A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff

Posted by: Lluís

A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/15/13 02:59 PM

Hi, my friend Mr Olivier Fadini with help of Massimiliano di Mario did a wonderful job in a pianino Pleyel of Natalia d'Obreskoff played many times by Fréderic Chopin, it was in terrible condition:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJhhUzBXN1Q

enjoy!
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/15/13 06:10 PM

Gorgeous looking restoration!
Posted by: Chris Leslie

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/15/13 08:37 PM

It would be nice if the actual instrument was playing in the background.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/15/13 08:49 PM

thumb
Posted by: Lluís

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/15/13 09:11 PM

Some videos of the sonority:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuuL31F5AhM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqaSnwNCEXE

sad the pianist is not really good hehehehe
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/16/13 06:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Lluís
That's weird - now it's private.
Posted by: Lluís

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/16/13 01:09 PM

no longer private!
Posted by: Phil D

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/16/13 07:15 PM

With such a beautiful job on the case and the restoration, it is disappointing to hear the piano, as it sounds typical of old overstrung uprights - a poor scale, weakness at the treble break, unfocused unisons in the bass.

Shame it wasn't recorded with a good tuning on it!

(edit for Brits: who knew Michael Barrymore could play Chopin like this?)
Posted by: Lluís

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/16/13 07:22 PM

This kinds of pianos will never sound like yamahas. Thanks god. This is very out of tune is true. This is another model of a Pleyel period piano sounding much better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxPo0E7zgwA
Posted by: Chris Leslie

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/16/13 09:41 PM

Lluis, there is a part of the video that shows hammers being recovered by some thin strips of material. Would you happen to know what is the material? Also, how was this material adhered to the existing hammers, and how was that hammer prepared for the recovering?
Posted by: Olek

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/17/13 05:07 AM

You can hear one there , with a cello

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6GjQDkF_AMQWDBacURRZjY5OHc/edit?usp=sharing

I dont remind which ETD I used wink none

the piano did not function at his best possible level .

Posted by: Lluís

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/17/13 10:36 AM

Hi Chris Leslie, the materials on hammers are based on different layers, first layers are leather and top layers are different densities of rabbit fur applyed with no tension with organic glue as well as found in many models of Pleyels from the period between 1830 and 1840 . If interested for more information you can visite www.pianinopleyel.blogspot.com or ask me via private message the contact of the restorer Mr Olivier Fadini.

Thank you for your interest! . Nice recording isaac!! smile maybe a little strong hammers! Did you restored it??
Posted by: Olek

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/17/13 11:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Lluís
Hi Chris Leslie, the materials on hammers are based on different layers, first layers are leather and top layers are different densities of rabbit fur applyed with no tension with organic glue as well as found in many models of Pleyels from the period between 1830 and 1840 . If interested for more information you can visite www.pianinopleyel.blogspot.com or ask me via private message the contact of the restorer Mr Olivier Fadini.

Thank you for your interest! . Nice recording isaac!! smile maybe a little strong hammers! Did you restored it??


Hello Lluis, no it was one of the pianinos from Olivier Fadini, Palyed by Aya . You surprise me with non tense felts , as a colleague reproduce a model of hammer covering machine from that era and ity use a heavy mass to tense the felt strip.

Both are tense in my opinion, but indeed if you talk of underfelt it is mosty very dense. not the case with rabbit felt.
The pianino recorded have been refelted or lost his leaver coverage, or Pleyel used yet felt at that moment.

I could not regulate the piano much I had only a couple of hours to work on it.



Posted by: Lluís

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/17/13 04:58 PM

Actually in that era hammers were applied with no tension as well as found in many contemporany articles. www.acortot.blogspot.com
Posted by: Olek

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/17/13 05:08 PM

I have read that article on the Rossini piano , it is a scientific study by people who never repaired or tuned pianos, and in the end if you read well they discover that the original hammers where sounding better - it is very easy to hear, I seem to recall there are sound samples.
They missed totally the point.

As soon you bend a strip of felt on a molding you create tension.

The only case could be if the felt was used as leather, and even then it must be more or less tense

As soon as felt was used some tension may have been added



I have pics of the Pleyel machine to glue hammers (individually) .

I also have seen the one from Erard

Just try to voice hammers with no tension ;)(too much tension of course damp the tone, but no tension dull the tone


All the best
Posted by: Lluís

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/17/13 06:21 PM

Hi Isaac the article is made by some people with lots of experience in working on period pianos like Olivier Fadini and based in the articles found. The original hamers where sounding better, original rossini's hammers are not the one you find in his Pleyel but a separate set of rabbit fur hammers. The videos you will found of Flavio Ponzi playing that Pleyel denote a very strong felt on hammers wich are not original. The technique of voicing was not necessary in year 1840 because of the use of leather as main material and the start of rabbit fur wich there were no necessary a voicing, ofcourse but, in 1850 with the use of wool felt and the advances in the posibility of putting more tension in the string and raise the power and potence of this instruments in order to loose the beautiful colour of 1830-1840 period instruments the tension in hammerswool felt where applied, the Pleyel machine is from 1840 or posterior??.

Erard is a different conception of instruments suited for concerts but not Pleyel till late 1850's.
Posted by: Olek

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 10/18/13 12:05 AM

Yes Louis, but one cannot expect a 170 years old, non tramed felt to hold tension.

The original one did contain silk, may be to help.

The leathers are glued tense, and for what I know very thin needles are used to voice it.

It is just that tension is logical, even if Pleyel certainly did not get immediately the best use for felt.

A felt that does not need voicing as stated in the document, is usual marketing, it happen as well at that era as today.

The articles on that interesting but incomplete Web site are saying that too, with the venue of Pape and his superior felt, praised by anyone for better consistency of tone.

Indeed I have hard times to see hammers as dampers, even if they are somehow, but mostly the tension have a role in tone, by giving more dynamics to a neutral material.

Even when you glue a felt strip it stretches due to the glue.

Tension should not be dismissed and dynamics left entirely to the panel and action.

The machine is certainly after 1840 I will ask.

All the best
Posted by: acortot

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 03/30/14 08:08 AM

Hello isaac.

I am the person who wrote the article on the gray pape felt.

I have restored a few pianos from the Chopin period

leather and white felt where applied with tension.

The Truchot tensioning machine was invented in the 1850's and it was not used for the gray pape felt

The gray felt was applied with NO TENSION and was glued on the tip in order to avoid pockets of air.

You should perhaps read the article in detail where everything is explained.


There have been hundreds of restorations done on these pianos with tensioned, wool felt. Unfortunately these restorations do not accurately represent the sound of the original hammers, being too dense and stiff
Posted by: acortot

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 03/30/14 08:18 AM

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html?m=1
Posted by: Olek

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 03/31/14 06:13 AM

Hello, MR Cortot !

I am sorry I just read your post yesterday.

Thanks for the article it is a very interestiong history of hammer felt, nicely documlented, , congratulations.

I have seen sometime a felt that have been used during war time (was said) when wool of the good quality was not availeable. The old techs told me the tone was silky and nice but the wear fast.

May be "PETEL" , the best French hammer covering tech at those times up hios retiring, did use that at some ocasion. (When you see PETEL on a recovered hammer set the job have been very well done)

About that coat of hat type felt, or special recipe felt, I first have hard times imagination there is not a little tension installed. just the glue when it set is adding some, and the shape create a small outer tension, that may help the crown not to deform too soon. (those parts are very light and the strike point not as hard as with the modern piano.)

If not it plays the same role as a moderator, or a highly needled hammer top . That of course may be well adapted to the low tension instruments. The hammer outside tension is not that large even on modern instruments, but it helps to color the lower nuances of tone, in my opinion. (when too large , the tone get mufled)
The difference with modern hammers may be in the density of the inner felt that is not obtained by the compression at gluing time.
the thin fiber may be a good benefit for tone, certainly, and may be more springy by itself than layered felt (?)

Best regards , thanks for sending again the link.

Isaac OLEG



Posted by: acortot

Re: A restoration of Chopin Pleyel Piano of Natalia d'Obreskoff - 03/31/14 09:06 AM

Hello,

You're welcome!

There are two big differences between the Pape felt and the kind of felt used after 1852 or so.

The first is that Rabbit fur is less resilient than wool, so the fibers are easier to compress, in a way, and for some reason the rabbit fibre has a different sound which is less hard.

here is an example on a modern Steinway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBdMg6MQbbU&list=UU1YXuoUQn9SlpZAVp3rrGFw

Steinway used rabbit fur for a period before the wars.. you can hear the sound is more mellow and less percussive.

The second is that the felt was felted like the damper-felt of the time, with very fine fibres (similar to fine Cachemire) in a random order, and it does not resist tension, like damper felt from that period does not resist tension.

The key to the sound is that the felt, being made of very fine and highly-crimped (curly) fibres compresses very easily, while at the same time being very soft. Pianissimo playing is very easy and mellow because it is soft and when playing forte, since the fibres are so fine and the felt has low density (24 grams) the felt completely compresses and couples the harder leather underneath. I suspect the lower resilience also permits a bright fortissimo, because it would take longer for the felt to expand to it's round, uncompressed, shape, I am just guessing on this last point.

The reasons they stopped using the gray felt, which was also used on Erards, it seems. Is that it wore-out too quickly.

I suspect that the use of a thicker fine lambswool felt, as used from the 1850's, was also cheaper.

today's felt is also different from the felt of 50 years ago in a similar way: the fibres used today are coarse and generally cheaper.

The most expensive wool is the wool with the finest, longest, most crimped (curly) fibres! this is probably why piano felt has gone in the opposite direction..

toning-down a hammer with coarse fibres will only sound dull and the sound will not be focused...

so that is perhaps why modern pianos get brighter every year!