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Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy

Discussion in 'The Piano' started by rainer, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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.
     
  2. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    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
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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
     
  4. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    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!
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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! :)
     
  6. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    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!
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    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
     
  8. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    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:
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    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...


    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.
     
  10. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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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
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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

    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:
    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. :)

    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
     
  12. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    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".
     
  13. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Oh, Rainer....everyone's a comedian.... :)
     
  14. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Only if you ask me in Italian. :p

    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...

    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...

    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
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    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
     
  16. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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.
     
  17. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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.
     
  19. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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.
     
  20. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    :shock: Oh my, Richard! You have finally revealed where you live...? :shock: :D
     

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