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#1732779 - 08/14/11 12:13 PM Steingraeber Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3301
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Here are some Chopin Mazurkas performed by Shaun Tirrell on a Steingraeber 212 prepared and customized by PianoCraft.


_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#1732801 - 08/14/11 01:21 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Very nice!

Great sound.. my favorite recordings still remain ones made on Bosies but this is very good too!
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1732808 - 08/14/11 01:32 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Emanuel Ravelli Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 679
Loc: Virginia
Bravo, Shaun! That was some of the best Chopin I've heard in a long time. Your approach to tempo in the 3 mazurkas was just right for my money -- from the abundant, tasteful rubato in the 1st piece to the ethereal flow of the 2nd and the gossamer lightness (and fairly strict constant tempo) in the 3rd. And the phrasing and dynamic range in the A minor were exceptional.

Keith -- what did you do to "customize" the piano? I played a Steingraeber in your showroom several years ago. I recall the action being nearly perfect in the way it maximized the player's ability to control the quality and dynamics of tone. But I also remember it as having a kind of bell-like treble, more so than many European instruments, which bothered my ear. Not so with this instrument, which had a clear, singing treble that would give Hamburg Steinways a run for the money. Congratulations on a wonderful piece of craftsmanship.
_________________________
Phil Bjorlo

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#1732811 - 08/14/11 01:40 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
Gorgeous...Shaun is amazing - and that piano is stunning - a great combination. It doesn't get better than this.

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#1732814 - 08/14/11 01:56 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3319
Nice, but I think that it would look and sound better in my living room.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1732816 - 08/14/11 01:58 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7124
Loc: torrance, CA
Hey Keith,

What a sterling presentation of that piano!

First of all, the visual setting. I'm not a fan of the shape of grand pianos or the impact that a grand piano has on a room, but this setting is just wonderful, and that Steingraeber with that finish and presented on its short stick has a very pleasing visual line.

Second, the artist. Mr. Tirrell makes Chopin the star. His manner never distracts from the music. His movements are compact with no flamboyance. His playing is secure and confident without being aloof. His phrasing shows an introspective approach that puts Chopin's message first and foremost.

Third, the piano. In listening (3 times now) I really got into the shape of the tone and the length of the decay. They worked so well together!. IMO the sustain was long enough to support the flow of the music without being so long that it interfered with an appreciation of all the notes and their dynamics. Although all three Mazurkas demonstrated this and the second one played is a personal favorite of mine, I thought the last one in particular showcased the balance of fundamental tone and an appropriate sustain.

Last, I don't know to what extent it was the touch control of Mr. Tirrell and to what extent it was the preparation of the piano, but it was noticeable to me that this piano was in no way as percussively bright as a new Steingraeber grand can be.

In that vein, I have a question for you. (Go figure grin). With regard to this piano as played, where did preparation end and customization begin? I ask that because I know you choose your Steingraebers at the factory and I have heard from others that Mr. Steingaeber will see to it that his pianos are prepped to the liking of his retailer customer before they leave the factory.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

Top
#1732870 - 08/14/11 03:44 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Steve Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 647
Loc: Toronto

Hi Keith:

Don't know what you did with that piano, but whatever it was, it sure works!

Take care,

Steve
_________________________
Vintage Piano sales and restoration in Toronto
Exclusive Live Performance Player Systems Dealer

http://stevejacksonpianos.com

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#1732873 - 08/14/11 03:58 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9130
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Keith,

First - Bravo Shaun!

Second - how was the piano mic. set up? Was it strictly an ambient recording (which I think it was) or did you somehow mic it differently?
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#1732899 - 08/14/11 04:57 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
DanLaura Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 695
Loc: Pocatello, Idaho
Keith,

That is one nice piano. Thanks for posting the video.

Dan
_________________________
Dan and Laura Larson
Fazioli and Ibach grands
Larson Piano Studio
http://www.stoneformsart.com/

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#1732965 - 08/14/11 06:32 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Aliwally Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/07
Posts: 521
Loc: Washington, D.C.
Keith,

Wow I can pick out each note clearly..., sounds like a volume control knob is attached to Shaun and the Piano...dynamics...love em!!!

Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
Yamaha P-120, Feurich 122

Always look ahead, but never look back. - Miles Davis

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#1732989 - 08/14/11 06:52 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Rich Galassini]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3301
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
Keith,

First - Bravo Shaun!

Second - how was the piano mic. set up? Was it strictly an ambient recording (which I think it was) or did you somehow mic it differently?


If I remember correctly, the two mics were not too far from the piano, and maybe 5 feet off the ground. I couldn't tell you the types of mics used or anything else, other than they were positioned in a way to not intrude on the audience, and they actually sounded much better in another spot.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

Top
#1733020 - 08/14/11 07:17 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: beethoven986]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3301
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Nice, but I think that it would look and sound better in my living room.


This piano is for sale, so I am positive you are correct!
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

Top
#1733319 - 08/15/11 06:32 AM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
Thank you for sharing, Keith and Shaun. Beautiful instrument, beautiful playing!
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1733422 - 08/15/11 10:54 AM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3319
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Nice, but I think that it would look and sound better in my living room.


This piano is for sale, so I am positive you are correct!


Darn. Too bad all I have is pocket lint right now!
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#1733644 - 08/15/11 04:37 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Emanuel Ravelli]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3301
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: Emanuel Ravelli
Bravo, Shaun! That was some of the best Chopin I've heard in a long time. Your approach to tempo in the 3 mazurkas was just right for my money -- from the abundant, tasteful rubato in the 1st piece to the ethereal flow of the 2nd and the gossamer lightness (and fairly strict constant tempo) in the 3rd. And the phrasing and dynamic range in the A minor were exceptional.

Keith -- what did you do to "customize" the piano? I played a Steingraeber in your showroom several years ago. I recall the action being nearly perfect in the way it maximized the player's ability to control the quality and dynamics of tone. But I also remember it as having a kind of bell-like treble, more so than many European instruments, which bothered my ear. Not so with this instrument, which had a clear, singing treble that would give Hamburg Steinways a run for the money. Congratulations on a wonderful piece of craftsmanship.


The customization of this piano included changing the hammer weight, reducing the mass in the action, and rebalancing the action to match the new hammer weight.
It also included changing the hammer strike point, and of course voicing. We did not change the soundboard or bridges of this piano in any way, as it incorporated from the factory previous changes we had made to older model Steingraebers that Udo agreed with.

A few other secret herbs and spices were thrown in for good measure as well.

The goal was to absolutely preserve the authentic voice of the Steingraeber while making the control of that voice to be ideally intuitive and responsive for the player. It is interesting to note that Udo Steingraeber has heard several of our customized Steingraebers and has always commented that the true voice of his pianos was absolutely preserved. The last time he observed this was after coming from another dealer who he felt had overvoiced his pianos to the point of killing the Steingraeber voice.
I think some of this comes accross in the Youtube videos, but you really need to try this piano for yourself to experience what I am talking about. You are more than invited!
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

Top
#1733649 - 08/15/11 04:53 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: turandot]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3301
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: turandot
Hey Keith,

What a sterling presentation of that piano!

Second, the artist. Mr. Tirrell makes Chopin the star. His manner never distracts from the music. His movements are compact with no flamboyance. His playing is secure and confident without being aloof. His phrasing shows an introspective approach that puts Chopin's message first and foremost.

Third, the piano. In listening (3 times now) I really got into the shape of the tone and the length of the decay. They worked so well together!. IMO the sustain was long enough to support the flow of the music without being so long that it interfered with an appreciation of all the notes and their dynamics. Although all three Mazurkas demonstrated this and the second one played is a personal favorite of mine, I thought the last one in particular showcased the balance of fundamental tone and an appropriate sustain.

Last, I don't know to what extent it was the touch control of Mr. Tirrell and to what extent it was the preparation of the piano, but it was noticeable to me that this piano was in no way as percussively bright as a new Steingraeber grand can be.

In that vein, I have a question for you. (Go figure grin). With regard to this piano as played, where did preparation end and customization begin? I ask that because I know you choose your Steingraebers at the factory and I have heard from others that Mr. Steingaeber will see to it that his pianos are prepped to the liking of his retailer customer before they leave the factory.


Hi Turandot,

Thanks for the nice comments. Your observation about the balance and shape of the tone on this piano was dead on, and Im kind of shocked and pleased that you were able to get that from a YouTube video.


As for what you are describing as a percussive brilliance that you normally hear in Steingraebers, I assure you, that sound is definately available in this piano should the pianist desire it, and it is an important part of the Steingraeber tone. However, we have set this piano up a bit differently from how they come from the factory and the pianist has to work a bit harder to get that sound. It is interesting that you made that comment because Udo Steingraeber also noticed this. We demonstrated to him that it was still in his piano, only it required a bit more effort than normal to achieve. He was delighted.
It is important to note that we don't customize all our Steingraebers and we have sold many that nothing more than basic work was done, and those clients are quite happy.
The post above this one hopefully answers your other questions.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

Top
#1733696 - 08/15/11 05:47 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
Keith,

If a customers wants a customized Steingreaber as you described above, how much extra do you charge for that (e.g. as a % of the normal selling price)- this is of course if you want to disclose this here.

I ask because once I got a quote for exactly the same type of work, i.e.:
Quote:
The customization of this piano included changing the hammer weight, reducing the mass in the action, and rebalancing the action to match the new hammer weight.
It also included changing the hammer strike point, and of course voicing.


P.S. What I am going to say now may soudn a bit silly but whenever I played a Steingreaber, something that I always found exceptionally good, in fact beyond anything was the abck action, i.e; trapwork + damper mechanism.

schwammerl.

Top
#1733732 - 08/15/11 07:05 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: schwammerl]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2313
Loc: NYC
Quite lovely playing of the mazurkas...quite lovely piano as well.
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

Top
#1733838 - 08/15/11 09:17 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7124
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Your observation about the balance and shape of the tone on this piano was dead on, and Im kind of shocked and pleased that you were able to get that from a YouTube video.


Oh Ye of little faith! grin

Sennhrisers helped, and it is. after all. a very fine recording. And that piano..........is a knockout.

Yes, Keith. Many thanks. All my questions have been answered. Some of them had already been answered in your post to Emmanuel Ravelli.

My suspicions have also been confirmed once again. You are one dangerous hombre. smile
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

Top
#1733928 - 08/15/11 11:22 PM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Emanuel Ravelli Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 679
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
[quote=Emanuel Ravelli. . .Keith -- what did you do to "customize" the piano? I played a Steingraeber in your showroom several years ago. I recall the action being nearly perfect in the way it maximized the player's ability to control the quality and dynamics of tone. But I also remember it as having a kind of bell-like treble, more so than many European instruments, which bothered my ear. Not so with this instrument, which had a clear, singing treble that would give Hamburg Steinways a run for the money. Congratulations on a wonderful piece of craftsmanship.


Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
The customization of this piano included changing the hammer weight, reducing the mass in the action, and rebalancing the action to match the new hammer weight.
It also included changing the hammer strike point, and of course voicing. We did not change the soundboard or bridges of this piano in any way, as it incorporated from the factory previous changes we had made to older model Steingraebers that Udo agreed with.

A few other secret herbs and spices were thrown in for good measure as well.

The goal was to absolutely preserve the authentic voice of the Steingraeber while making the control of that voice to be ideally intuitive and responsive for the player. It is interesting to note that Udo Steingraeber has heard several of our customized Steingraebers and has always commented that the true voice of his pianos was absolutely preserved. The last time he observed this was after coming from another dealer who he felt had overvoiced his pianos to the point of killing the Steingraeber voice.
I think some of this comes accross in the Youtube videos, but you really need to try this piano for yourself to experience what I am talking about. You are more than invited!


Thanks; I hope to see you again some time soon. I have to be careful, though. The day I bought my first grand piano, I went out to buy a pair of athletic socks. My wife, who was only slightly amused by this, may insist on coming with me this time. And she'll make sure that my pockets, like those of beethoven986, contain nothing more negotiable than lint. Anyway, keep up the good work!
_________________________
Phil Bjorlo

Top
#1733996 - 08/16/11 01:09 AM Re: Steingraeber 212 Shaun Tirrell Chopin Mazurkas [Re: RealPlayer]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3301
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: RealPlayer
Quite lovely playing of the mazurkas...quite lovely piano as well.


Thanks Joe. Very nice of you to say that.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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