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#155903 - 02/19/06 04:50 AM Fazioli used in Angela Hewitt's Chopin Nocturnes Recording
Wzkit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 1005
Loc: Singapore
Anybody heard this recording on the Hyperion Label? What a stark contrast to Nikolai Demindenko's Fazioli used in the Bach-Busoni Transcriptions recording. Whereas Demidenko's Fazioli was powerful but metallic, sometimes harsh, Hewitt's piano is wonderfully warm, smooth, "velvety". Granted, part of the difference in tone could be simply different playing styles, but voicing, regulation could also have played a part.

Does anyone know what model of Faziolis were used in both these recordings? And which is more typical of the Fazioli sound, if such a thing exists at all?
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#155904 - 02/19/06 06:49 AM Re: Fazioli used in Angela Hewitt's Chopin Nocturnes Recording
Numerian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1077
I don't know the models used in the recordings, but the Fazioli showroom here in Chicago recently had an open house where the public could play a number of their instruments (quite a lot of people showed up). The concert grand is lush and warm while the 228 cm is noticeably brighter. I was told it has something to do with prep in the factory, and that the Fazioli people want it this way because different customers will be attracted to different voicing (and action as well). As a marketing strategy it makes sense - I noticed some people liked one instrument over the other just as a matter of their personal taste. Maybe this is why Steinway doesn't bother to voice its instruments much out of the showroom, on the assumption that the public will voice the hammers to their own liking once they buy a Steinway. Unfortunately most piano owners don't know anything about voicing and just accept what comes from the showroom (or worse still, buy a piano based on how it sounded in the showroom).

Bach can sound great on a brighter instrument, and possibly Demindenko chose that voicing for this purpose (though frankly Bach-Busoni is more like Liszt than Bach). Also, recording techniques such as compression and equalization can warm up or brighten a piano sound, and acoustics in the recording room make a big difference.

So there probably isn't one Fazioli sound, but I have noticed on all of them and on my F228 that the sound is exceptionally clear and pure across the keyboard. It's great fun playing massive chords in contemporary music because all the notes can be distinguished. Second, the hammers are very sensitive to pressure. With light pressure some of the slow chordal passages in Chopin sound as if you are playing an organ. Moderate to hard pressure makes you think you are playing an altogether different instrument. I think this gets back to your comment about playing styles. Angela Hewitt because of her style may get a very different tone from her piano than Demindenko.

#155905 - 02/19/06 07:22 PM Re: Fazioli used in Angela Hewitt's Chopin Nocturnes Recording
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
I have lots of Hyperion organ CDs. A very fine outfit indeed - I'd expect a very nicely produced piano recording from them.

Christopher Herrick has recorded many organ albums for Hyperion, and is an excellent player.

Don't know much about the piano recordings though. I have a phobia of piano recordings! :p
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