Westchester Party - Photos and reports

Posted by: jon-nyc

Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 07:41 AM

Hey - the party was fantastic. It started at 1pm and some of us didn't leave until after 9. I didn't get back to brooklyn until 11:30!

First of all, i'd like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Fingers for being fantastic hosts. The food spread was amazing (ted - DO post the recipe for that artichoke dip!). And they have a beautiful home. (huge, with big woods in back, very peaceful)

Secondly, I want to say that FInger's piano is a true gem. It is absolutely gorgeous, sounds fantastic and gives you amazing control. The pianissimos were so easy to coax out of that piano! And what bass! (its an 1895 S&S B, rebuilt in 2004).

In attendence were Fingers, Grotriman and son, Bootsy, myself, Pete, Linda in PA, Elssa, and two professional jazz men who, unfortunately, don't grace PW with their presence.

Grotriman again demonstrated his uncanny memory, playing 8-10 pieces despite the fact that he has been traveling too much to practice for several weeks. He played a Poulenc tocatta, Ravel's Pavane, Jeux d'eau, and parts of Le Tombeau de Couperin, and A la manere de Borodin. THen he played that amazingly difficult Scarlatti sonata he played at my place in may. Amamzing!

Bootsy played some Liszt pieces that are quite beautiful - from his Years of Pilgrimage (Liszt's, not Bootsy's ;\) ). I was not familiar with these - they're great pieces and he plays so well. Another guy whose life gets in the way of practice but can still sit down and shame us mere mortals.

THen he again demonstrated how he's the best sight-reader since Saint-Saens (ok, an exaggeration, but just a slight one) by reading through some Chopin Nocturnes he hadnt seen in 15 years.


Bootsy and I played the (4-hand) Habanera from Ravel's Rhapsodie Espagnole. Great fun! Lots of finger-choreography necessary - see photos below. (And, if i do say so myself, it didn't suck!)

I also played about half of the Brahms left-hand transcription of Bach's d-mnor Chaconne. Fun piece (at least for us south-paws with large reaches). Then I too played some Ravel (Sonatine, parts of Miriors), a Debussy miniature (La Plus que Lent) and a Satie piece.

Linda played a beautiful Grieg piece (forget which). She is remarkable, you would never guess she just started a couple of years ago! And we're so grateful that she drives so far to attend these things!

Pete and Elssa I met for the first time - they missed earlier parties. They are both more versatile than the rest of us - playing classical, jazz, and (in Elssa's case) ragtime stuff. Elssa's Khachaturian was great. She played a solo piece and then the same piece arranged for 4-hands with, of course, Bootsy (who else could have sight-read it so well?).
Pete played a series of short pieces by.. Faure??? I forget - help me out someone! He's fantastic.


********************


I'm going to post this and continue later - there.s much more to report, but i need to run out for a bit.

I'll add two quick pics - more to come later!

Bootsy and I doing the Habanera.


And this one:

Posted by: jon-nyc

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 11:50 AM

ok.... where did I leave off...

Elssa and Pete. right.

Here's a picture of Elssa:




And here's Pete.

Note the tube amp behind the piano. I think Fingers has 4 of these. He could trade in his stereo equipment for a Bosendorfer Imperial and get money back.




Here's Linda and Professor Bootsy:




As I said before, Fingers had two professional jazz musicians come. First is Frank, a friend of Fingers from childhood. Here's a shot of him, note how gorgeous the piano is (btw, i think grotriman has better images of the piano).

[someone else please provide some color commentary on the jazz guys - i'm so ignorant of the genre, all i can say is how good it was!]





Fingers played some impressive jazz as well, by himself and with Ben, his son:





Ben was everyone's favorite duo partner. Here he is with Bootsy:




Here's a cute one of Ben playing after going swimming:





Here's Brian, Finger's other professional jazz friend. I think he is also Ben's teacher. He was classically trained for years and years before he got into jazz. He also sread some Chopin Nocturns that he hadn't seen in years as well as playing some great jazz. (what was the name of that final piece, anyone?)

ANyway, here's Brian:

Posted by: jon-nyc

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 11:54 AM

Three more pics.

Here's Grotriman:




Here's one of Pete and Frank:




And here's a keyboard shot Grotriman took of Bootsy and I doing the Habanera. Cool perspective.

Posted by: sophial

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 12:27 PM

Thanks for posting the great photos and the narrative of the party! That piano is absolutely gorgeous!

Sophia
Posted by: Jeffrey

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 03:28 PM

Wow. Sorry I missed it. Hope there is another one real soon. \:\(
Posted by: BeeLady

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 03:47 PM

Great pics! Sounds like the party went swimmingly! :p
Posted by: LaPianista

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 03:48 PM

Sorry I missed it too. A wonderful piano, photogenic, too. Maybe next time.. La Pianista
Posted by: Terrytunes

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 04:36 PM

Jon... great pics and a fun to read review. Thanks for sharing both.

Fingers... it looks like there is some type of film for UV protection on the windows(????) yes???!! Your piano & room are beautiful!


Linda... you're such a sweetie... you wore your name tag!!! ;\)
Posted by: pete

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 05:28 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by jon-nyc:
[
Pete played a series of short pieces by.. Faure??? I forget - help me out someone!
Actually it was selections from "Poetic Waltzes" by Enrique Granados. (I think I mistakenly told Bootsy it was Albeniz. Sorry. I don't even know what I'm playing. ) :rolleyes:

I was also wondering who the old guy in the white shirt was, then saw that it was a picture of myself.
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 06:28 PM

Sounds like a great time was had by all. Wish I could have been there. Ah, well, another time!
Posted by: fingers

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 08:09 PM

I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to each of you for bringing your joyous musical spirit(and all the delicious goodies, of course)into my home.

To Grotriman, Jon-nyc and Bootsy, there would be no party without you, as you are the driving pulse behind it all.

Linda from PA, who didn't think twice about driving 3 hours each way, played so beautifully that Mrs. fingers was genuinely moved by her playing.

Elssa, you are going to have to show me those hip changes and voicings! You move between classical and jazz seemingly effortlessly. When can you come back?

Pete, I wish I had recorded your duo with Frank. With the money I'd make from selling the cd's, I could buy a few more amps. Perhaps it would be better spent on building a Ravel collection. What do you think- jon?

Believe it or not, there is still smoke rising from the strings after Frank and Brian got through playing. Brian and I continued until 2 AM.
I'm glad everyone found the piano to be OK. It's not bad for a Steinway.

Terrytunes- You're good. Yes, UV film on the windows. Great call! Now, can you identify the brand/model of piano from the small pictures on the window ledge?

BTW, did anybody forget their kids? There seems to be a few more than when we started.


Regards,
fingers
Posted by: Bootsy

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 08:18 PM

Dear Friends,

Man do I love you guys! If you weren't at the chez Fingers party, I wouldn't think that you should believe what I would say about the high quality of playing -- so many fine pianists, so many excellent improvisers, such varied repertory (although Ravel still predominates, given his two encyclopediac advocates, jon-nyc and grotriman); fabulous professionals and unbelievable amateurs (take Linda: how can it possibly be that she's only had 2 1/2 years of lessons, she sightread four-hands music with me beautifully! and then so many others); and the net made this possible?

Sounds unlikely to me, but I swear it's true. It was such a pleasure to hang with Fingers and his family, to jam with Ben duo style, to miss a note in Liszt and hear "What the hell was that?" shouted from halfway across the house -- all in all about the best piano party imaginable.

As was grotriman's, as was jon-nyc's, these events have been so much fun. Also, a pleasure to meet Elssa and Pete for the first time, and also Fingers' (pro) piano friends. Holy crap, Brian played the heck out of the Chopin Nocturnes -- most of the attendees missed that, since it came just before the stragglers departed -- that was some of the most impressive playing that I've ever heard. He's amazing.

Plus of course the outstanding 1890s Steinway, superb in every way. Does it get any better than this?

Great munchies too. Lunch and dinner included.

Thanks for the pics and reviews guys. I really had a wonderful time, and I especially want to thank our hosts. Thank you so much for inviting us into your beautiful home, and for letting so many people have their way with your stunning Steinway!

It's been such a pleasure to play these three insanely great pianos. I couldn't rank them for a million dollars. They are all fantastic (Grotrian, Bosendorfer, antique rebuilt Steinway), each is remarkably different from the others, each is incredibly responsive, and each offers different possibilities.


Best,

Bootsy
Posted by: Bootsy

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 09:04 PM

Hey Pete, also:

Granados, of course!

I really, really love those waltzes. Granados is a much-overlooked composer, and I've never seen the score to those waltzes before, but it was a real pleasure to hear you play them. (Goyescas anyone?) Also, the Grieg was a Nocturne, alerting me to yet another blind spot in my knowledge of the repertory -- what a beautiful piece, and what sensitive playing!

Each piano party brings more revelations.


Best,

Bootsy
Posted by: Elssa

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/27/05 10:43 PM

Fingers: I just want to thank you and your wife so much for hosting such a fabulous party in your beautiful home with your exquisite piano (which have to admit I was a little intimidated of before I played it and found out how "user friendly" it is)! I thought everyone's playing was really amazing and inspiring, and I got a lot of good ideas on beautiful & challenging pieces to *try* to learn in the future.

Sure, anytime you want to chat about jazz piano chops, etc., that'd be great \:\) BTW, here is the link to that jazz club in Peekskill I mentioned..

www.onestationplaza.com

Besides great concerts, they have sessions where you can actually sit in and play with some real pro players..(I'm not at a level to do that yet, but you sure sound like you are).

Thanks again! I had a lot of fun and plan to be a regular piano party participant in the future \:\)
Posted by: jon-nyc

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 03:24 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by fingers:
[QB]Perhaps it would be better spent on building a Ravel collection. What do you think- jon?
Ha!

I did forget to report that Grotriman and I are creating Ravel converts. Fingers is shopping for a collected piano works CD, Bootsy bought his last week and is now shopping for sheet music!
Posted by: kathyk

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 05:13 AM

I'm so jealous. I've been to several PW parties, but never one where there was so much 4-hand fun.

Great pics!
Posted by: Terrytunes

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 07:12 AM

Originally posted by fingers:
Terrytunes- You're good. Yes, UV film on the windows. Great call! Now, can you identify the brand/model of piano from the small pictures on the window ledge?


Fingers... No cheating here on the UV film as possibly you have mentioned it in a prior post (and I do remember it being discussed on the forum quite sometime ago) but I have to admit I did review a few of your posts in attempting to solve the mystery of the windowsill piano pics.

Check out my answer on a pm. And for anyone else interested...Hey, do your own detective work! \:D
Posted by: pete

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 10:06 AM

Note the tube amp behind the piano. I think Fingers has 4 of these. He could trade in his stereo equipment for a Bosendorfer Imperial and get money back.

There's nothing in those tubes except a vacuum.

This party, and this thread, really exemplifies the best of Piano World, and is so much more fun than a cat fight between piano dealers.
Posted by: jon-nyc

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 11:26 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pete:
This party, and this thread, really exemplifies the best of Piano World, and is so much more fun than a cat fight between piano dealers. [/b]
Hear, Hear!
Posted by: fingers

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 12:07 PM

"There's nothing in those tubes except a vacum"

A VACUM, huh.

No wonder why I like the sound of tubes so much, that's exactly what's in between my two ears!

regards,
fingers
Posted by: Grotriman

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 12:49 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by fingers:
"There's nothing in those tubes except a vacum"

A VACUM, huh.

No wonder why I like the sound of tubes so much, that's exactly what's in between my two ears!

regards,
fingers [/b]
When excited by the proper voltage they also exhibit thermionic emission. Just like what is between your ears too Fingers!!!
Posted by: jon-nyc

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 02:08 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Grotriman:
When excited by the proper voltage they also exhibit thermionic emission.[/b]
Can you say that on this forum?
Posted by: Linda in PA

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 03:53 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Bootsy:

Man do I love you guys! [/b]
Aaah, Bootsy - my sentiments, exactly! I feel so fortunate to be a part of this group. You are all wonderfully talented, generous, fun-loving people whom it is my great pleasure to know. My sincere thanks to all of you.

A few special acknowledgements:

fingers and family:[/b] What can I say? You were the perfect hosts from beginning to end. The personalized directions, a beautiful home in a serene setting, a magnificently prepared piano, great food, a gathering of "old" friends, the inclusion of fresh faces - you pulled it all together! I had a great time and appreciate all the work it took for you to make it possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Bootsy, jon, Grotriman, and fingers:[/b] Thank you for the helpful pedaling suggestions and for your encouragement with the Grieg Nocturne! I'll keep working on this piece and will play it at a future gathering so that you can see the fruits of your efforts.

Grotriman:[/b] When I arrived, you were already in midst of the Scarlatti sonata. What I did hear just blew my mind. I hope you'll play it again so that I can hear it from the beginning. Please tell Lex that I missed him - and tell Oliver that I wish he had played for us!

jon and Bootsy:[/b] The Habanera was inspired! It was such fun to not only listen to you play, but to watch you as well. You've definitely started a trend worth continuing.

Bootsy:[/b] Thank you for your patience in playing the Ravel Beauty and the Beast duet with me. I had a blast. Elena provided me with some duet suggestions. I'll check them out and then send you a PM. If you are still willing to be my partner, I'd enjoy preparing a duet for the next party!

pete and Elssa:[/b] I'm so happy that you joined us! I enjoyed hearing both of you play - and admire your musical versatility. I hope that you will become "regulars" at our NY Piano Club parties.

fingers, Elssa, and Ben:[/b] Thank you for your explanation of chord extensions, chord progressions, and improvisation. I'm looking forward to playing around with this a bit this summer.

jon and Grotriman:[/b] Thanks for taking the great pictures - good color quality, interesting visual composition - your talents for photography are right up there with your musical abilities!

Terrytunes:[/b] You bet I wore my name tag! Thanks, again, for making it for me. I'll think of you as I wear it to every PW party.

Jeffrey, Bernard, and LaPianista:[/b] I missed you guys!!! Hope to see you at the next party!

RealPlayer:[/b] I keep coming close to meeting you, but it seems like something always intervenes. One of these days, our paths are bound to cross. I look forward to that day!

Again, my thanks to everyone for a memorable day!
Posted by: fingers

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 04:45 PM

Grotriman-


[/qb][/QUOTE]When excited by the proper voltage they also exhibit thermionic emission [/QB][/QUOTE]

Sometimes they don't, that's why they sell those little blue pills. :p

fingers
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 08:05 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Linda in PA:
RealPlayer:[/b] I keep coming close to meeting you, but it seems like something always intervenes. One of these days, our paths are bound to cross. I look forward to that day!
[/b]
I'm sorry I missed you too, Linda, and sorry I missed the party. I am really under the gun with practicing and have to play their pieces for two composers in the coming week.

I'm sure we'll meet up soon. If not at a piano gathering then...hmmm, I go bicycling in central-western New Jersey now and then. Maybe not far from you? \:\)
Posted by: Elssa

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/28/05 09:50 PM

>, a magnificently prepared piano..

It sure beat a home-made piano constructed with the help of Home Depot! ;\)
Posted by: pete

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/29/05 05:40 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bootsy:
[QB] Hey Pete, also:

Granados, of course!

I really, really love those waltzes. Granados is a much-overlooked composer, and I've never seen the score to those waltzes before,
I just looked at the sheet music, and it was published in Bedford Hills, New York, literally minutes from where the party was held. Odd coincidence. I ordered it from the Piano Today website, which I think is operated by a fellow named Stuart Isakoff, a brilliant guy, and author of a book on tempering pianos.
Posted by: fingers

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/29/05 07:40 AM

Elssa, uhhhhhhh...
That was a home-made piano constructed with the help of Home Depot.

It sounded pretty good but it has since fallen apart. I'm using the parts to build a musical Go-Cart. Once it hits speeds above 5 mph, it automatically upshifts and starts playing Ravel.

Regards,
fingers
Posted by: jon-nyc

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/29/05 10:29 AM

Hey grotriman - don't you have more pictures to post?
Posted by: fingers

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/29/05 11:53 AM

Forgot to mention- As if it's not enough that Grotriman has great chops and musical sensitivity, he gave us a lesson on regulation by way of demonstration on 2 different fully functional action models. This guy is good.

Don't try this at home kids!

Regards,
fingers
Posted by: LJC

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/30/05 05:48 AM

It certainly sounds like a great party. I'm sorry I could not attend, but I will certainly try to make the next one. Fingers, with all that equipment did you record anything???
Posted by: fingers

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/30/05 06:46 AM

LJC- Sadly, nothing was recorded.

fingers
Posted by: LJC

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 06/30/05 08:44 AM

I have to get something to record with before I host.
Posted by: YourGuide

Re: Westchester Party - Photos and reports - 04/28/11 02:10 AM

Finally, a party where you have lots of pics of the guys on the piano wink Your piano is awesome.