Starting this month,
all instruments shipped from the factory will now be branded ONAIPETROF.

Whoever the backer was going to be, a change of branding was going to be
virtually unavoidable, and my friend thinks that the consortium's name
was one of the factors which Petrof management took into account in
their choice of backer, considering what you get when you spell the new
brand name backwards.


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:41 pm 
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rainer wrote:
Whoever the backer was going to be, a change of branding was going to be
virtually unavoidable, and my friend thinks that the consortium's name
was one of the factors which Petrof management took into account in
their choice of backer, considering what you get when you spell the new
brand name backwards.

Neato! :)

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:41 am 
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Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2012


My spider senses are tingling... But that's still very clever :P


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:59 pm 
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Oh! That's a good one. :) I really didn't think it was an April Fools joke. I went and told this information to someone else too..... :oops: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:53 pm 
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I would wait till Rainer confirms or denies that one.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:59 pm 
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Posts: 302
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
pianolady wrote:
I went and told this information to someone else too.....
I hope you didn't tell it to anyone connected with Petrof's lawyers, or they'll be coming after me for libel. :(

A year or so ago, a local school acquired a new Petrof grand piano, a brand I hadn't heard of before, but since the name sounded Eastern European, the implication was that the piano was most likely to have been relatively inexpensive (compared with, say, an equivalent Yamaha, and the school couldn't have afforded a new one of those, let alone a Steinway).

I have this habit of sometimes looking at a word and imagining what it might spell backwards. So I looked again at the name and noted that it would spell "Fortep", which caused the usually feeble word-association part of my brain to spit out "Fortepiano". Wouldn't it be neat, thought I, if Mr Petrof's first name had been Onai. It seemed pretty unlikely that such a name even existed, but that doesn't mean it can't, so imagining it is OK.

I was on the lookout for material for a possible April Fool's here, and remembered the Petrof piano. Then I thought that big corporations often use made up names which look as though they could be acronyms, but often aren't, so it seemed quite plausible that "Onai" could be the name of some obscure foreign corporation, and the rest of the story was very straightforward to fabricate. But that's just what it is, a fabrication.

For the lawyers: I am not aware of any suggestion that the Petrof company is or has been in financial difficulty or in need of being bailed out by a takeover.

For those of you who recognised it straight away as an April Fool's: Well done!

For the rest of you: :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:35 am 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Very good Rainer!

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:15 am 
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Posts: 418
Location: Boston
rainer wrote:
A friend of a friend, who frequently visits Prague, has been hearing
rumours, probably malicious, that cashflow problems at Petrof, the Czech
family business which has been making pianos for nearly 150 years, are
sufficiently severe as to risk forcing the company to close within a
year unless a backer can be found to provide a major cash injection.

He says secret negotiations have been taking place with various possible
parties, and the latest gossip on the street is that agreement has just
been reached with the giant consortium ONAI, little known outside the
Czech Republic. The deal, due to be announced this week, is in effect a
takeover, but the piano business will continue to be permitted to use
the family name alongside that of the consortium. Starting this month,
all instruments shipped from the factory will now be branded ONAIPETROF.

Whoever the backer was going to be, a change of branding was going to be
virtually unavoidable, and my friend thinks that the consortium's name
was one of the factors which Petrof management took into account in
their choice of backer, considering what you get when you spell the new
brand name backwards.
Hi rainer, you realize that someone reading this two months from now won't realize that this is creative fiction, let alone that it's meant as an April Fool's joke. Some might not even read beyond the opening thread as the headline alone might misinform them. This might become misleading as no one reads dates. I admit, you were making a convincing three paragraph argument until you mentioned ONAI. :P No corporate backer would change the Petrof name as that's the most valuable asset of name recognition. Just like Steinway has been bought out by several corporations. Personally, for the money, one is better off with August Forster or Grotrian without getting into Steinway/Fazioi prices. I thought you were going to say that a Chinese firm was going to buy the company/name. Hey, at this rate, it's bound to happen someday with many famous brand names...

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:51 pm 
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I thought I had read somewhere that Baldwin bought Bosendorfer or the other way around. Except now I can't find where I saw that. Maybe I'm thinking of two different companies.... :?

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:58 pm 
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Gibson (guitars) bought Baldwin. :( But I don't think Baldwin is even in business anymore. Anybody know? I think it was Yamaha that bought Bosendorfer.

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:41 pm 
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Oh! Then I can say that I have a Bosendorfer, sorta.... :lol:

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:37 am 
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Location: Boston
Bosendorfer has been sold several times over. In 1966 Kimball pianos bought it. About ten years ago, a Hong Kong group BAWAG bought Bosendorfer. Then I remember reading in Forbes that they were acquired by an American hedge fund who in turn sold it to Yamaha about 5 years ago. It was a big blow to the Austrian pride to be outbid by a convincing margin, but Yamaha at the time was the largest piano company in terms of volume. Fortunately, Yamaha pledged to keep the maufacturing and employee relations in Austria. I actually thought thought that Schimmel could have acquired Bosendorfer just to keep things German, but they never budged.

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Yamaha is a smart company.
Personally, I've never set a finger on a Bosendorfer so I can't claim to know what they are really like. I wouldn't mind trying one, though. :wink:
Have you ever played one, George?

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:49 pm 
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You want to know why I love my Baldwin 7' so much? It has the very same action as does the 9', the Bosendorfers and the Bechsteins: the Renner-made action. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:47 pm 
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Location: Boston
pianolady wrote:
Yamaha is a smart company.
Personally, I've never set a finger on a Bosendorfer so I can't claim to know what they are really like. I wouldn't mind trying one, though. :wink:
Have you ever played one, George?
Hi Monica, yes, Yamaha is an intelligent company, and is a major player in the world of pianos offering exceptional value in my opinion. Yes, I've played on the 214 (7') and the 225 (7'4") Bösendorfer in Boston. Traditionally, the older Bösendorfer pianos have a linear sound without tonal brightness or overtones which distinguish them from a Fazioli, Mason & Hamlin, or Steinway. It lacks that full body tone, but provides a darker sound that is mellow and warm. It is great for music up to Schubert, but not for the later Romantics like Rachmaninov. The sound is a bit demure in that it doesn't project into a larger concert hall when playing a concerto with a full orchestra. I find that there is a slight disparity of tone between the bass and treble registers. I have noticed that the action is slow on repeated notes and is a bit heavy for my taste. It also has less sustain than what I am accustomed to on other pianos. That's why I could never justify the price. Besides, the softer spruce in the rim can have knots which can perforate through the finish and after a dozen years or so it can look unaesthetic for a $100k+ instrument.

When I was in Vienna more recently, I played the 290 (9'6") Imperial Flügel. I noticed that the newer Bösendorfer pianos are toned brighter and the timbre is more percussive than the older Bösendorfer pianos I played on back in Boston several years back. This is a deviation from the traditional Viennese "Schmaltz" sound. I am not sure if this is a realization of Yamaha or Bösendorfer? Perhaps, in order to compete with the numerous bright sounding pianos of today, Bösendorfer is voicing their pianos to project a modern 'digital-ready' sound?

As an aside, my favorite piano is the Feurich - a small family owned German piano company that used to import 75 pianos to the U.S. Sadly, we no longer import them here. Ha, if I were buying a piano company, that would be the company to buy, and one wouldn't have to overbid for it due to their output. Leave it to the Germans to design something right! These pianos have an excellent action, responsive to varying touch, able to project and deliver multiple shadings from pppp to ffff. It has Steinway-like projection, overtones, and sustain; a golden bell-like sound, but darker and richer sound for that nostalgic character of mystical proportion. Feurich offers the perfect blend of tone and timbre in my opinion for Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov. I've played on many different pianos, but never has a piano moved me like a Feurich to this day. At the time, I was only a student, and couldn't even afford to buy the bench that I was sitting on to play. Before my current piano, I wrote to them a few years ago inquiring about importing a F227 here. The owner, Julius Feurich, responded to my question - talk about personal service. I realized that there were too many inhibitive variables with shipping, climate issues, etc., so I never pursued it further. But, if you're ever in Germany or Paris, do try to play a Feurich when you get a chance... Play a Chopin Nocturne on it, then you'll know what I am talking about. :wink:

However, and more importantly, your Yamaha is sounding better and better with each recording. So keep on smiling in your videos, and keep on making music in your recordings. :)

Hope you have a Happy Easter!
George

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:31 am 
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Dear George,
Thank you for the kind words, I hope you have a very nice Easter too! :)

And you never cease to amaze and delight me! :D That information about Bosendorfer pianos is very interesting. Even more interesting is that Feurich piano. I have not heard of it before. Is it a costly piano? Like in the range of Steinways/Bosendorfers/Faziolis? And you know I am going to Paris in September, so I will certainly be on the lookout for Feurich pianos!

On a sort of different note, I just watched a movie tonight titled, "Midnight in Paris". Have you seen it? It's charming and right up my alley - about romance and time travel in Paris.


(I also wish everybody else here a Happy Easter :) )

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:55 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Dear George,
Thank you for the kind words, I hope you have a very nice Easter too! :)

And you never cease to amaze and delight me! :D That information about Bosendorfer pianos is very interesting. Even more interesting is that Feurich piano. I have not heard of it before. Is it a costly piano? Like in the range of Steinways/Bosendorfers/Faziolis? And you know I am going to Paris in September, so I will certainly be on the lookout for Feurich pianos!

On a sort of different note, I just watched a movie tonight titled, "Midnight in Paris". Have you seen it? It's charming and right up my alley - about romance and time travel in Paris.


(I also wish everybody else here a Happy Easter :) )
Dear Monica, I hope you'll encounter a Feurich on your epic trip. In the 1990s, Feurich was priced like a Grotrian or an August Förster, more expensive than Schimmel, but ~ 30% less than Steinway.

Thank you for the movie suggestion! I love movies that take place in old cities like Rome or Paris - past or present. It adds so much culture and fascination to any plot. I have not seen Midnight In Paris. I am always ordering movies, so I'll have to add it to my list. Isn't there another Woody Allen movie that takes place in Paris too, I can't remember. I bet there are 50 movies, but the one's I remember seeing are Paris Je T'Aime, Amelie, Da Vinci Code, La Vie En Rose, Ronin, Rush Hour 3 (briefly), and Bourne Identity. And the latest one I bought was Hugo - a totally different twist for Martin Scorsese. I am sure your anxious for your trip, but, you know what? I heard that the best movie about Paris is yet to be released... In 5 months, it is you that will be starring in your own movie by walking along magical streets, hearing amazing stories, and discovering the fine institutions of Paris. You'll be limited only by one's imagination. Indeed, you will also go back in time with your own adventures and discoveries to last you a lifetime... :D

BTW, I just received a bunch of "music" movies last week: Paganini's Daemon, Pianomania, Khachaturian, and Mozart's Sister. I saw Mozart's Sister a few days ago. It's mostly a true story of Nannerl, W. A. Mozart's older sister, and how she challenges the social order with her own ambition of becoming a female composer in the 1770s. It chronicles the family's visit to the court of France. I didn't know much about her story, but I liked the movie as it was different from anything that I have seen. The movie is in French, with English subtitles and contains charming period cinematography.

George

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:36 pm 
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88man wrote:
Thank you for the movie suggestion! I love movies that take place in old cities like Rome or Paris - past or present. It adds so much culture and fascination to any plot. I have not seen Midnight In Paris. I am always ordering movies, so I'll have to add it to my list.

I hope you like it. I like it so much that I want to watch it again. It's showing on Starz On-Demand right now if you have cable...?

George wrote:
Isn't there another Woody Allen movie that takes place in Paris too, I can't remember. I bet there are 50 movies, but the one's I remember seeing are Paris Je T'Aime, Amelie, Da Vinci Code, La Vie En Rose, Ronin, Rush Hour 3 (briefly), and Bourne Identity. And the latest one I bought was Hugo - a totally different twist for Martin Scorsese.
I know I have seen several movies filmed in Paris, too, but all I can think of right now is "Moulin Rouge" and "Les Miserables".

George wrote:
I am sure your anxious for your trip, but, you know what? I heard that the best movie about Paris is yet to be released... In 5 months, it is you that will be starring in your own movie by walking along magical streets, hearing amazing stories, and discovering the fine institutions of Paris. You'll be limited only by one's imagination. Indeed, you will also go back in time with your own adventures and discoveries to last you a lifetime... :D

That makes me laugh a little bit because just two nights ago, I was having trouble sleeping and turned on the tv around 3:00 in the morning and randomly started watching the Home Shopping Network. They were selling an HD camcorder and next thing you know, I bought one! lol

George wrote:
BTW, I just received a bunch of "music" movies last week: Paganini's Daemon, Pianomania, Khachaturian, and Mozart's Sister. I saw Mozart's Sister a few days ago. It's mostly a true story of Nannerl, W. A. Mozart's older sister, and how she challenges the social order with her own ambition of becoming a female composer in the 1770s. It chronicles the family's visit to the court of France. I didn't know much about her story, but I liked the movie as it was different from anything that I have seen. The movie is in French, with English subtitles and contains charming period cinematography.
I didn't know there was a movie about Khachaturian. And please let me know if you like "Pianomania". I've been meaning to watch Mozart's Sister too, so now I'll get that one also.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:46 am 
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OK Monica, it's done! I ordered Midnight in Paris, along with Un Coeur en Hiver (A Heart in Winter); Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring (which I've seen, but it's nice to have in the library); and Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol - I am a guy after all. :P I am curious about A Heart in Winter because I heard the violinist plays on a Vuillaume, and I'd like to compare its tone with mine. You know some of the best romantic movies I've seen have been Masterpiece Classics on PBS. Don't laugh, the British acting is superb - on a much higher standard than Hollywood to the point that it defies gender stereotypes about film genre. Some of Jane Austin's and Charles Dickens' novels which have been made to movies are all exceptional productions!

Ooh yes, I forgot about Les Mis! You mentioned the movie Moulin Rouge... Never mind the movie, I strongly urge you book the show AND dinner combo at the Moulin Rouge as soon as you arrive! :shock: It's not what you think, believe me, you'll have such a fun time. The dinner is decent and the show is an unbelieveable spectacle! Remember to order a bottle of wine too (no single glasses here :lol: ). Check the weather for a cloudy/rainy night, then pre-book as the shows can sell out. :lol:

The film on Khachaturian is a documentary, not a movie I think. I haven't opened Pianomania either, but I'll let you know about each one in a different thread.

It looks like you're on your way with your new HD camcorder. Street Lights! HD Camera! Action Paris!....... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:55 pm 
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George, I didn’t know you play violin too!! Wow!!

Yes, I will do the show and dinner at the Moulin Rouge – with a bottle (or two!) of wine (oh my gosh, I can’t wait – I get so excited when I think about all this... :D)

And speaking of movies, I think you must be clairvoyant or something because I am right now today watching a movie (while I commute on the train) called “Becoming Jane”. Also, last Sunday I finished watching Masterpiece theater’s “Great Expectations”. Isn't that amazing? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:03 pm 
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Is it not funny: I lived three years in Paris and I never went closer to the Moulin Rouge than Sacre Coeur, even though I did contemplate renting a flat on Montmartre. That goes also for the Follies Bergère. I did tour the Opéra, however (the do offer guided tours, but not down the undereground where allegedly the phantom lived), and attended many concerts of the Paris Symphony Orchestra and was on the island that was painted both my Monet and Renoir (Le Moulin de la Galette - a very nice walk, though I very much doubt I would be able to find my way there again). I also visited the district where Edith Piaf was born and lived for a time (in my cousin's flat - she is an American) near the Elysée Palace and around the corner from where Poulenc was born. Also the small museums were no tourist goes I visited: the Nissim de Camondo and the Musée de la Vie Romantique - at the latter I attended a concert in the garden. I worked in one of he few areas to have escaped almost uncathed from the "modernising" fury of Napolen III and his sidekick Hausmann: The Marais, where the Picasso museum will certainly turn any hater of Picasso into an enthusiast.

As for films, no one has mentioned An American in Paris. By the way, did anyone know that Gene Kelly had broken his ankle in 1949? This did not stop him from becoming famous in the 1950s as a vigorous dancer.

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:19 am 
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pianolady wrote:
George, I didn’t know you play violin too!! Wow!!

Yes, I will do the show and dinner at the Moulin Rouge – with a bottle (or two!) of wine (oh my gosh, I can’t wait – I get so excited when I think about all this... :D)

And speaking of movies, I think you must be clairvoyant or something because I am right now today watching a movie (while I commute on the train) called “Becoming Jane”. Also, last Sunday I finished watching Masterpiece theater’s “Great Expectations”. Isn't that amazing? :)
Actually Monica, I began the violin and piano around the same time. It kept me off the streets. :P

Two bottles of wine?! That's the spirit! :wink:

OMG, I couldn't turn the TV off last Sunday until 11pm - Great Expectations was indeed another winner! Downton Abbey was great too, even though one couldn't savor the ending just a tad longer. I haven't seen Becoming Jane, but sounds similar to Jane Austin Regrets that was bundled in a BBC boxed set with Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion. There are also two wonderful Pride and Prejudice films, one with Keira Knightly and Mathew MacFayden. But the other one with Colin Firth (BBC) is longer and goes deeper into the character and plot. I've always appreciated that Charles Dickens is one of the greatest authors, but the BBC is rendering these beautiful novels with such artistry that even a muscle head can appreciate them. Leave it to Dickens to tell a great story, albeit a romantic one - My favorite film adaptation is Little Dorrit that aired last year. It's like "watching" Brahms' Op. 117/2 and Schubert's Gretchen am spinnrade. I bought 2 sets - I am leaving the other one as a gift - it's that magnificent! Too bad, they didn't release it on Blu-ray. Such films look fantastic and so detailed on Blu-ray with all the castles, art, architecture, etc. Have you noticed that these films are not popcorn caliber films... They are best savored with a glass of wine and cheese. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:40 pm 
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@Richard - Oh yes, I forgot about "An American in Paris". And no, I didn’t know that about Gene Kelly. Wow!

Regarding the Opera - Do they let you go underground where the "Phantom" lived? That would be very neat! I plan on seeing the Catacombs when I’m there. The Musée de la Vie Romantique is also on my list of places visit too because of the Chopin/Sand connection:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mus%C3%A9e ... Romantique

@George - Ohhh, you’re making me hungry!! :lol:

I was also hooked on Downton Abbey. Can’t wait for the next season! "Sense and Sensibility" and "Emma" are another of my favorites. But my most favorite is "Pride and Prejudice". I have also seen both versions and I always like Colin Firth, but I really loved the version with Keira Knightly and can watch it over and over… I like the music in it too and bought the piano book. Lovely pieces – I someday want to record a couple of them, although I don’t know what I’d do with them afterwards...

I somehow missed the film "Little Dorrit". I’ll definitely look it up now, though….Thanks for the tip! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:47 am 
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pianolady wrote:
... I really loved the version with Keira Knightly and can watch it over and over… I like the music in it too and bought the piano book. Lovely pieces – I someday want to record a couple of them, although I don’t know what I’d do with them afterwards...
That's easy. With your new HD camcorder, you can use it for the soundtrack when you video Mr. Darcy's "Pemberley" home when touring through Derbyshire in the English countryside. Perhaps on your next trip?... :D

I am doing something similar soon with a local project. I've set aside time in July to take 1080p footage and merge it with recorded improvisations inspired from Cape Cod and the Islands. I can't wait to see the sunsets over Hyannisport and Nantucket. I photograph these places every year, but I'd like to do it in HD this time!

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:22 pm 
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That sounds like a real fun project, George! Your own photographs/video AND your own music....that's so neat!! Maybe I can do something similar with all the Chopin sites I plan on photographing when I'm in Paris, but it won't be as cool as your project because it won't be MY own music. I wonder what I could use as piano background music for the Rome leg of my trip. For some reason, I'm drawing a blank...

Anyway, I hope I can one day see YOUR video! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:32 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
That sounds like a real fun project, George! Your own photographs/video AND your own music....that's so neat!! Maybe I can do something similar with all the Chopin sites I plan on photographing when I'm in Paris, but it won't be as cool as your project because it won't be MY own music. I wonder what I could use as piano background music for the Rome leg of my trip. For some reason, I'm drawing a blank...

Anyway, I hope I can one day see YOUR video! :)
Thanks, Monica. I'll let you know when it's completed.

Regarding one's "own music:" Music is an extension of one's soul, whether one is creating through composing or recreating through performance. I think recordings reflect YOUR music inside either way.

How many legs are you growing for this trip? :P Well, I guess 2 legs are enough - I forgot about Rome. That's a lot because it's so far from Paris. As for soundtracks, anything from Scarlatti or Clementi might not have strong bearing to the national character of Italian/Roman music. I think transcriptions from famous arias (Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti), tarantellas, Italian folk songs, film scores, are all fair game for a soundtrack. It might just come down to finding a good piano arrangement. Good Luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:42 am 
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88man wrote:
pianolady wrote:
That sounds like a real fun project, George! Your own photographs/video AND your own music....that's so neat!! Maybe I can do something similar with all the Chopin sites I plan on photographing when I'm in Paris, but it won't be as cool as your project because it won't be MY own music. I wonder what I could use as piano background music for the Rome leg of my trip. For some reason, I'm drawing a blank...

Anyway, I hope I can one day see YOUR video! :)
Thanks, Monica. I'll let you know when it's completed.

Regarding one's "own music:" Music is an extension of one's soul, whether one is creating through composing or recreating through performance. I think recordings reflect YOUR music inside either way.

How many legs are you growing for this trip? :P Well, I guess 2 legs are enough - I forgot about Rome. That's a lot because it's so far from Paris. As for soundtracks, anything from Scarlatti or Clementi might not have strong bearing to the national character of Italian/Roman music. I think transcriptions from famous arias (Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti), tarantellas, Italian folk songs, film scores, are all fair game for a soundtrack. It might just come down to finding a good piano arrangement. Good Luck!


Maybe three legs(I'm a tripod...haha), because I'm also going to Venice. But that's only for two days. Then another five days in Rome. Scarlatti and Clementi for background music - of course - I should have thought of that! (duh to me).

But guess what, George? Today I played a Feurich piano! My piano group had a get together down in the city, and on the ground floor of the building where we meet is a piano store. I know the owner and so I went in to talk with him and the first piano that caught my eye was a Feurich. And it has four pedals! My friend demonstrated how the sustain pedal actually sustains harmonics when applied and in varying degrees depending on how far the pedal is depressed. Anyway, it was a beautiful piano - I didn't play it very much because I didn't have a lot of time and wanted to play the gigantic Fazioli too (it had four pedals too) (what's with these four-pedal pianos? I've never heard of them before until today...). Anyway, in a couple months I'll be back in his store and will make more time to play the Feurich. Isn't that a neat coincidence? :D

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:18 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Maybe three legs(I'm a tripod...haha), because I'm also going to Venice. But that's only for two days. Then another five days in Rome. Scarlatti and Clementi for background music - of course - I should have thought of that! (duh to me).

But guess what, George? Today I played a Feurich piano! My piano group had a get together down in the city, and on the ground floor of the building where we meet is a piano store. I know the owner and so I went in to talk with him and the first piano that caught my eye was a Feurich. And it has four pedals! My friend demonstrated how the sustain pedal actually sustains harmonics when applied and in varying degrees depending on how far the pedal is depressed. Anyway, it was a beautiful piano - I didn't play it very much because I didn't have a lot of time and wanted to play the gigantic Fazioli too (it had four pedals too) (what's with these four-pedal pianos? I've never heard of them before until today...). Anyway, in a couple months I'll be back in his store and will make more time to play the Feurich. Isn't that a neat coincidence? :D
I was initially going to suggest Mendelssohn’s Venetian Boat Song yesterday, but I didn’t know that Venice was also in your itinerary until now. Wow! There is so much to see, do, tell, hear, and buy in Venice… Its allure can be enjoyed at all hours. I had a relative who was the Abbot of San Lazzaro, an island monastery in the lagoon of Venice. It's the same one that Lord Byron stayed at in his adventures. Venice was/is a magical place to visit. With its 400 canals and before GPS, I got lost in the city once, and the only thing that guided me back was the direction and sound of a particular church bell. Good thing I love bells and can discern sound, otherwise it would have been a long night on someone’s steps.

I don’t know if the surprise is in the charm, or the charm is in the surprise?... Perhaps the stars were in perfect alignment yesterday for you to discover a Feurich?... Regardless, I can’t think of a better venue on a Saturday afternoon than visiting a charming Piano Shoppe On The Left Bank of L. Michigan. You're so lucky to share quality time with a nice “Piano Group." Pianists here in NE are different and I'll leave it at that. Were these 9ft pianos? Are they for sale? Are there any Hamburg Steinways in your area too? If I were ever to get another piano, I would consider a 9'er and call it day, a year, or a lifetime. :D

From what I've played on, if a piano has good sustain, dynamics, and balance, you really don’t need a 4th pedal. It’s supposed to enhance clarity, dynamics, and sustain at the fringe ranges of the piano by a mechanism that links to the agraffe bridge. Nonetheless, its a curious discovery. Life is full of wonderful surprises - I certainly hope you will go back to your friend's shoppe and continue where you left off by playing those pianos some more. Please keep me informed of your experiences... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:39 am 
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88man wrote:
I was initially going to suggest Mendelssohn’s Venetian Boat Song yesterday, but I didn’t know that Venice was also in your itinerary until now. Wow! There is so much to see, do, tell, hear, and buy in Venice… Its allure can be enjoyed at all hours. I had a relative who was the Abbot of San Lazzaro, an island monastery in the lagoon of Venice. It's the same one that Lord Byron stayed at in his adventures. Venice was/is a magical place to visit. With its 400 canals and before GPS, I got lost in the city once, and the only thing that guided me back was the direction and sound of a particular church bell. Good thing I love bells and can discern sound, otherwise it would have been a long night on someone’s steps.
That's a nice story. I'm glad you found your way back. I will try to look for the San Lazzaro monastery. I don't know where anything is in Venice; I'm staying at a hotel on St. Marks Square, that's all I know...


88man wrote:
I don’t know if the surprise is in the charm, or the charm is in the surprise?... Perhaps the stars were in perfect alignment yesterday for you to discover a Feurich?... Regardless, I can’t think of a better venue on a Saturday afternoon than visiting a charming Piano Shoppe On The Left Bank of L. Michigan. You're so lucky to share quality time with a nice “Piano Group." Pianists here in NE are different and I'll leave it at that. Were these 9ft pianos? Are they for sale? Are there any Hamburg Steinways in your area too? If I were ever to get another piano, I would consider a 9'er and call it day, a year, or a lifetime. :D


Have you read that book, "The Piano Shoppe on the Left Bank"? I bet you have. It's a charming book, isn't it?
Yes, the pianos in my friend's shop are 9-footers. I don't know about Hamburg Steinways for sale in my area, but I can ask my friend next time I am in his store. Regarding the four-pedal pianos - I think they are pretty neat, but honestly I don't really need another pedal. Maybe if I had nothing to do all day, I'd sit at that kind of piano and experiment.

One little note about the HD video camera I just bought: I'm returning it! :x I learned a good lesson: "Don't turn on a shopping television station in the middle of night and right away purchase whatever they happen to be selling at the time." I don't know what I was thinking....
Oh well, now I am back to looking for another camera. It's okay, though, I have some time so I don't have to rush.

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:46 am 
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Want a good guide? DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are fantastic for European destinations. Buy one for each region you visit:
http://www.amazon.com/DK-Eyewitness-Tra ... -1-catcorr

Here's the one for Rome:
http://www.amazon.com/DK-Eyewitness-Tra ... -1-catcorr

By staying in the Piazza itself you'll be situated in a great central location for everything, even the pigeons. When the time comes, let me know and I can give you more info and deals about the city and the surrounding Veneto. To get to the island of San Lazzaro, you'll have to take Vaporetto #20. From the Piazza, take a left at the Columns of San Marco and walk by the Doge's Palace, go over 2 bridges along the Riva degli Schiavone (quayside promenade), until you get to San Zaccaria (central vaporetto station). It's located right in front of the Vittorio Emanuele II statue (king mounted on a horse). So many things to see... :shock:
I am sure you'll see all the major sites, but if you're thinking of buying fine Murano glass, I suggest Vecchia Murano Glass Factory - very close - walk along Calle Larga San Marco, the street behind St. Mark's Basilica, and it's the building as soon as you go over the bridge. You'll need a reference or appointment to get in, but if you're interested, I'll PM you the name of the guy to ask for at the door.

Sorry to hear about your HD camcorder. If you want a very good consumer HD camcorder, the Panasonic TM700 and TM900 have excellent sharpness, color, white balance, and are a good value. I might buy one for my mom since she still uses her Sony DV Hi8. Don't rush because there's going to be a glut of HD models due to be released. Just give yourself 1 month to get really comfy with the new unit before the trip.

Yes, I was alluding to the charming book see that Chicago is also on the left bank of the Lake. I think you should write your own book about such piano adventures. I think I'd like to meet your friend with the 9'er pianos. 8) Bad timing, Zoinks, I am buying a new car!

Good Luck! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:55 pm 
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88man wrote:
Want a good guide? DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are fantastic for European destinations. Buy one for each region you visit:


Thank you, and yes, I already have all three books… :)

88man wrote:
By staying in the Piazza itself you'll be situated in a great central location for everything, even the pigeons. When the time comes, let me know and I can give you more info and deals about the city and the surrounding Veneto. To get to the island of San Lazzaro, you'll have to take Vaporetto #20. From the Piazza, take a left at the Columns of San Marco and walk by the Doge's Palace, go over 2 bridges along the Riva degli Schiavone (quayside promenade), until you get to San Zaccaria (central vaporetto station). It's located right in front of the Vittorio Emanuele II statue (king mounted on a horse). So many things to see... :shock:


Wow, George, you really do know your way around Venice! Can I put you as a contact in my phone, in case I get lost while I’m there? :lol:
88man wrote:
I am sure you'll see all the major sites, but if you're thinking of buying fine Murano glass, I suggest Vecchia Murano Glass Factory - very close - walk along Calle Larga San Marco, the street behind St. Mark's Basilica, and it's the building as soon as you go over the bridge. You'll need a reference or appointment to get in, but if you're interested, I'll PM you the name of the guy to ask for at the door.

And when the guy opens the little peep window, do I need to give him the secret code? :lol: Seriously, thank you for this information. :)

88man wrote:
Sorry to hear about your HD camcorder. If you want a very good consumer HD camcorder, the Panasonic TM700 and TM900 have excellent sharpness, color, white balance, and are a good value. I might buy one for my mom since she still uses her Sony DV Hi8. Don't rush because there's going to be a glut of HD models due to be released. Just give yourself 1 month to get really comfy with the new unit before the trip.

My old video camera is a Panasonic, and the one I just bought and returned is also a Panasonic. But it was only $230, (which is what appealed to me when I was half-asleep). I should have realized that you get what you pay for. The camera was not bad, it had a great zoom and the images looked fine in bright light. It was the low-light quality that I didn’t like as it was grainy. That’s why I returned it. I’m not sure it is possible, but I really don’t want to pay more than $400 for a new camera because I have so many expenses happening right now too. Zoinks! :lol:

Another question for you, George: You once told me the name of a hotel in Paris that you like a lot, but I can’t remember the name. We’re still playing around with our hotel reservations for the Paris part of the trip. Can you please tell me the name of that hotel again?

Thank you,
Monica

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:28 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
And when the guy opens the little peep window, do I need to give him the secret code?
Absolutely. Don't tell anyone you heard this from me, but the official secret code word is "Vivaldi" (Venetian composer, don'tcha know). It must not be spoken, but should be written down on a folded piece of paper, pushed discreetly over the counter while you make meaningful eye contact while sporting a seductive smile. Much is down to technique, and rumour has it that it doesn't matter much which word you write down. How you write it is more important.

When I say "how you write it", this is a matter of aesthetics. Not using pencil, felt-tip, ball point, or roller ball is a good start, these traditionalists like it when you use good old-fashioned proper ink and a fountain pen. Cheap paper, such as the back of an envelope or a corner torn out of a phone book will not do, and neither will standard photocopier-quality paper. No, you need to use nice, heavy paper, with proper watermarks. It's even better if the paper is robust enough to resist tearing or moisture. It doesn't need to be pristine an ununsed. In fact, it's better if it isn't. It's best if what it has printed on it includes the number "10" and the word "Euro".


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:34 am 
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Oh, Rainer....everyone's a comedian.... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:23 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Can I put you as a contact in my phone, in case I get lost while I’m there? :lol:
Only if you ask me in Italian. :P

pianolady wrote:
And when the guy opens the little peep window, do I need to give him the secret code?
Yes, give him the DaVinci Code. And tell him that you're here to buy a pair of red Murano glass slippers... :wink: Don't worry, there usually are 2 old guys at the door with a cigar or expresso in hand talking about the old days...

pianolady wrote:
My old video camera is a Panasonic, and the one I just bought and returned is also a Panasonic. But it was only $230, (which is what appealed to me when I was half-asleep). I should have realized that you get what you pay for. The camera was not bad, it had a great zoom and the images looked fine in bright light. It was the low-light quality that I didn’t like as it was grainy. That’s why I returned it. I’m not sure it is possible, but I really don’t want to pay more than $400 for a new camera because I have so many expenses happening right now too. Zoinks! :lol:
Manufacturers have 2 grades of major consumer electronics: 1) high volume bulk production that's geared toward Costco, BJs, HSN, Walmart, etc. 2) Premium grade that's distributed to stores like Best Buy, Adorama, JRMusicWorld, BHPhotoVideo. It's the same item, but the model numbers differ by one digit/letter - very sneaky indeed. I made the same mistake once and bought a 50" Panasonic Plasma from Costco. I realized when it was too late that it had ghost images in black scenes - junk in my opinion. Then I bought a 65" Panasonic "Professional" Plasma Monitor and it has been flawless. I never buy optical electronics from warehouses anymore. It's tough to find a very good HD camcorder that will low light and 1080p under $500 now, so just wait a little longer...

pianolady wrote:
Another question for you, George: You once told me the name of a hotel in Paris that you like a lot, but I can’t remember the name. We’re still playing around with our hotel reservations for the Paris part of the trip. Can you please tell me the name of that hotel again?
Hôtel Scribe. It's in the Opéra district, walking distance to Vendôme, Madeleine, and Concorde squares -- Very Chopin friendly! I like it because it's close to Café de Paris.

I'll PM you the other info tomorrow...

George

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:30 pm 
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88man wrote:

pianolady wrote:
And when the guy opens the little peep window, do I need to give him the secret code?
Yes, give him the DaVinci Code. And tell him that you're here to buy a pair of red Murano glass slippers... :wink: Don't worry, there usually are 2 old guys at the door with a cigar or expresso in hand talking about the old days...


So quaint, isn’t it? I love that! The DaVinci code – okay, I’ll try telling them the Fibonacci number. Then I can wear my new glass slippers and click my heels to find my way home. Or maybe I’ll just wear them to the ball (except I may lose one around midnight…. :wink: )

Thank you, George :D

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:15 pm 
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All this talk of Rome and Venice, but are you not going to Florence? There might be a surprise for you there and the train (the only decent transport from Venice to Rome (it will take you much longer by airplane, believe me passes through Florence.

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:20 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
All this talk of Rome and Venice, but are you not going to Florence? There might be a surprise for you there and the train (the only decent transport from Venice to Rome (it will take you much longer by airplane, believe me passes through Florence.

Hear, hear! Florence is where I would put my money!

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:49 am 
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I've never been to Italy before, so figured Venice and Rome would be the 'must see' places. But now you guys have got me thinking about Florence. Hmmm....
@Richard - I love surprises (nice ones). What is the surprise I may find there?
I'm taking a train from Paris to Venice and then from Venice to Rome. Maybe I see if the train can stop in Florence....I don't know....I'll talk to my travel agent.

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:16 am 
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The train from Venice to Rome stops at Padua, Bologna and Florence, before heading to Rome. You would need to make two tickets, from Venice to Florence and from Florence to Rome. There should, however, be no price difference at all.

The surprise (maybe this is what will make you decide against :D) is that there will be a PS member there who knows more than somewhat about that joint.

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:52 pm 
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:shock: Oh my, Richard! You have finally revealed where you live...? :shock: :D

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:54 pm 
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Oops. There again, I have spoken too much!!! Time to move! :D Cloud-Cuckooland, thereI come!

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:22 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Oops. There again, I have spoken too much!!! Time to move! :D Cloud-Cuckooland, thereI come!


Why? It's neat that you live there. Aren't you glad that you do? And it would be nice to meet you in person, Richard, if I do manage to go to Florence. :)

Cloud-Cuckooland...?...wherever that is, it sounds like a fun place.

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:05 am 
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Monica, Eddy and Richard are spot on! Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and hey, it has a great leather district! I don't know how long your trip is, but if you have 2-3 extra days go for it! But don't try to cram too much either with too many cities and miss out on the detail on the cities that you're planning on. You want to be seeing, doing, discovering, not spending your time riding all the time - unless you're planning on renting a Ferrari. 8)

Regarding video cameras: I did want to mention that more and more P&S and basic SLR cameras are including video. My point and shoot Canon S95 takes 720p video that looks decent and records in stereo. As far as still photos go, the pictures from it are awesome to the point of me wanting to sell my 5D digital SLR. Video capability is getting better on newer cameras as that seems to be the market trend in photography. The new point and shoot Canon S100 IS can do 1080p/24f. Do your own free test: Bring an SD card with you, and go to Best Buy and try it the video mode on 1080p for a couple of cameras. You might even want to try out an SLR camera with a zoom lens. In any case, compare in Vegas Pro at home for low light and motion smoothness. Play it on a HDTV. Judge for yourself if you need to spend money on a separate camcorder. You might feel that a point and shoot might do dual duty as camcorder/camera. The trick to travel is - to travel LIGHT, and these P&S cameras are tiny and weigh nothing! If you feel that you need better audio, take your pocket audio recorder and merge later on like you do in your piano videos.

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:56 am 
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pianolady wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Oops. There again, I have spoken too much!!! Time to move! :D Cloud-Cuckooland, thereI come!


Why? It's neat that you live there. Aren't you glad that you do? And it would be nice to meet you in person, Richard, if I do manage to go to Florence. :)

Cloud-Cuckooland...?...wherever that is, it sounds like a fun place.


:lol: Just joking. I promise I will not hide if you get off the train! Just do not let me know when you do, so I do not get the chance! :wink: :lol:

Serioulsly, I can show you a place or two to you if I am in the mood. More if I am not. If you are really good, you might even get to see the Geier and the famous MP3 recorder.


Cloud-Cuckooland - That is Culture for you. Cloud-Cuckooland is a perfect city built in the sky and the where the birds live in Aristophanes' play (414BC), The Birds.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:31 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
:lol: Just joking. I promise I will not hide if you get off the train! Just do not let me know when you do, so I do not get the chance! :wink: :lol:

Serioulsly, I can show you a place or two to you if I am in the mood. More if I am not. If you are really good, you might even get to see the Geier and the famous MP3 recorder.

Cloud-Cuckooland - That is Culture for you. Cloud-Cuckooland is a perfect city built in the sky and the where the birds live in Aristophanes' play (414BC), The Birds.

I'm a little confused here, Richard. :) But that’s okay, I can find my way around. I’m good with maps and directions.

88man wrote:
Monica, Eddy and Richard are spot on! Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and hey, it has a great leather district! I don't know how long your trip is, but if you have 2-3 extra days go for it! But don't try to cram too much either with too many cities and miss out on the detail on the cities that you're planning on. You want to be seeing, doing, discovering, not spending your time riding all the time - unless you're planning on renting a Ferrari. 8)


I only have 15 days in Europe. I don’t know if I can squeeze in Florence, but I’d like to try. Maybe I can rent a car (I wish a Ferrari, but probably more like a Chevy…haha) and drive from Rome to Florence. According to Google, it would take about three hours and I expect the countryside would be nice to see. Although, I would have just seen it from the train…. I don’t know… Still, I could use another pair of leather pants! 8)

Regarding cameras: I know what you mean about point-and-shoot cameras having good video capability. I’ve been using my little Samsung camera for my videos lately because the image quality is better than my (older) Panasonic video camera. The reason I want a new video camera, though, is because of the zoom. You can zoom in much more on these new video cameras, much more than my regular camera. My smartphone takes decent video too, but it also does not zoom very much. And now I have another dilemma…trying to figure out how to manage my smartphone when abroad. I’ve been reading up on it and there are so many different ideas, opinions, and service plans about data usuage, roaming charges, wifi, and all that stuff...I’m getting a little overwhelmed by everything…

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:06 pm 
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Oy oy, Monica! If you stop here, I promise you I will be a good boy and will not pull your hair! :oops:

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:03 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Oy oy, Monica! If you stop here, I promise you I will be a good boy and will not pull your hair! :oops:


Hmmm....I'll take that under advisement... :)

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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