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#1969243 - 10/05/12 08:17 PM Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident
thetandyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 440
Loc: Indiana
I had a chance today to play a brand new small Kawai grand. Boy, what a difference from my residence piano. The Kawai was pleasant to play, however, it sounded like a blanket was placed over it. I realize that these are fine machines, but how many out there like a muted versus a bright piano? I, personally, like a strident cutting tone. What say all?
_________________________
Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ

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#1969251 - 10/05/12 08:51 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Lluís Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 313
Loc: Barcelona,Spain, European Unio...
I personally prefeer a dark/mellow and coloured piano than a bright/strident one . I think music must sound as poetry and for me , poetry is something , dark ,mellow,delicate...
_________________________
1942 Challen Baby Grand Piano

1855 Pleyel Pianino (Restoring -> www.pleyelrestoration.blogspot.com )

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#1969271 - 10/05/12 10:15 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8354
Loc: Georgia, USA
I think I like a medium bright… not tinny or brassy, or shrill or harsh; a rich, clear bright. My Yamaha C7 might be described as both bright and mellow. Even the upper-most treble notes bark with good power or whimper with quiet reserve.

However, I do enjoy playing a mellow, European sounding piano. I had a Petrof studio upright that had a very nice, mellow, European tone… thing is, when I really wanted some power, it seemed subdued. I recon it’s all a compromise in some form or fashion.

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1969274 - 10/05/12 10:55 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Singing Shortstop Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 37
Loc: Texas
I have a Knabe grand from 1924 that measures in at 6' 4". When I first considered it, it seemed so dark and mellow. And it is. But I notice it mostly as I might compare it to today's pianos, which to me sound too bright. If I'm doing solo piano, or accompanying a vocalist, I prefer the dark, rich sound of my piano. But playing in an ensemble of any sort, a combo, or a full jazz band or rock band, I prefer a brighter sound that can cut through the mix. But for the size house I have, if I had a bright sound on my Knabe, OSHA would probably get involved and declare my house unsafe to live in.
_________________________
Hugh Poland
1924 Knabe 6'4" Grand

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#1969276 - 10/05/12 11:06 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 624
Loc: NY and NC
I think it depends a lot on the kind of music you play most. I play a lot of classical, a lot of Standards (mostly ballads), and a lot of softer music, so mellow is best for me. However, if you really bop, I would think you would like a brighter sound, possibly with a singing treble.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

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#1969297 - 10/06/12 12:28 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3318
I don't think it's that simple. You can have a warm or mellow tone without it being muffled (which is not a good thing). Similarly, you can have a brighter piano without it sounding strident (which is not a good thing). This will largely depend on the characteristics of the hammers, and the overall design of the piano.
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
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#1969353 - 10/06/12 06:30 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1080
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
The brightness has be qualified. It is easy to harden a set of hammers to glassy brilliance, or needle them into soft lumps that sound like marshmallows hitting the strings. It is difficult to get both in one hammer. However, that is what needles are for.

A great piano will be mellow and muted at the softest level and brilliant, even clangorous, at the other extreme. This is the art of voicing, to leave a palette of malleable tone, evenly across the board. When a pianist can change the tone with volume, there is another dimension to the music. Ears are more sensitive to higher frequencies, so a note with more of them will be heard more easily, even if the volume is only slightly increased. The melodic line can stand out through a more brilliant voice rather than having to rely on sheer loudness for identity.

Some pianists would rather that the range be created so that brilliance is very easily achieved, other prefer the additional control that comes with a softer beginning. How it is used is also important, what is optimum for a concerto is going to be rather aggressive for vocal accompaniment, etc.
Regards,

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#1969365 - 10/06/12 07:59 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7085
Loc: Rochester MN
If it is a new piano, I look for something totally different than I would on a piano with some mileage on it. Being able to play many different brands, and often do, I have developed expectations from different manufacturers as to what their tonal objective is for their instruments. I don't want, or expect, a Bosendorfer to sound like a Steinway.

That said, I don't want any new piano to sound "bright" as my initial response. I listen for tonal clarity, substance of the sound, and for tonal balance across the registers. Does the piano respond to different types of finger attack and finger weight with corresponding response from the instrument? I look for "brilliant singing" when I need to have melody or inner voices speak out easily. That is, the clarity of Cecilia Bartoli when needed. I also listen for a complex, basic structure and substance, which would sound more like the developed sound of Chanticleer.

I have never understood the term 'dark' when applied to pianos. To me, that is a matter of composition/key as opposed to being intrinsic in the voice of any piano.

The thing I dislike most is "ping." A piano needs to sing, not ping.

All new, high quality pianos, will develop across the first few years. The trick is listening 'into' the tonal structure of any newborn piano. The same applies to a total and fresh re-build of instruments of any age.

Just my opinion, nothing more.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1969371 - 10/06/12 08:28 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Ed Foote]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1907
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
A great piano will be mellow and muted at the softest level and brilliant, even clangorous, at the other extreme.


I'd like to add each note should retain traces of its brilliance when mellow and muted.

Rick said "I do enjoy playing a mellow, European sounding piano". Do you find these pianos, all played by the same pianist, to be mellow, bright or European?

Bosendorfer 225
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQmMVFfwk3I&feature=channel&list=UL

Steingraeber 212
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsprahP8ddM&feature=channel&list=UL

Estonia 168
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvpdSTZO25E&feature=channel&list=UL

Bechstein A190
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGFKgUHGCOo&feature=plcp

Bechstein A208
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AIg4Qs2pBg&feature=plcp
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1969372 - 10/06/12 08:36 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19195
Loc: New York City
This thread shows the difficulty in describing piano tone because there's little agreement on the meanings of words used to describe tone and every person hears things differently. It's kind of a shame there isn't more standardization of terminology although this would be difficult to achieve.

For starters, I'd say that it's not just a choice between mellow or bright but there's a continuum in terms of possible sound in that area. But depending on one's definitions and experience with different pianos, one person's medium bright could be another person's very bright or even mellow.

IMO some of the worst but commonly used words to describe tone are "rich"(who wouldn't want this, whatever it means), "deep bass"(of course, the bass is deep), "bell like"(here the problems is this term seems to be used so many ways). Even "sustain" seems to be used differently by different people.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/06/12 08:46 AM)

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#1969380 - 10/06/12 09:18 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Ed Foote]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10428
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Greetings,
The brightness has be qualified. It is easy to harden a set of hammers to glassy brilliance, or needle them into soft lumps that sound like marshmallows hitting the strings. It is difficult to get both in one hammer. However, that is what needles are for.

A great piano will be mellow and muted at the softest level and brilliant, even clangorous, at the other extreme. This is the art of voicing, to leave a palette of malleable tone, evenly across the board. When a pianist can change the tone with volume, there is another dimension to the music. Ears are more sensitive to higher frequencies, so a note with more of them will be heard more easily, even if the volume is only slightly increased. The melodic line can stand out through a more brilliant voice rather than having to rely on sheer loudness for identity.

Some pianists would rather that the range be created so that brilliance is very easily achieved, other prefer the additional control that comes with a softer beginning. How it is used is also important, what is optimum for a concerto is going to be rather aggressive for vocal accompaniment, etc.
Regards,


As usual, Ed does a great job in concisely describing the situation.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1969382 - 10/06/12 09:28 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8354
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Rick said "I do enjoy playing a mellow, European sounding piano". Do you find these pianos, all played by the same pianist, to be mellow, bright or European?

Wow, all those pianos sound fabulous!

I found the Bosendorfer to sound the birghtest... as well as the larger C Bechstine (A208). The Steingraeber 212 sounded the mellowest/warmest. The Estonia sounded the most balanced between bright and mellow, at least to me.

All those pianos sounded superb! Best of all, they were in tune. smile

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1969406 - 10/06/12 10:56 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5158
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: thetandyman
I had a chance today to play a brand new small Kawai grand. Boy, what a difference from my residence piano. The Kawai was pleasant to play, however, it sounded like a blanket was placed over it. I realize that these are fine machines, but how many out there like a muted versus a bright piano? I, personally, like a strident cutting tone. What say all?

There is a lot we're not being told here.

What was the room like? How large was the room in which the piano was located? Was it a "soft" room or a "hard" room?

What are you used to? If you are used to hearing a hard-sounding piano--one with a "strident, cutting tone"--then a normal-sounding piano might well sound like it had a blanket placed over it.

How is your hearing? Not just your personal opinion of your hearing but have you had it actually tested lately? I rebuilt a very nice Conover grand for a woman in her mid-60s some time back. The technicians and musicians who played the piano in our shop loved it; it had a great sound. The owner, however, thought we had "ruined her piano." It wasn't until we had hardened the hammers and brought the tone up to a level that was painful to our hearing that she pronounced the piano "perfect!" And, "Just like it sounded when it was new." Well, its voice was nothing at all like it had been when the piano was new but with her deteriorating hearing--which she was not about ready to acknowledge--she could once again hear the thing.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1969447 - 10/06/12 01:12 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Del]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19195
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Del

How is your hearing? Not just your personal opinion of your hearing but have you had it actually tested lately? I rebuilt a very nice Conover grand for a woman in her mid-60s some time back. The technicians and musicians who played the piano in our shop loved it; it had a great sound. The owner, however, thought we had "ruined her piano." It wasn't until we had hardened the hammers and brought the tone up to a level that was painful to our hearing that she pronounced the piano "perfect!" And, "Just like it sounded when it was new." Well, its voice was nothing at all like it had been when the piano was new but with her deteriorating hearing--which she was not about ready to acknowledge--she could once again hear the thing.
And even common wax buildup can significantly affect how loud a piano sounds.

I once went to an ear doctor for some pain in my ear. I don't remember what he did except that he did remove quite a lot of wax. When I got home my piano sounded much louder than before(now it sounds fine). My bedroom air conditioner that had previously been very quiet sounded like an airplane taking off.

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#1969505 - 10/06/12 03:57 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4413
Loc: San Jose, CA
"... its voice was nothing at all like it had been when the piano was new but with her deteriorating hearing--which she was not about ready to acknowledge--she could once again hear the thing."

In fact, the piano could have been contributing to her hearing loss. A shrill and strident tone, whacked out for hours at triple forte (which is what a person might do, if their hearing is already impaired), in a very live room... sure, it could collect a toll every time she drives that way.

There must be some ever-so-tactful way to frame that, and when that fails, offer her a good trade-up deal toward a bigger and much louder model. If the customer is always wrong, let her be wrong at top volume.
_________________________
Clef


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#1969589 - 10/06/12 08:56 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1866
Loc: Philadelphia area
A full demo of the Roland "V-piano" shows most of the mellow to strident spectrum.

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#1969594 - 10/06/12 09:10 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Lluís Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 313
Loc: Barcelona,Spain, European Unio...
_________________________
1942 Challen Baby Grand Piano

1855 Pleyel Pianino (Restoring -> www.pleyelrestoration.blogspot.com )

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#1969595 - 10/06/12 09:19 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Lluís]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19195
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Lluís
Or a dead, lifeless, no sound piano depending on one's point of view. If that's your ideal, I think you're in a very small minority.

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#1969605 - 10/06/12 10:09 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
Has there been any scientific investigations into this? I mean stuff like frequency response/range, decay time, waveform analysis, etc.? Obviously, this would require a multitude of pianos, so are there any dealers/collectors/fabulously wealthy people out there with a good knowledge of acoustic science and access to high quality recording/analysis equipment. I know Adobe Audition has features that allow you to view the frequency range (most recordings will be clumped around 50-5000k, and most mics cut out frequencies about 15k-16k, which is usually just hiss or noise), and a spectral (colored) frequency view. There are also dedicated scientific programs just for this, as well.

Here's what I've done using audio samples from two pianos I saw at a dealership a few weeks back, and recorded with my iPhone (huge image warning). Both are cropped just to show the D natural below middle C. Granted, there's a difference in touch, and were placed at different locations relative to the hammers/soundboard, so bear with me.

Brand new Weber console piano:
A brand new, straight off the assembly line, probably voiced piano. Unusually mellow for a console.
Click to reveal..

[/URL]

http://www.mediafire.com/?7osodwbb8663k4i

1940s Baldwin Acrosonic Spinet:
The defacto bright piano. That loud spinet sound plus 70 odd years of hardening.
Click to reveal..

http://www.mediafire.com/?3nca71nu8j8dncu

Right off the bat, you can tell that the Weber has a longer sustain time (.005 seconds longer). There's also a lot more attack on the Acrosonic, shown by the peak in the waveform, while the Weber's waveform is much smoother and more uniform.


Edited by SBP (10/06/12 10:11 PM)
_________________________
2012 Kawai K3

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#1969630 - 10/06/12 11:43 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
thetandyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 440
Loc: Indiana
Thank you all for the detailed responses. Del, my hearing is acute. My eyesight not so much as twenty years ago. This little Kawai was in a large (approx 60X35) foot room with walls of concrete, or plaster. It was a very old building. I know that my Yamaha is a little brighter than even my tech likes, but as a lover of classic jazz, It pleases me. The Kawai had a very muted tone, not unpleasant at all, but not at all what I would be looking for. BTW, this retailer sells about five brands, and I get the impression that they don't think Yams are even anywhere near the Kawai product. I also know, from years ago, that they think Steinway pianos are famous only for their price, nothing else. Kind of opinionated, but friendly folks, but since the only pianos I have ever owned were a Steinway, and a Yamaha, they seemed a little smug. Many years ago, in Indianapolis, I had a chance to play Yamaha and Kawai grands side by side. It seemed that all the Kawais were more "conservatory" voiced. I have always been attracted to large Yamahas in churches and performing venues, but I attribute that to my tune preferences. I am not a classical pianist at all. More of a stride player, which, I realize may not be the taste of many here. Once again, I certainly respect your input, and always learn from the great comments of the PW contributors.
_________________________
Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ

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#1969699 - 10/07/12 07:12 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: SBP]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19195
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: SBP

Right off the bat, you can tell that the Weber has a longer sustain time (.005 seconds longer).
I can't conceive how that small a difference would mean anything. What definition of sustain where you using to come up with that figure? If you were measuring sustain on the D below middle C, I don't think that's particularly meaningful. In my experience no pianos have a sustain issue that low.

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#1969717 - 10/07/12 08:27 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Withindale]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 301
Loc: CA


I am lousy at figuring out how good a piano sounds from these sound clips. Too many variables -- the recording setup used, the quality of the monitors connected to my computer ...

They all sound lovely. From what I can hear, I agree with the comment that the Bosendorfer and the Steingraeber sound like the two opposite ends among these. The smaller Bechstein sounds closer to the Steigraeber to me, while the larger one's recording sounds distorted on my computer. Out of these, the Steingraeber is the one that would be my favorite sound, especially, the way the bass / tenor sounds on that piano is a sound that I love. The bosendorfer has the high end shimmer that's also very attractive. My perception only ...

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#1969720 - 10/07/12 08:38 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: pianoloverus]
Lluís Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 313
Loc: Barcelona,Spain, European Unio...
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Lluís
Or a dead, lifeless, no sound piano depending on one's point of view. If that's your ideal, I think you're in a very small minority.


Maybe we have different conception about sound.

PD: This is Natalia d'Obreskoff personal piano , played by Chopin many times its value is about 300.000 U$ dollars. It represents another time, thats why maybe you don't understand it.
_________________________
1942 Challen Baby Grand Piano

1855 Pleyel Pianino (Restoring -> www.pleyelrestoration.blogspot.com )

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#1969721 - 10/07/12 08:41 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 459
Loc: Italy
I'll just add that it is a LOT easier to build and maintain a piano with a bright, hard sound than to build one which is rich and mellow, in 'focus' without sounding like marshmellows or old wool socks hitting the strings..

the push towards brightness is also because some pianos, when voiced soft sound very, very boring.. having little or no musical-sounding resonances in the soundboard and having hammers made of cheap felt..
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#1969724 - 10/07/12 08:53 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Lluís]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 459
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Lluís
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Lluís
Or a dead, lifeless, no sound piano depending on one's point of view. If that's your ideal, I think you're in a very small minority.


Maybe we have different conception about sound.

PD: This is Natalia d'Obreskoff personal piano , played by Chopin many times its value is about 300.000 U$ dollars. It represents another time, thats why maybe you don't understand it.


I think that to represent that kind of sound this piano came-out better.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla...AzPbdkFio#t=21s

you can't really expect people to understand a Chopin piano if they've played on modern ones all their lives.
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#1969729 - 10/07/12 09:00 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: rlinkt]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 459
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: rlinkt
[quote=Withindale]


Out of these, the Steingraeber is the one that would be my favorite sound, especially, the way the bass / tenor sounds on that piano is a sound that I love.



mine too, and closer to how pianos were originally built years ago when the designs were created...

the treble, especially in the mid-bass, on that bosendorfer is so strong that it covers-up the harmonic relationships between the fundamentals of the notes..

I could see that piano being useful as a recording piano for pop-rock music

I believe that some people think volume and a percussive sound are the best sound, but harmony suffers as well as play between light and shade.. which is important for making music.. especially classical.


Edited by acortot (10/07/12 09:02 AM)
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#1969733 - 10/07/12 09:06 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Lluís]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1907
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Lluís
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Lluís
Or a dead, lifeless, no sound piano depending on one's point of view. If that's your ideal, I think you're in a very small minority.


Maybe we have different conception about sound.

PD: This is Natalia d'Obreskoff personal piano , played by Chopin many times its value is about 300.000 U$ dollars. It represents another time, thats why maybe you don't understand it.


Perhaps this recording of Chopin's Nocturne Op 15 No 3 in G Minor, played on an 1842 Pleyel from the Edwin Beunk Collection, sounds more like Chopin's piano.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1969734 - 10/07/12 09:08 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: acortot]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19195
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: acortot
I think that to represent that kind of sound this piano came-out better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla...AzPbdkFio#t=21s
you can't really expect people to understand a Chopin piano if they've played on modern ones all their lives.
Although that piano at least has some sound coming out of it and doesn't sound dead and lifeless, I would still take the sound of many small consumer grade grands over that piano. I am only basing this on what I hear as I cannot take into account tonal problems that really might be recording or performance problems.

For starters there seems to be very little sustain in the treble of that piano even though the piece is not one where poor sustain would usually be evident. I do love the cases of the pianos on these videos. If i could afford it, I would buy one just for the case.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/07/12 09:11 AM)

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#1969738 - 10/07/12 09:21 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Lluís]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19195
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Lluís
This is Natalia d'Obreskoff personal piano , played by Chopin many times its value is about 300.000 U$ dollars. It represents another time, that's why maybe you don't understand it.
If the piano has a high value I think it's because of its case, historical significance, or because it was played by Chopin and not so much because of its musical qualities.

It's present sound might or might not be like the way Chopin heard it, depending on if it was restored and what work was done on it. The piano sounds like it would be inaudible except in a small living room.

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#1969741 - 10/07/12 09:33 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Withindale]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19195
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Perhaps this recording of Chopin's Nocturne Op 15 No 3 in G Minor, played on an 1842 Pleyel from the Edwin Beunk Collection, sounds more like Chopin's piano.
It would be nice to know what Chopin's pianos really sounded like. But I think this is very difficult to know in an accurate way. Of course, we have some idea based on the surviving pianos form his time but (A)if no restoration work is done these piano would generally be in poor condition and (B)if restored I don't think it's easy to know how faithful they are to the original sound. Even if the hammers were somehow exact duplicates of the ones used on pianos of that period, are they voiced the way hammers of that time were voiced? If the soundboard is original, how much has 150+ years changed its impact on the sound?

I think we can perhaps know in an approximate way what Chopin's pianos sounded like. The one's I've heard(not that many)don't have much appeal for me personally.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/07/12 09:39 AM)

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