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#1969756 - 10/07/12 10:01 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Lluís Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 313
Loc: Barcelona,Spain, European Unio...
Withindale: I like very much the recordings of Bart van Oort, anyway would be good to listen to Fadini's restorations in a good recording, because for me the EB Collection fortepianos have some kind of hardness in the hammers that Fadini's one doesn't.

Pianoloverus

Ofcourse, the price of that pianino is because of the historical value, but let me know you the prices of PaulMcNulty Replicas:

CC - f4 after I.Pleyel op.1555, 1830 : 120.000 € ( 156.3840 U$)

AAA - a4 after Boisselot 1846 op.2800 : 147.000 € ( 191.5704 U$ )

Is really impossible to keep in the market with this prices, there are pianos of another times but the sound produced is in my opinion a better approach than the tipical modern piano wich is built in order to fit the market demands (A multyuse instrument able for playing everything, jazz, rock , classical, romantic) this is nosense and looses the quality of a particular kind of music. This is in my opinion incorrect. If you as a costumer think that modern pianos sounds better or more adequate wouldn't it be because you listened always that way , not because some people (composers etc) decided it sound 'better' but because it fits all the market necesities?
_________________________
1942 Challen Baby Grand Piano

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

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#1969761 - 10/07/12 10:20 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: pianoloverus]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1800
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
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.


We are going OT here, but this Chopin Rondo played on an 1826 Graf fortepiano could be a better representative of the actual sound of instruments of the day.

From the notes I've read Chopin seems to have preferred mellow to bright, and he did not much like the Broadwoods he played in England and Scotland in 1848.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1969768 - 10/07/12 10:46 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: rlinkt]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 612
Loc: NY and NC
All of these pianos sound very beautiful, but comparing one to another is not an easy task: different songs, different size pianos, possibly different mike setup? Since none of these songs offered a variety of dynamics, really loud, really fast, whatever, it is also hard to determine if they become strident upon fierce playing. Still, I would not be unhappy owning any of them. To me, they all sound like they have a fairly complex tone range and none of them were overly bright. Mellow? Maybe because the songs were fairly mellow, they all sounded a bit mellow to me. Symantics. On another post I heard piano comparisons and liked the Steingraeber and Sons best, but on this set, I couldn't choose between it and the Bosie. The Bechsteins were ok, but would have liked to hear a C. Bechstein instead of two Academy models. I think we spin our wheels doing this. In person one might hear things better anyway. Fun topic, though.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

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#1969772 - 10/07/12 10:53 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: pianoloverus]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 612
Loc: NY and NC
The comment about the Pleyel video being dead and lifeless doesn't seem right to me. Understand that rebuilding or restoring these pianos is nearly impossible without changing their very nature since the materials needed cannot be had. I read a long, informative post about the problem a while back. You can probably find it if you do a search here. In that piano's early days it probably sounded very different, but even if it doesn't project like a grand or a bigger upright, I thought it was very sweet. The tone is a little hollow and certainly it was intended only for performance in small room groups (I have read that Chopin preferred an upright and usually only performed in small salons for friends and students--this piano would appeal to him.) I was blown away by how well this 170 year old piano played. The performer was very capable and I enjoyed the music. Would it sound more robust on a Bosie Imperial? Sure, but there is room in my world for both.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

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#1969775 - 10/07/12 10:56 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: acortot]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 612
Loc: NY and NC
I agree that this 1839 grand has more sound projection and a brighter tone than the upright posted earlier. Again, small upright, larger grand, probably different restoration materials, and so on. Is this what Chopin would have heard if he played it in 1839? Who knows? Nice piano, though, whether it sounds authentic, or not.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

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#1969777 - 10/07/12 10:59 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Withindale]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 612
Loc: NY and NC
Very nice sounding piano. However, again, we do not know what materials were used to restore this, how it was voiced, miked, etc. I seriously doubt that they would have been happy using a weak-sounding piano on a cd recording, so I suspect the piano was worked over quite a bit. They cannot assume their listeners are well-informed PW posters. The average person goes away with the impression that pianos in Chopin's time sounded almost exactly the same as modern ones. I don't think so.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

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#1969785 - 10/07/12 11:14 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Withindale]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Withindale

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

Do you find these pianos, all played by the same pianist, to be mellow, bright or European?



IMO, references to the European sound are pretty much meaningless, used mostly (and mistakenly) as a verbal counterpoint to the perceived shortcomings of the Asian sound. In reality, some of the brightest purest most-forward sounds to come out of new pianos come from some high-priced European pianos -- Hamburg Steinway being a leader who some others either consciously or subconsciously seem to emulate.

In listening to your samples, it seemed to my ears that the main difference among your linked pianos was in the attack: the percussive edge. In that respect, your Steingraeber sample sounded to my ears as if some of irs edge had been intentionally taken off (at least compared to the very few Steingraeger pianos I've heard live and played).

Listening a second time, I was reminded of something Michael Spreeman (designer of the Ravenscroft piano) posted here a while back. I'll quote Mr. Spreeman here.

Originally Posted By: Michael Spreeman on PW
There is a very interesting study about the sound of musical instruments. Several very different instruments are recorded and then the attack is removed in mastering and sustain is looped so all one hears is the long sustain. Then the recordings play between a violin and a trombone, a flute and piano, and several other unique sounding instruments. Without the attack, identifying the instrument is nearly impossible. (This study was given to me by a friend in Utah who was a band teacher working on his Master’s. I no longer have the recordings and don’t know where he obtained them.) So, much of what identifies a piano is the attack and much of what differentiates one manufacturer’s sound from another has to do with the attack.


Mr. Spreeman went on to say....

Quote:
This is not to say that the duration and sustain cannot be manipulated. It’s merely to point out that one of the greatest effects a technician can have on the sound of your piano is in the attack.

Much of the feedback we receive has to do with comparing our sound with that of other pianos the artists have played. I hesitate to share the specific comparisons because I don’t really like to compare our sound in relation to others. I didn’t decide to build pianos in order to compete with other manufacturers and win the “best piano in the world” competition because there is no “best piano in the world”. It’s way too subjective for any one piano to be the best. The “best for you” ….maybe. And maybe you’ll have a few people agree with you. But there will never be one sound that’s best for everyone.

Thankfully!
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1969786 - 10/07/12 11:14 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Chopinlover49]
Lluís Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 313
Loc: Barcelona,Spain, European Unio...
Originally Posted By: Chopinlover49
However, again, we do not know what materials were used to restore this, how it was voiced, miked, etc.


I know well the materials and procedures used for both restorations because the person who restored that piano is a good friend and all I know is that he has been investigating for many years and the research is absolutly rigorous.

Ofcourse, the research is not yet finished (Maybe it will never end...) But all I know is that many old fortepianos have been explored, also documents and other stuff that helped to obtain a very very similar material for the hammers.
_________________________
1942 Challen Baby Grand Piano

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

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#1969798 - 10/07/12 11:54 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Lluís]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Lluís
If you as a costumer think that modern pianos sounds better or more adequate wouldn't it be because you listened always that way , not because some people (composers etc) decided it sound 'better' but because it fits all the market necesities?
It's impossible to know whether I like the sound of a modern piano better mostly because I am more used to it or mostly because I find it inherently superior. My feeling is that no matter how much I'd listen to pianos like the ones posted on this thread...no matter how much more I became accustomed to their tone....I would still far prefer the sound of a modern piano.

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#1969802 - 10/07/12 12:00 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Withindale]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Withindale
We are going OT here, but this Chopin Rondo played on an 1826 Graf fortepiano could be a better representative of the actual sound of instruments of the day.
Do you know what restoration work, if any, was done on that particular piano? If not, I don't see how one could have any idea how close it sounded to Chopin's piano?

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#1969808 - 10/07/12 12:15 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: turandot]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1800
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: turandot
In that respect, your Steingraeber sample sounded to my ears as if some of irs edge had been intentionally taken off (at least compared to the very few Steingraeber pianos I've heard live and played).


Yes, the samples seem to vary, which is why I posted the two Bechstein Academy clips. This Steingraeber 138 sample seems to have more edge to its attack.

The Steingraeber has an immediate appeal to me, perhaps its tone reminds me of my old Schiedmayer. Mine is mellower on the attack and I feel no urge to replace it with any of the Steingraebers I played the other day.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1969813 - 10/07/12 12:24 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: pianoloverus]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1800
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Withindale
We are going OT here, but this Chopin Rondo played on an 1826 Graf fortepiano could be a better representative of the actual sound of instruments of the day.
Do you know what restoration work, if any, was done on that particular piano? If not, I don't see how one could have any idea how close it sounded to Chopin's piano?


No, I wondered that. Please see my post about Paul McNulty's fortepianos on the Chopin thread Ed Foote has just started.

I'd guess faithful reproductions are as close as we are likely to get to the original sound. As Lluis says there has been a lot of research into materials and methods.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1969822 - 10/07/12 12:41 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1800
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: thetandyman
I am not a classical pianist at all. More of a stride player, which, I realize may not be the taste of many here.


Coming back to the OP, you might like to decide whether you'd add mellowness or brightness to this MIDI version of Earl Hines playing "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else".

Stanley Dance wrote, on 22 September 1977, "Hines, Iike Art Tatum, has an astonishing ability to make a poor piano sound good, but he is naturally happier on a good piano, and on a superb piano Ilke the Schiedmeyer he radiates euphoria of a most infectious kind. Since he was in the middie of a six-week engagement at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, it was a fairly logical idea for me to walk him a few blocks and confront him with the glittering instrument. He sat down and ran his fingers up and down the keyboard Then he grinned widely, lit his pipe, and asked for some coffee. Three hours later, an album-and-a-half had been completed. The six selections here are all standards that evoked memories for him of other days and other artists in Chicago. The One l Love Belongs to Somebody EIse, for example, was the first number he ever played with Louis Armstrong." [http://herve.delboy.perso.sfr.fr/earl_hines_2.html]


Edited by Withindale (10/07/12 04:48 PM)
Edit Reason: Recording transferred to MIDI, see web link at end of post.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1969829 - 10/07/12 01:01 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Withindale]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: thetandyman
I am not a classical pianist at all. More of a stride player, which, I realize may not be the taste of many here.


Coming back to the OP, you might like to listen to Earl Hines playing "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else".

Stanley Dance wrote, on 22 September 1977, "Hines, Iike Art Tatum, has an astonishing ability to make a poor piano sound good, but he is naturally happier on a good piano, and on a superb piano Ilke the Schiedmeyer he radiates euphoria of a most infectious kind. Since he was in the middie of a six-week engagement at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, it was a fairly logical idea for me to walk him a few blocks and confront him with the glittering instrument. He sat down and ran his fingers up and down the keyboard Then he grinned widely, lit his pipe, and asked for some coffee. Three hours later, an album-and-a-half had been completed. The six selections here are all standards that evoked memories for him of other days and other artists in Chicago. The One l Love Belongs to Somebody EIse, for example, was the first number he ever played with Louis Armstrong." [http://herve.delboy.perso.sfr.fr/earl_hines_2.html]

I think that the qualities necessary for a piano to be good for classical music of the Romantic era(and probably the classical and post Romantic eras also) are different from the qualities that might be best for a pianist who plays stride or who plays in the style of Gershwin. For example, a singing tone doe not seem crucial for music played n those styles.

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#1969884 - 10/07/12 02:56 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Withindale]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Withindale


Yes, the samples seem to vary, which is why I posted the two Bechstein Academy clips. This Steingraeber 138 sample seems to have more edge to its attack.



I don't know how representative that sample is. There are so many variables. Other than the usual ones found in recording pianos in general, there's the problem of recording ambient sound coming from a tall box Then you have to consider the skill level of the player, his heavy right foot, and whether the material is good enough to provide any kind of meaningful basis of evaluation. Personally, I think that sample sells Steinbraeber short and would be dismissed by most listeners as ho-hum stuff if the brand of the piano were not known to them.

The most intriguing sample I've listened to on a contemporary Steingraeber comes from Shaun Tirrell of Pianocraft.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...azurkas%20.html

Keith Kerman, Shaun's business partner ( who posts here occasionally), put this one up for consideration here a while back. I think it's a perfect example of how taking off a bit of the percussive edge doesn't necessarily obscure what a piano is or is not. Neither does minimal pedaling if the player's skill level is up to ti.

The Steinbraeber qualities are most apparent to my ears in the second Mazurka played.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1969889 - 10/07/12 03:13 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: pianoloverus]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1800
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think that the qualities necessary for a piano to be good for classical music of the Romantic era(and probably the classical and post Romantic eras also) are different from the qualities that might be best for a pianist who plays stride or who plays in the style of Gershwin. For example, a singing tone doe not seem crucial for music played n those styles.


Do pianos for stride have to be strident?


Edited by Withindale (10/07/12 04:42 PM)
Edit Reason: BDB!
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1969892 - 10/07/12 03:26 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: thetandyman]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
That Earl Hines link is to a MIDI file, I believe. The sound you get from it is the piano sound of whatever your MIDI interpreter uses.

I tuned for him not long before he died. I did not talk to him much, but he liked the piano, a Steinway which I just tuned the other day. I think it is different from when he played it, though.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1969922 - 10/07/12 04:38 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: BDB]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1800
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: BDB
That Earl Hines link is to a MIDI file, I believe. The sound you get from it is the piano sound of whatever your MIDI interpreter uses.

Oh well, that explains a lot! Still, it's a good story. The website goes into converting vinyl to MIDI at length.

Will have to seek out the record: Earl 'Fatha' Hines: The Father of Modern Jazz Piano (five LPs boxed): three LPs solo (on Schiedmeyer grand) and two LPs with Budd Johnson, Bill Pemberton, Oliver Jackson: MF Productions 1977

_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1969936 - 10/07/12 05:22 PM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Withindale]
RJ10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/12
Posts: 44
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: Withindale
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


Thanks for posting these comparisons. Really interesting to hear the differences - even within a brand.

Based on these videos, I liked best the sound of the Steingraeber and Bosendorfer. They really stood out for the quality of the tone that I would describe as more rounded, which means they had what I heard as more balance across the spectrum. The Steingraeber stood out for me as particularly beautiful. I haven't fully formed a language to describe what I'm hearing yet, which is, I think, a common issue in describing the tone of a piano.

Dark/Mellow vs. Bright/Strident. To which I answer, Yes! I want it all at my fingertips.
_________________________
“Music in the soul can be heard by the Universe.” ~Lao Tzu

Richard J Beebe, RPT
Piano Technician & Collaborative Pianist
Bb Piano Service
Chicago, Illinois

www.bbpianoservice.com
bbpianoservice@gmail.com

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#1970259 - 10/08/12 10:52 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: Withindale]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 423
Loc: Italy
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.


I think I am not mistaken when I say it is impossible that Chopin's hammers sounded like the 1842 Pleyel above, and I can back that up with information.

I have posted an article relative to this discussion, including photos of original hammers, period articles etc. on Ed Foote's thread ' What would Chopin play? (was bright vs dark)'


regarding the 'recording' of the 1839 Pleyel it was my iphone 4 with it's built-in mic..



Edited by acortot (10/08/12 10:54 AM)
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn

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

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#1970261 - 10/08/12 10:55 AM Re: Dark/mellow vs. bright/strident [Re: acortot]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1800
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: acortot
I have posted information relative to this discussion, including photos of original hammers, period articles etc. on Ed Foote's thread ' What would Chopin play? (was bright vs dark)'

Yes, I've seen your post and it's most interesting.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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