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one of Chopin's pianos

Discussion in 'The Piano' started by pianolady, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks to my secret friend for directing me to this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bvBnqSId3E

    Supposedly, it has been on YouTube for a long time, but it is the first time I have seen it. At the 6:50 mark is what is so special and thrilling to me. I just love this and will watch and listen to the video many more times. And look at the way Thibaudet is dressed, the ruffled sleeves, his hair... I love it! (oh, I said that already, sorry)

    What an eye-opener as far as the size of the piano keys! I have always suspected that the keys on Chopin’s pianos were narrower, but I never actually saw them or heard someone say so definitively. Sure helps me understand how it was possible for him (Chopin) to reach some of the music he wrote. (And too bad for me that piano keys gradually got wider over time.) But isn’t that the most gorgeous-looking piano?
     
  2. Syntaxerror

    Syntaxerror New Member

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    This is very, very interesting indeed!

    The whole setting gives the impression as if this was recorded in the 19th century (the piano, the way Thibaudet is dressed). Although I tend to find this setting more hideous than gorgeous, I like his interpretations. Must be really difficult to adjust to a different key width! Really intriguing ...
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don’t see anything hideous and would give my left lung to be able to play in such a setting. Maybe you prefer a more austere setting?

    But yes – adjusting to a different key width would be hard. And then you’d have to switch back again to play on a modern piano! A narrower key on pianos back in Chopin’s day implies that people all had smaller hands than we do today. But that’s strange, because we are not talking about people thousands of years ago. We’re only going back a couple hundred years. I wonder whose idea it was to widen the keys in the first place. I guess people with fat fingers are glad, though.
     
  4. Syntaxerror

    Syntaxerror New Member

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    No offense intended! I just don't see the point in adjusting one's dress to the music. I mean, consequently you would have to play Bach or Mozart wearing a wig.
    I don't think so. Maybe the increase in size goes along with the increase in dynamics of the instruments and piano pieces becoming increasingly virtuosic, especially including huge jumps etc. Or maybe it's just coincidence, who knows.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    None taken. :) But I think we may be talking about different things. I mean that I like the room that he is playing in and also the piano. That the pianist is dressed in period clothing is a bonus. I like that sort of thing, and around a year ago I saw an actor/pianist portray Chopin in a one-man stage show in Chicago. He's been touring around the world with the show and has received favorable reviews. The show is called "Monsieur Chopin". Loved it! Prior to Chopin, he portrayed George Gershwin and now I believe he is doing Beethoven or will be soon.

    But yes - it probably would be a little itchy wearing wigs like they did back in the old days. And back in Mozart's day, the women wore wigs that looked close to two feet high. Can you imagine playing the piano with one of those on your head? Seems like if you were to lean a little bit to the side, the weight of the wig may make you tip right over. :)lol: that cracks me up)
     

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