A New Friend

More than one, actually, but this one isn’t a person. It is called the C. Bechstein Model D 280 Concert Grand Piano. I played her today. I Dunno had to go get his glasses, and I took him. We were nearly there and I saw the piano store I wanted to go to months ago to get a heads up on where I could play a harpsichord. I told him we’d have one more errand before we went home. Got the glasses; they’re great. Walked inside the store, and if you haven’t read (rather, since you haven’t read) this great interview with a world-renowned pianist, you won’t be familiar with the discussion about the specific personality she feels each (handmade) piano has, etc., and it was entirely awesome to be in a room full of pianos (something like this one). I walked straight ahead until I met one of the salespeople. I couldn’t have looked to be that interested a party, what with my Jimmy Buffet t-shirt and flip flops on along with a sinussy brother in tow (yes, sinussy, because it’s only appropriate to double the last consonant before adding –y), but I was approached and talked shop for a while. We looked at a few of the pianos in the main part of the store, and they were all Kohler & Campbells. I asked him what else they carried. He gave me a funny look and took me to the next room. There was a Steinway, a Knabe or two, and a few Seilers, which are supposed to be extraordinary. I asked him (of course, and with a little bit of a sinister grin) if he had and Bösendorfers. He looked at me as if (and without needing) to say “are you kidding? Who do you think we are?” and asked me to follow him. There were two pianos in this room. I walked down an aisle that led to a monstrosity on a stage of sorts, only demarcated from the rest of the floor because it was hardwood and not carpet; it was not raised. There lay the Bechstein, and accompanying it was (unfortunately) one of the most hideous things I have ever seen. It’s called the Suspension, and all I can say is the one on my car looks cooler than this thing. It played pretty well, but was just hideous. It’s the kind of thing that should be the size of Washington’s head on the quarter and go inside a snow globe with a bunch of (also miniature) metallic-ish things.

Anyway, the Bechstein was unbelievable. I told him about the Kawai I had played (which I thought was nice) and he almost looked at me with pity. This thing is 9’2” long, which makes it an inch longer than the aforementioned pianist’s Bösendorfer 275’s (two of them, to be exact). Supposedly Bösey is having some financial trouble and isn’t as great a piano maker as I’ve been told (rather, have read), according to (we’ll call him) I Like Seiler. I played a few of the things I knew on the Bechstein, especially (and obviously) those with booming bass lines. It was just perfectly clean, in tune, and responded to anything. It was a thing of beauty. I’m almost willing to say, though, that the B 210 had a more comfortable feel; maybe it was just more broken in. I played a poor, poor Steinway they were giving away for nearly nothing. It was sorely abused and needed some TLC. Anyway, ILS made a comment that I was playing octaves between my thumb and ring finger; I guess I never thought about doing that, but it’s far more comfortable than using my pinky. Long story short was we talked shop and discussed pianos and dealers and such, and I was told I could come back whenever I wanted to play whatever I wanted (that wasn’t already sold). And I didn’t even have to speak any foreign languages.

That story is for later. (Also there is a new Just Because link)




1 comment:

Affable Olive said...

When I come, we shall go back. I want to see this thing. Not play, but see. I don't play for other people. It creeps me out.