Mechanical Music Digest  Archives
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info

Announcement: End-of-Year Fundraising Drive In Progress

Our End-Of-Year Fundraising drive is in progress. If you haven't contributed to the operation of the MMD in the last 12 months, this would be a great time to contribute. There's a PayPal link at the bottom of each page on the website.

If you aren't sure when you last contributed, please send me a note using the contact form at the bottom of this page and I'll look you up in my records.

Thank you for your generous support!
Jody

P.S. While your support is needed and appreciated, you do not need to contribute to be a subscriber. If you have subscribed and aren't receiving your Digest, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page and let me know. Thanks!

MMD > Archives > November 1998 > 1998.11.06 > 06Prev  Next


Boesendorfer Piano Tone on Rachmaninoff Telarc CD
By Wayne Stahnke

A recent posting to the MMD suggested that the piano sound on my recent
Telarc CD of Rachmaninoff's Ampico rolls resulted from my having played
the Boesendorfer 290SE piano for quite a long time in the studio, and
subsequently recording it without paying proper attention to the result-
ing tone quality.

This is about as far from what happened as one can imagine.  To be sure,
the Boesendorfer piano brightened up considerably in the studio from
daily use, and several days before the recording session it was surely
too bright -- just as I planned.

The sequence of events was as follows.  First the movers took the piano
to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center, some 40 miles away, and placed
it on stage.  Then we let the piano acclimate for 48 hours before
starting work.  Following the settling-in period, Wayne Chen flew in
from Toronto, where he now lives and works, to take charge of the piano
for the recording sessions.

Mr. Chen was previously the piano technician for the Chicago Symphony,
but after moving to Canada he took a new position.  He now maintains the
pianos used in public performances, broadcasts and recordings by the
Canadian Broadcasting Corp.  Mr. Chen worked for one full day, touching
up the regulation of the piano, filing and shaping the hammers, and
voicing the piano down to the desired level.  Of course, he worked in
one direction only -- downward.  It is always best not to brighten
a piano artificially by using chemicals.

His judgment is this regard was augmented somewhat by the musical
advisor for the project, Gavin Martin, a graduate in piano performance
from the prestigious Curtis Institute, and a performing pianist in his
own right for several years.  The other input came from the recording
engineer, Da-Hong Seetoo, who is also a graduate of Curtis.  Mr.
Seetoo now lives in New York state, and he also came to town for the
recording sessions, bringing his equipment with him.  The recording was
done direct to disk, without the use of tape of any kind, and using
only the natural reverberation of the hall.

I would never trust my own judgment in a matter as critical as that
of piano sound.  I relied entirely on the judgments of others:
professionals whose judgments are far more valuable than mine could be.

The resulting piano sound was not an accident; it came about as the
work of a skilled technician and musicians who took their task
seriously.  I hope this note sets the record straight.

Wayne Stahnke

 [ I met pianist Gavin Martin at Wayne's studio and heard him play
 [ -- very impressive.  At the invitation of conductor Zubin Mehta he
 [ performed the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto with the New York
 [ Philharmonic Orchestra.  An injury forced him to withdraw from stren-
 [ uous concert work, but he still occasionally accompanies instrumental
 [ soloists and plays with small ensembles in Los Angeles.  -- Robbie


(Message sent Fri 6 Nov 1998, 18:51:29 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Boesendorfer, CD, Piano, Rachmaninoff, Telarc, Tone

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   


Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google
Loading



CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2017 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

                                     
Translate This Page

. .