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#920795 - 10/06/03 12:52 AM A report on DC/NOVA/Baltimore/Annapolis ...
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Here's a short report on our get together today at Steve Cohen's house...

It was a real pleasure to meet Steve and his lovely wife Margie, both very gracious hosts. And I must mention their two dogs: It doesn't take me long to fall in love with dogs, and in the few shorts hours I was at Steve's I became smitten; they are adorable. A gorgeous chocolate lab and a springer spaniel? I don't know the breeds very well, they are all 'pooches' to me, but I love 'em.

Golly, I hardly know where to begin. Let's see... Maybe the others present this afternoon will join me in a chorus for Steve: "For he's a jolly good fellow, For he's a jolly good fellow, ...". He knows how to make a person feel welcomed. Thank you, Steve. Oh, what a lovely time I had. The whole day was as good an adventure as I could have dreamed. So many of the things that make life beautiful abound in and around Steve and Margie's place--including the sweeping weeping willows out front, and their wonderfully "Deco"rated home, and their hospitality.

You all should see Steve's unbelievable collection of antique mechanical instruments, slot machines and juke boxes. He has a veritable museum under his roof. I do not think I will ever forget lying on my back on his living room floor under his Chickering Reproducing Piano looking up at the marvel of its mechanical works. I am really struck by how "computerish" the mechanism is. Awesome. One can almost see the embryonic stages of a cpu in there.

I also met Ed, Ed's friend Carol (gosh, I hope I got the name right), Linda in PA and her father, CatLady, and Steve's friend Tom. Who did I leave out? Oh, no.

The experience of meeting someone in person after a time of getting to know them by their on-line posts is truly a 21st Century experience, and one that is still relatively new to me, as I'm sure it is to others. (Although it's probably not that far removed from the 19th Century experience of being forced to communicate by letter.) Expectations... anxiety... and then the pleasure of discovering that there's a wonderful and warm human being behind the words. I can say that this pleasure was a reality for me today upon meeting every one present. I hope I get the chance to meet a number of them again in NYC in a few weeks.

Ed, I'm indebted to you for giving me a lift to the rail station, it was very generous of you.

We didn't play a lot. For myself, I warmed up on a Brahms Intermezzo which I haven't looked at for about 6 months. A few hours on it this week was not enough to shore it up in my mind, so a good "warm up" piece it was; then I played Chopin's Nocturne Op9#1 (with something of a fudged ending). Ed played one of the classic standards with all those luscious chords in it, I wish I could remember the name of it, but it eludes me now. Was it "Fool For Love"? Anyway, if someone were to ask me, I'd say Ed has a lot a natural ability and has music within. Now, I'm sitting here wondering, "Why didn't we hear from CatLady?"

BTW, Steve's a great cook, and that reminds me... I have a recipe for salmon that I'll post sometime. If your wife likes salmon, Steve, she may like this. I made it a few times this summer. Terribly delicious. It's grilled (or broiled) salmon with horseradish sauce. HmHm.

So I have a glass of red wine in front of me, it's time for a few toasts... To Steve! To Everyone at the get-together today! To Pianos! To Piano Music! To PianoWorld! To Frank for creating PianoWorld! To The Joy Of Music!

Thanks everyone for a great day.
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#920796 - 10/06/03 07:26 PM Re: A report on DC/NOVA/Baltimore/Annapolis ...
Linda in PA Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 767
Loc: PA - USA
Ditto to everything that Bernard wrote - and a great big thank you to Steve and Margie for extending your friendship and for graciously opening your home to us. My father and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit and are grateful for the opportunity you provided to meet several fellow Piano World members.

Bernard is being quite humble. His "warm-up" of the Brahms Intermezzo was enthralling. And the fluidity of his left hand on the Chopin Nocturn was note-worthy (with or without a fudged ending!). Bernard's apparent ease at the keyboard is a testament to his disciplined work, to his studies with Madeline Bruser, and to his application of Alexander Technique.

I agree with Bernard's opinion of Ed's musical capacity. He graced us with a range of music from Cole Porter to Chopin. It was particularly intruing for me to hear Ed play a Chopin Prelude with an arpeggiated chord where I had only been exposed to redition with a solid chord. I'm impatiently awaiting my next lesson to get input from my teacher regarding the technique for playing the chord a la Ed. Tried doing it last night, but it didn't sound quite as impressive as Ed's version. Ed, I hope you decide to try jazz lessons. You seem to have a real feel for the rhythm. It would be fun to hear you improvise at the next party!

I also learned that Ed's friend, Carol, plays violin. Perhaps we can look forward to a piano/violin duo at the next party?????

I played a couple of my beginner pieces - Minuet in D Major by J. Clark and Summer Breezes by S. Long. Steve's Chickering is a great little piano with much more sound and dynamic variation than I would have expected from a smaller grand in such a large home. I was also struck by the fact that the player mechanism didn't seem to interfere with my perception of the piano's action. Guess I was expecting the touch to somehow feel much different.

Yes, CatLady managed to sneak by without playing a single note for us. We'll get you the next time, Cathy!

Steve insisted that he doesn't play (I'm sure he must play better than I). Neither he nor Tom nor Virginia played. Tom, by the way, is a real hoot. He tickled my funny bone in the most delightful way!

Margie is a budding ceramic artist. She used several of her pottery pieces for serving and for decorative display. Her work displays real insight into form and function and the subtlty of her coloration is commendable. I foresee lots of wonderful pieces being added to the collection - which I hope I one day have the chance to view again.

All in all, a wonderful day with wonderful people, wonderful food, and wonderful music. Couldn't ask for more!

Thanks again, Margie and Steve!

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