Bechstein giving away free piano

Posted by: Fortepianophil

Bechstein giving away free piano - 02/25/13 03:40 AM

I just noticed on Facebook that the good folks at C. Bechstein are giving away a free W. Hoffmann piano. The quiz is quite fun and not too difficult. I am equipped already but I thought this might be interesting for beginners, children,...
Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/BechsteinPianos

Good luck smile
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 02/25/13 09:33 AM

Unfortunately, I'm not even a member of Facebook... can you believe that? smile

Rick
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 02/25/13 11:09 AM

I just earned 5 crowns and entered to win that cute little Hoffman piano. Somebody's got to win it, why not me?
Posted by: Thrill Science

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 02/25/13 12:57 PM

Meh. I'll pass. The company has too much baggage in its history.
Posted by: christineka

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 02/26/13 12:46 AM

I entered! Thanks! I also tried the local Hailun (to enter that contest) and will soon be uploading a video to the Sonny Piano contest.
Posted by: Gatsbee13

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 02/26/13 01:49 AM

darnit.. only 5 crowns...
Posted by: Fortepianophil

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 03/04/13 06:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Rickster
Unfortunately, I'm not even a member of Facebook... can you believe that? smile

Rick


Hmmm... So, you're probably a bit older than me. ;-)
Posted by: 1001 pianos

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 03/04/13 09:41 AM

sometimes it's not a question of being old smile
but anyway ... it's difficult to stay away from facebook by the time being !
Posted by: kapelli

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 03/04/13 11:33 AM

thank, I also did the quiz smile
Posted by: Daverino

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 03/04/13 04:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Meh. I'll pass. The company has too much baggage in its history.


Tell me more?
Posted by: BerndAB

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 03/04/13 06:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Daverino
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Meh. I'll pass. The company has too much baggage in its history.


Tell me more?


Bechstein is partly seen negatively for it's history related to the Nazi time in Germany. The wife of the owner at that time was a fanatic Nazi liker. Mrs. Bechstein belonged to the supporter crew which in the year 1923 (after having led a political riot in Munich) fed Adolf Hitler in the Landshut prison with Caviar and Champain while he wrote his nasty book "Mein Kampf".

Who ever of the nazis in Germany needed a piano: he preferably bought a Bechstein piano.

But Bechstein had bad luck in the WW II. The stock of wood burnt down in a bomb attack, and the "old glory" of a shared stage (part Steinway, part Blüthner, part Bösendorfer, part Bechstein) was never gained back. The only one who was able to deliver concerts grands for stage usage after WW II was Steinway.

The omnipresence of Steinway concert grands on the stages of the world was not only clever marketing plus superb piano building, it is also related to the fact that Blüthner and Bechstein had lost their stocks of wood.

I saw Bechstein similar like Robert Thrill Sciene. When I bought my concert grand, the piano technician had two concert grands for sale:; the other a Bechstein one. I did not look a single view - I thought "Nazi piano" - ohh no..

But then I learned that Bechstein in the intermediate was a subsidiary of an american piano brand, and later on was owned by people (Karl Schulze and his wife) who have nothing to do with the bad Nazi times.

The actual Bechstein factory in Seifhennersdorf was a former "communist workshop", VEB Volkseigener Betrieb in Saxonia...

Bechstein, nazi..?.. communist..?.. Today neither nor. Simply a great piano company with a fine profile of pianos.

I now put my fingers on every Bechstein grand which I can play. They partly are gorgeous pianos. There is a Bechstein D-280 concert grand near Münster, West Germany, which I DO LOVE to play.
Posted by: Fortepianophil

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/25/13 05:13 AM

I agree. When it comes to piano it is all about sound, isn't it? A Bechstein Concert Grand definitely plays in the same range as a Steinway, Bösendorfer and the likes. Me personally I like Bechstein better than the rest. But that's a question of individual taste and preferences, I guess. So don't let history keep you from making a great experience with these outstanding pianos, I'd say. There are definitely good folks working at C. Bechstein nowadays.

Oh, and I would love to know if anyone from the forum really wins the piano.
Have a nice week!
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/25/13 05:52 AM

BerndAB,

Thank you for your post. It deals with a subject that none of us want to discuss, but to offer some balance, it should be noted that Bechstein was not alone, just the most visible.

Although Steinway exited WWII much better than the three Bs (Bechstein, Bosendorfer, and Bluthner), the Steinway brothers were running a factory in the USA and a factory in Germany. They did not pick sides. They ran ads in Germany that stated "No Non-Aryans in ownership or management". They communicated between the two factories via letter... which is probably why most of their correspondence from the late 1930's is missing.

And, as you state, they were the only builder who could actually deliver a piano after the war, which was a huge advantage.

This is an ugly subject, but the good news is that none of these companies have anyone affiliated with this kind of ugliness today. All of these companies build beautiful pianos!
Posted by: sophial

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/25/13 11:51 AM

Rich,

DId not pick sides? You might want to mention Steinway's support for the Allied war effort during WWII, including use of the NY factory for wooden gliders and the construction of the Victory Vertical or "GI" pianos that were placed on ships or where troops were stationed.

Sophia
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/25/13 11:57 AM

Originally Posted By: sophial
Rich,

You might also want to mention Steinway's support for the Allied war effort during WWII, including use of the NY factory for wooden gliders and the construction of the Victory Vertical pianos that were placed on ships or where troops were stationed.

I have often wondered about this. It is well known and documented about the contributions of NY-S&S to the war effort of the Allied troops, but I have heard little about the Hamburg-S&S factory and its production during the war years.

Does anyone have any info or is there any documentation?
Posted by: Chopinlover49

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/25/13 01:53 PM

Don't know much about the history, but the semi-concert grand C Bechstein I tried out at Ruggiero Piano in Raleigh was incredible. Just out of my budget range. I ended up very happy with my current piano, but the C Bechstein was nice!
Posted by: master88er

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/25/13 06:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
BerndAB,

Thank you for your post. It deals with a subject that none of us want to discuss, but to offer some balance, it should be noted that Bechstein was not alone, just the most visible.

Although Steinway exited WWII much better than the three Bs (Bechstein, Bosendorfer, and Bluthner), the Steinway brothers were running a factory in the USA and a factory in Germany. They did not pick sides. They ran ads in Germany that stated "No Non-Aryans in ownership or management". They communicated between the two factories via letter... which is probably why most of their correspondence from the late 1930's is missing.

And, as you state, they were the only builder who could actually deliver a piano after the war, which was a huge advantage.

This is an ugly subject, but the good news is that none of these companies have anyone affiliated with this kind of ugliness today. All of these companies build beautiful pianos!



I'll start by stating that my father, may he rest in peace, was a survivor of Auschwitz. As a first generation American Jew after the Holocaust, I am very sensitive to issues involving the Fascist regime in Germany and various factory's complicity with the goals of that regime.

When I began my career, as a piano technician, I worked for Bernard Comsky in Los Angeles, a Jewish concert pianist who also had a renowned retail shop. Mr. Comsky carried many German pianos and was the source of my introduction to these brands and many of the owners of these companies. In fact, Mr. Comsky, who had served in the US Military, always told the story of capturing Julius Feurich senior (frequently at dinner with Mr. Feurich present) during the invasion, and the two of them became very close friends. Amongst Comsky's other close associates were Knut Grotrian, Carl Sauter and Klaus Schimmel. However, he never would consider carrying Bechstein in his shop.

When I inquired about that, he explained Bechstein's complicity, most specifically Ms. Bechstein's close (some say intimate) relationship to Hitler, and told me that he would never sell the product while any Bechstein family was involved. Even during Baldwin's ownership, a Bechstein cousin remained on the board of directors, so Comsky never would buy the product.

When I opened my own shop I was lucky that some of the Comsky connections I made carried over and I was given Feurich, Hoffman (then a Feurich brand) and Sauter brands in San Francisco. In 1983, I was approached by Bechstein, then still a Baldwin subsidiary, and agreed to visit them when in Germany. During my first visit (Jan. 1984) I was given a tour of the factory and museum, and the subject of the war years came up. Thomas Barth was very candid about the war years and Bechstein, and informed me that the last Bechstein, a cousin, had just left the board. Upon confirmation of that claim, I decided to start representing the brand at retail in Spring of 1984. Then, in 1986, Karl Schulze purchased the company and I was the first dealer outside of Germany that he met (one week after purchasing the company).

In 1987, my father and I went on his first trip back to Poland since liberation, and to visit Auschwitz. During that trip, we flew from Warsaw to East Berlin and crossed check-point Charlie to enter West Berlin. We were met, on the West Side, by Karl in a waiting car. During that trip, Karl asked me to become Bechstein's American distributor. After consulting with my father, I agreed. My father's opinion was important to me and I still remember his words: "this man (referring to Karl) is only a few years older than you. He had nothing to do with those times and you should not hold him responsible. Treat him as he treats you." So, I became the Bechstein distributor.

I consider Ulrich Sauter to be a close personal friend, and although we do not carry his products, I also count Christian Bluthner amongst my comrades. Along with Karl, these are gentlemen who have treated me with respect and dignity and have done much to make sure my business thrives.

To judge German pianos by anything less than their construction quality, at this point, is silly. The workers and management of these companies were not alive when the Fascist powers were in control. But this brings up another "elephant in the room;" How many pianos companies have non-discrimination and equal opportunity policies today? How many gay employees does, say, Charles Walter or Mason Hamlin / PianoDisc employ? I can tell you that Sauter, Bechstein, Grotrian, Blüthner and Steingraeber ALL have openly Gay Employees, ALL support marriage equality, ALL have spousal benefits regardless of the gender of the spouse and all have health care. And ALL have significant Jewish dealer relationships. I challenge ANY American manufacturer to make the same claim - EVER!

Reverting back to Anti-Semitism and Fascism, how many people own Ford products? Care to hear about Mr. Ford's actions before and during WWII?! For that matter, what about Mercedes (every Taxi in Israel is a Mercedes!). They hid Eichman and others in their plants in Argentina for YEARS.

On the other hand, which city/country in the world is responsible for saving and protecting the MOST Jews during the Holocaust. USA? Nope, not even close. Switzerland? Sorry, no. Canada, Australia, Britain? Wrong, wrong and wrong. The answer is Shanghai. Yes, China.

So, I guess some on this forum would say "forget all that stuff from Europe, China is the way to go." After all, there's no fascism there, right?
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/25/13 06:30 PM

Just to be clear about the elephant in the room, Germany does not have same-sex marriage. It does acknowledge domestic partnerships, however. Individual companies cannot circumvent the laws concerning adoption and inheritance.

I don't know the attitudes of the American builders, but in this day and age, open discrimination is very politically incorrect. We can't make assumptions regarding their company policies. It would be an interesting avenue of study and research, however.

With the recent Supreme Court cases, DOMA may be repealed. That would acknowledge same-sex marriage and grant the federal benefits of marriage. Some of our states would be ahead of Germany in that regard.

Now, back to Steingraeber vs. Bechstein.
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/25/13 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: master88er
How many pianos companies have non-discrimination and equal opportunity policies today? How many gay employees does, say, Charles Walter or Mason Hamlin / PianoDisc employ?


Is that an accusation?
Posted by: BDB

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/25/13 08:38 PM

I do not have any employees. I discriminate against everyone equally!
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/25/13 09:26 PM

FYI - Non-discrimination in the piano industry:

Mason Hamlin - Massachusetts - Same-sex marriage is legal - Sexual orientation is covered by non-discrimination ordinance.

Steinway - New York - Same-sex marriage is legal - Sexual orientation is covered by non-discrimination ordinance.

PianoDisc - California - Sexual orientation is covered by non-discrimination ordinance. Same-sex marriage (Prop-8) being reviewed by US Supreme Court.

Walter - Indiana - Sexual orientation is not covered by non-discrimination ordinance.

Mr. Kassman, what is the ratio of gay/straight in your store?

Posted by: Ric Overton

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/26/13 01:39 PM

Russell

Im smiling at your post. It seems that the only thing anyone took away from your comments had to do with GAY people. OMG!!! There are gay people in the piano business. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/26/13 01:51 PM

I was just practicing a piece I am working on currently.

I finally fixed a problem in one phrase and I was gay - giddy even.

Does that count?
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/26/13 03:12 PM

Several years ago I was approached by Bechstein to help set up Bechstein-America, in the capacity of marketing consultant. While I had heard of the history of Bechstein, I was unclear as to the then current situation. (With my last name you know I was concerned!!!)

After thorough research I had no problm taking the position. I worked closely with management and saw nothing to cause concern.

As to gays in the piano business...my best friend in the business is gay!
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/26/13 03:13 PM

To avoid any of the above questions or controversies there are some simple solutions:

1] Buy American [ whatever is left..]
2] Buy Japanese [ oh really?...]
3] Buy Estonia [ mostly sold out..]
4] Buy Italian [ careful:"Catholics"- need extra money..]
5] Buy German [ only if "conscience" allows..]
6] Buy Chinese [ no gays but dubious quality...]
7] Buy Mongolian [ no pianos]

Only No 7 seems 100% safe to me.
Highly recommend.

Norbert wink
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/26/13 03:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Several years ago I was approached by Bechstein to help set up Bechstein-America, in the capacity of marketing consultant. While I had heard of the history of Bechstein, I was unclear as to the then current situation. (With my last name you know I was concerned!!!)

After thorough research I had no problm taking the position. I worked closely with management and saw nothing to cause concern.

As to gays in the piano business...my best friend in the business is gay!


Huh - you don't say.

Is he/she giddy and witty as well?
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/26/13 07:19 PM

Mr. Kassman is implying that Charles Walter, Mason Hamlin and PianoDisc are homophobic. I threw Steinway in for good measure. Certainly, no one at PW would want to cast dispersions on S&S.

Ridiculous!

Then, somehow, anti-sematism got mixed in with homophobia.

I think he meant well, but it came across as an accusation. The way it was presented raised my hackles.

Not good.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Bechstein giving away free piano - 04/26/13 07:48 PM

Sorry, but this thread has gone way too far off the rails…

Thread closed…

Rickster