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#1965568 - 09/28/12 12:07 AM 4 different pianos, same work - which do you prefer?
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
http://www.cyprienkatsaris.net/en/piano-...4-versions.html

A. Hamburg Steinway
B. Bösendorfer Imperial
C. Yamaha CFIIIS
D. Steingraber & Söhne

Interestingly, for me, my preferences were:
movt 1 - D
movt 2 - A
movt 3 - C

I did not choose the Imperial, my favorite piano of all times. Don't ask me why. I'm disappointed with myself. smile

What are you choices?

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#1965677 - 09/28/12 09:19 AM Re: 4 different pianos, same work - which do you prefer? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
lluiscl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/06
Posts: 152
Thanks for the link.
Recordings are different... but for me there are two groups: Steinway/Yamaha /(crystalline sound) and Bösendorfer/Steingraeber (complex sound).
My vote if for B.

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#1966081 - 09/29/12 06:13 AM Re: 4 different pianos, same work - which do you prefer? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2090
Loc: Suffolk, England
Comparing pianos is one thing, ranking them is another.

The other day I briefly compared Steingraeber and Bosendorfer 7 foot pianos side by side. The characteristic sound of the Steingraeber had an immmediate appeal but the Bosendorfer left no such lasting impression.

Afterwards I realised the Bosendorfer may be more responsive to the skill of the pianist. I think that comes out in these recordings.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1966094 - 09/29/12 07:26 AM Re: 4 different pianos, same work - which do you prefer? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9404
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
This is a potentially great thread. Thank you 4evrB.

I have just listened to all four "allegro vivace" movements. The one thing that strikes me is about how differently the pianos were treated in these recordings. For this reason it is somewhat difficult for me to judge these pianos in any truly unbiased way. Whether the differences heard are from the piano, the pianist, or from the engineering during and after the performance, I cannot tell, but I suspect all three are happening.

From the artists point of view, a pianist will approach a piece, and therefore a piano, differently when they are playing as part of a chamber ensemble (as in the quartet arrangement), as a featured part of the ensemble (as in the orchestral arrangement), and as a duo, or as a soloist.

I would really love Cyprian's input into this subject to hear him articulate his thoughts on this.

Also, from the engineers point of view - how does one mic a chamber ensemble differently then one would mic a solo performer? (This is truly a question. I've seen it done well, but I've never done it well) In final editing and processing, how are the relative levels treated? Are solo piano performances "sweetened" a bit more than a piano would be in an ensemble performance?

Anyway, after all is said and done, I preferred the Bosendorfer solo performance in this movement, followed closely by the Steingraber.



_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#1966102 - 09/29/12 07:46 AM Re: 4 different pianos, same work - which do you prefer? [Re: Rich Galassini]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2090
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
From the artists point of view, a pianist will approach a piece, and therefore a piano, differently when they are playing as part of a chamber ensemble (as in the quartet arrangement), as a featured part of the ensemble (as in the orchestral arrangement), and as a duo, or as a soloist.

Engineering must be a big factor when the pianist plays both parts in a duo, as in the Steingraeber recordings here.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1966326 - 09/29/12 03:38 PM Re: 4 different pianos, same work - which do you prefer? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
I think it's really great this CD even exists. I think classical recordings are too monolithic even though I have heard the same pieces recorded by two different artists on two differnt Steinway that sounded very different, and not just their style but the sound was completely different. Still two different Steinways sound more alike than a Steinway from a Boesendorfer, so this is really interesting.

By the way, I've had the chance to hear pianos A and B live, or even got to play one, but never had the chance to ever meet pianos C and D in person.

The most interesting thing is that after listen to the different versions back and forth, I start to lose track of which one I'm hearing, and I can't tell which one I like more, and I start to like them all. I think when judging how a piano sounds or should sound, so much of it is built-in prejudice. If you were given this as a blind test, you may be surprised what you choose. I gave it as a blind test to several people and they were very surprised at their choices.




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#1966580 - 09/29/12 11:10 PM Re: 4 different pianos, same work - which do you prefer? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 641
I think this is an incredible idea, demonstrating how music may have been conveyed to the public in the past in different venues. I play the two-piano versions of piano concertos myself (or at least the easiest parts of them) and only occasionally the solo piano transcriptions that are less available, such as the Grieg and Schumann. The novelty of hearing the concerto with a string quartet gave me shivers. It was like having Schubert and Chopin collaborate. The two piano version was the least satisfying, musically, because the second piano part was rather lacking in places, I felt, but as for the sound of the pianos, it was my favorite. It may be partly because the combination of two wonderful Steingraebers created an effect that none of the other pianos could match playing alone or against other kinds of instrumentation. I agree with Rich that there is no way to really compare the pianos fairly since the actual performances vary so much, the type of presentation dictating the playing to a certain extent, and the engineering, microphone placement, acoustics, and so on varying. Still, it was fascinating. As a player who spent the last six of seven years playing a Steinway, it sounded the most familiar to me (and many of my cds feature the Steinway sound, too), but I really liked the richness of the Bosendoerfer and Steingraebers. The Yamaha had phenomenal power, but was a little clearer and less complex to me. All of them sounded great, though. I guess my rough estimate, given the difficulties cited, would be D, B, A, and then C. I hope more cds like this come out. It will be on my Christmas list.

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