Thursday, September 29, 2011

Piano Quality « Nexcerpt:

In 2010, I spent an afternoon playing most of the pianos on the floor at Steinway of Chicago. I visited the Butterfield Road facility in Downers Grove; it’s not their most elegant or showy location, but the diversity and selection is great, including many other brands of new and used pianos. The best instrument in the building was a Steinway Model M — not a large instrument at just over five and half feet, but with excellent tone and touch. I believe it was built in the late 1800’s, presumably in Hamburg, Germany, and it made the newer, larger grands in the same room sound like factory rejects. Its most recent rebuilding — perhaps its second, or even third — was done expertly, without harming the machine’s initial character and prestige. If properly maintained for the next several decades, this 120-year-old piano will remain a far better musical instrument, with far better sound quality, than any new piano.
That is to say: no better acoustic piano will ever be built, at any time, ever again.