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#2142074 - 09/01/13 01:20 AM Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1274
Loc: Dallas, TX
Hey everyone, I finally made some recordings today on my rebuilt Baldwin L. It was rebuilt in 2012 with new soundboard, strings, bridge caps, pin block, pins, resurfaced agraffes, resurfaced capo bar, and probably a couple other things I can't remember.

I apologize in advance for wrong notes in the new recordings. My main purpose was to demonstrate the piano's tone.

I recorded some pieces today that I had also recorded before the rebuild, so you can do some A-B comparisons.

Bach, WTC I, Prelude and Fugue 1, C Major (DIFFERENT recording equipment in before and after)
Before rebuild: Prelude and Fugue
After rebuild: Prelude and Fugue

Brahms Intermezzo Op. 117 No. 2 (same recording equipment, a Zoom H2) Before and After

And here are a few other new recordings I made today (never recorded previously), again using the Zoom H2:
Brahms Op 76 No 1 Capriccio
Brahms Op 76 No 2 Capriccio
Brahms Op 76 No 6 Intermezzo
Brahms Ballade Op 10 No 4

Enjoy. I'll be curious what y'all think.

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#2142089 - 09/01/13 02:45 AM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: ChrisKeys]
D. S. F. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 142
So far I've heard the Bach and Brahms op. 117 no. 2 before and afters. The work has produced a more mellow, even tone, which I'll bet puts you in nice control. It will be nice to hear it settle in or break in more...more overtones to color with..but it must be a nice new start for you!

I'm just curious what you used to record on the Bach before. I am no expert in recording, but I sense that first recorder gave a cleaner take. I actually use a Zoom H2 as well, though no mics or anything fancy.

Congrats on all the work!
_________________________
Music does not have to be understood;
It has to be listened to.
- Hermann Scherchen.

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#2142167 - 09/01/13 08:59 AM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: ChrisKeys]
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1274
Loc: Dallas, TX
The first recording on the Bach was done by a professional I hired to come to the house. I can't remember what equipment he used, unfortunately. But I do recall that we removed the lid so he could set a bar with two mics on it. The bar was roughly where the music desk would be, so it was an up-close placement. I didn't want him to add any effects like reverb, which is why the recording is so dry. For comparison, the new recording is also without any effects, though I have another file in which I included some reverb effects (not posted here).

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#2142572 - 09/01/13 11:48 PM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: ChrisKeys]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Hi Chris,

I listened to all of it. In the before and after, I think the piano earlier on had a sweet sound, but now the sound seems more substantial. You can get power there when you need it. Terrific! The piano is probably still settling. Takes patience.

Had the early soundboard lost its crown? On the strings, did you go with Arledge in the bass and Mapes IG wire on the treble bridge? Or did you go with something else? I think your bass hammers were Abel. Did you continue on with those through the treble?

The Brahms Op. 10, No. 4 is my favorite of the four. You and your Baldwin sounded wonderful, especially in that piece.

I'm glad that you finished up your rebuilding project. You'll find that it was well worth it. Enjoy the piano!!

Thanks for letting me know.

David

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#2142944 - 09/02/13 04:52 PM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: ChrisKeys]
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1274
Loc: Dallas, TX
Hi David,

Thanks for taking the time to listen to all the recordings. My own perception is that the piano now has a more substantial bass, a cleaner treble, and significantly better sustain. The original soundboard had indeed lost its crown. And unlike the old soundboard, the new one has a "bass cutoff" in it, and the unused portion of the soundboard is simply not there; there's just a hole where it would be.

It has Mapes IG wire in the treble and Heller strings in the bass. There are a few wound Heller strings on the treble bridge at the very lowest end. And the bass strings' scaling has been revised by Del Fandrich. I've had Abel hammers on all 88 notes for about 10 or 11 years now. The action is still mostly original, excluding the new hammers, hammer shanks, flanges, and knuckles. In the future I'm thinking about replacing the entire action, perhaps with the WNG action.

I'm glad you enjoyed the Ballade. I love this piece, and I chose to record it because I thought it would nicely display the bass / tenor, an area where I think this piano sounds so good.

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#2143070 - 09/02/13 08:18 PM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: ChrisKeys]
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
Hi Chris,

I plan to listen to your Brahms Ballade again tonight. You and the Baldwin sound great there!

I'm glad that Del Fandrich gave you some ideas, as he did me as well. Who better knows Baldwin grands than him? Based on his recommendation I used Ronsen Wurzen hammers with new shanks and flanges. They were great right out of the box (the contra bass hammers had to be re-angled which didn't take long.) That was back in 2007 and to date I've seen no reason yet to voice the hammers. My Baldwin is 29 years old now. The action stack is noiseless and smooth, so it should last a good deal longer. Hmmm, might even outlive me ha-ha! Because of my recording activities, I have it tuned every three months. It's very stable now, so the tunings are like tweaks mostly.

Keep on practicing and recording!

David

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#2143813 - 09/04/13 01:54 AM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: ChrisKeys]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6374
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Hi Chris -

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I've been doing some recording myself this week. ha

First of all - you certainly demonstrate GOOD TASTE in your selection of repertoire !! thumb The Opus 76 Capriccios 1 and 2 are on my bucket list to learn someday. They are both beautiful and difficult, and you do a really nice job with them. Your approach to the Opus 76 No. 6 differs somewhat from my own - but I like your interpretation. Finally - I LOVE the Opus 10 No. 4 - and it's clear that you do as well. grin You did A LOT of recording in one day. I'm impressed!

The work that you had done on your piano has given you an instrument capable of producing a variety of sounds and colors. The bass is definitely more substantial, the sustain is noticeably better and the overall tone of the piano seems richer. It was well worth the wait !! Now, of course, we look forward to hearing more new recordings as the piano continues to settle in !!!
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2144033 - 09/04/13 01:07 PM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: ChrisKeys]
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1274
Loc: Dallas, TX
Hi Carey,

Thanks for listening! I'm glad you're hearing the differences that I, too, have noticed.

I'm glad you like the Op. 76 Nos. 1 and 2. I know these both require some more work, but I'm happy that they're listenable.

I know I have an approach to Op. 76 No. 6 that differs from your own, so I was definitely curious about your reaction. (For the record, I like your approach, too.) Nice to know that you found it a valid approach. smile

The Op. 10 No. 4 is such a wonderful piece. I played it at our last monthly piano party, and several people remarked that they had never heard it before and they really liked it. So it was good choice!

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#2144034 - 09/04/13 01:09 PM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: RachFan]
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1274
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: RachFan
I'm glad that Del Fandrich gave you some ideas, as he did me as well. Who better knows Baldwin grands than him? Based on his recommendation I used Ronsen Wurzen hammers with new shanks and flanges.


David, can you recall the reasons why Del recommended the Ronsen Wurzen hammers? I'm curious about this.

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#2144110 - 09/04/13 03:58 PM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: ChrisKeys]
Tim Adrianson Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1070
Thanks for posting these, ChrisKeys! For some reason, the Op 76 piano pieces don't seem to be programmed much, but they're to my ear every much vintage late Brahms as the Op 116 - 119 treasure trove. In 76 - 1, I hear much more of the passionate sadness that Brahms evoked so eloquently in his later compositions, and would take this piece significantly slower, leaning in more on bringing out the aching poignancy. Having said this, though, Brahms himself called it a Capriccio, and so your approach may be more in keeping with his intentions. By contrast, I agree completely with your approach to 76 - 2 -- that to me IS a Capriccio, and serves as a wonderful contrast to 76 - 1. I guess I'd be interested in hearing how Carey approaches 76 - 6, because I hear it very much as you presented it. I don't know much about early Brahms, and have never heard 10 - 4 before -- I found the "B" section very mysterious and fascinating to listen to, but I would need a few more "listens" before commenting.

Most enjoyable -- thanks for sharing!

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#2144301 - 09/04/13 10:16 PM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: ChrisKeys]
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1274
Loc: Dallas, TX
Tim, thanks for commenting. No. 1 and 2 are such huge contrasts even though they're both "Capriccios". I'm still wrestling with No. 1. I think I might try a slower tempo just to see what happens there. Youtube has a recording of Pogorelich playing No. 1, and he plays it *really* slow -- too slow for my taste. Like you,I find the Op. 76 pieces as worthy of a hearing as the later pieces.

By the way, you can find carey's recording of Op. 76 No. 6 on Youtube. Just search for pianophilo and you'll find it.

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#2144442 - 09/05/13 03:18 AM Re: Recordings on rebuilt Baldwin L: Brahms, Bach [Re: ChrisKeys]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6374
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Tim and Chris -

Tomorrow I'm going to send you both a link - through a PM - to a "non-Carey" recording of the Brahms Intermezzo that I found on YouTube today. I'll be interested to hear what you think about it. cool
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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