Search found 36 matches

by Stuart
18 Sep 2009, 11:27
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: The right frame of mind for doing a piano exam
Replies: 14
Views: 4977

Re: The right frame of mind for doing a piano exam

There will always be people who can play better than us: think of all those concert pianists out there. It doesn't matter - what we are concerned to do is (for exams) our best on the day. So it is to do with anxiety, primarily the performance anxiety that can strike anyone. It's called stage fright ...
by Stuart
07 Sep 2009, 11:46
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: practice room reuqired
Replies: 8
Views: 3548

Re: practice room reuqired

I understand your situation: I had to sell a concert grand (redundancy), move, had a loan keyboard for year, then scraped together to get an old 5'3 Danemann. Now I'm back on track with an RX2. It may be too far for you and I'm not sure just how much availability I can provide, and I live in Dorset,...
by Stuart
06 Sep 2009, 15:54
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Chopin - fantasie impromptu, any tips?
Replies: 4
Views: 3387

Re: Chopin - fantasie impromptu, any tips?

For what it's worth, Tovey commented about a 2 against 3 rhythm in a Beethoven sonata - can't remember which one - that it's not a problem as it's played fast. Playing 2 against 3, 3 against 4 etc slowly is a problem. Now, in itself this may not be helpful, but if you practice each hand separately -...
by Stuart
28 Apr 2009, 09:44
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Classical music - where does one begin?
Replies: 14
Views: 6001

Re: Classical music - where does one begin?

If you like jazz - but it depends which styles, of course, jazz is almost as diverse as classical - then the Jacques Loussier takes on Bach form one bridge. Bit like marmite - love it or loathe it (I hate it :twisted: ), but as a serious classical musician who puts Bach right at the top, I love JL a...
by Stuart
27 Apr 2009, 15:34
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Digital Harpsichord.....
Replies: 1
Views: 1322

Re: Digital Harpsichord.....

Oh dear, I got into trouble in the last thread on this subject and may also draw some flak with my reply to the prepping new pianos thread, but ............ Yes, the touch of a harpsichord is very different from that of a piano. It took me years to adjust from the piano and then there was another pe...
by Stuart
27 Apr 2009, 15:13
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Preparation of new pianos
Replies: 16
Views: 5014

Re: Preparation of new pianos

I've never been in the retail part of the car trade but I believe new car dealers have quite a lot of 'prepping' to do before the customer picks up his shiny new motor. I've never been a piano dealer either but as a relatively seasoned customer who still makes mistakes, :oops: , and someone who has ...
by Stuart
25 Apr 2009, 20:20
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Preparation of new pianos
Replies: 16
Views: 5014

Re: Preparation of new pianos

Experts on this forum have many times stressed the need to buy only the piano you have tried in the showroom, not another one out of the warehouse, off the ship etc - so any dealer who expects this requirement from customers will have prepped each piano at least adequately. (Any that don't should be...
by Stuart
14 Mar 2009, 16:32
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Acoustic harpsichord V digital ones
Replies: 14
Views: 5090

Re: Acoustic harpsichord V digital ones

why does everyone get so waspish and mincy. Strange. I had not read any of the previous posts as waspish and mincy. Mine certainly was labelled as "not a rant" and I read the other posts as either straightforward or humorous. You don't get "tone" from hpds, only semi controlled jangle. You are welc...
by Stuart
12 Mar 2009, 11:09
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Acoustic harpsichord V digital ones
Replies: 14
Views: 5090

Re: The New Kemble Chopin

As a former owner of an 'acoustic' harpsichord, (a copy by David Rubio of the 1769 Taskin), now returned safely into the piano fold - can't afford one of each, either financially or spatially - I have to respond to the 'digital hpd' rather that the 'real' thing. What applies to the acoustic vs digit...
by Stuart
06 Mar 2009, 19:28
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: grade exams -- what's the point
Replies: 23
Views: 10366

Re: grade exams -- what's the point

As someone who went through the grade system many years' ago, indeed many decades ago and still plays (presently gradually, very gradually, getting to grips with Beethoven's Op 111) may I add my perspective. I was taught (ie forced) by my father from 7 - 11. I then transferred to a professional teac...
by Stuart
21 Jan 2009, 10:55
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Starting from scratch Have I left it too late :(
Replies: 11
Views: 4853

Re: Starting from scratch Have I left it too late :(

Just over a year ago my wife took up the cello - a much harder proposition that the piano (I am a pianist). We are both mid-sixties, so you are certainly not too late. Apart from some piano lessons in childhood, she had never played an instrument of any kind. After a year, she is about Grade 2 stand...
by Stuart
06 Sep 2008, 11:34
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Dust
Replies: 7
Views: 3152

Many thanks for all your responses. I shall proceed with caution. :D
by Stuart
04 Sep 2008, 10:38
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Dust
Replies: 7
Views: 3152

Dust

I have searched the forums (honest!), but not found any information on a very basic topic: how to reduce/slow down the rate at which dust is attracted to the shiny black casework of a modern piano. My Kawai RX2 looks lovely for all of a few minutes, then swirls of dust descend upon it. I am wary of ...
by Stuart
16 Aug 2008, 16:12
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: The wisdom of Horowitz
Replies: 3
Views: 2363

If you can, listen to him on the cd of Scarlatti sonatas. Pure magic. As a former harpsichordist (now back to the piano) and a purist at that, his playing makes the music sound as if it were written for the concert grand. Totally convincing, every note in place, the subtlest of light and shade and y...
by Stuart
24 Jul 2008, 14:41
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Newbie here and a question
Replies: 8
Views: 3730

If you are really serious about the Moonlight, the last movement is way beyond Grade 5 anyway. Such ambition deserves a good instrument. Best of luck.
by Stuart
23 Jul 2008, 10:24
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: KAWAI PIANOS
Replies: 14
Views: 5556

I suspect it depends upon the model in terms of the heavier action. Before buying a Kawai RX2 I played that and the Yamaha C2 alongside each other (together with other makes and models) The Kawai RX2 had/has a lighter action than the C2 and a less bright sound.
by Stuart
15 May 2008, 17:48
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Fazioli
Replies: 20
Views: 7845

The third pedal is actually quite useful in those 'dense' Rachmaninov pieces. Look at the Op 23 No 5 Prelude. Stacks of opportunities eg to hold fortissimo bass chords whilst playing staccato piano chords above (bar 23 etc) and simply sustaining the bass line through the bar (bar 5 and many others)....
by Stuart
01 Mar 2008, 18:24
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Learning and playing piano "elitist"?...
Replies: 6
Views: 3393

The arts have always been elitist - which is the negative slant, when family background and money are considered. However, the arts are for the few: those that value artistic expression and aspects of life that do not revolve around acquiring material possessions. Musical history is full of poor peo...
by Stuart
24 Feb 2008, 20:29
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Easy Beethoven sonatas?
Replies: 3
Views: 2706

As Gill says, there's the two Op 49 sonatas. Op 14 No 2 is generally relatively easy, but as with all Beethoven, there are some difficult passages in the outer movements. Early, middle and late Beethoven is difficult, but great for building musicality and technique. Haydn, rather than Mozart, will h...
by Stuart
04 Feb 2008, 16:09
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Motivation
Replies: 65
Views: 15370

I wonder what your practice aims are? Do you derive more pleasure from 'getting through' pieces or are you not happy until you have nailed all the technical difficulties? If 'getting through', then a variety of works at a time, gradually improving, but enjoying the playing as you go, may find you gr...
by Stuart
16 Dec 2007, 21:27
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Kawai RX-2 vs Yamaha C2
Replies: 22
Views: 16433

Sorry for the delay - life got in the way. Just a few notes, especially in the upper bass. My tuner listened hard and thought it was just as the hammer hit the string, he referred to it as metallic and also thought that whoever fixes it will either take five minutes or spend hours on it. Not a noise...
by Stuart
03 Dec 2007, 16:23
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Kawai RX-2 vs Yamaha C2
Replies: 22
Views: 16433

About 2 years' ago I compared the RX2 to the C2 before buying an RX2. The RX2 I found warmer in tone and the touch is lighter. Having said that, it really is a matter of personal preference. They are both good - go with what you enjoy playing best. I am happy with the RX2, save for a small elusive n...
by Stuart
20 Oct 2007, 10:26
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Shall I swap digital for accoustic??
Replies: 9
Views: 3529

There are all sorts of reasons for preferring acoustic to digital but I think that the main one is that an acoustic piano gives you feedback - it is responsive in an incredibly sensitive manner to how you play it . This means that there is no limit to your musical progress if you learn how to listen...
by Stuart
14 Jun 2007, 08:57
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Appassionata
Replies: 2
Views: 2351

Many thanks for the reply and help. It's a relief in a sense that you regard it as hard, as I was wondering if there was a fundamental problem with my technique, particularly as Tovey appears not to consider these passages as difficult. For instance, he regards the semi-quaver passages at the start ...
by Stuart
12 Jun 2007, 18:14
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Appassionata
Replies: 2
Views: 2351

Appassionata

Can anyone help me in approaching a particular passage in the last movement of the Appassionata? The rest of the work promises to capitulate to practice, but at bar 64 in the last movement there is a passage in the LH with alternating octaves and thirds. It's to do with the wrist/hand position I thi...
by Stuart
25 Jun 2006, 19:52
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Is Steiner a Germany piano manufacturer?
Replies: 4
Views: 5110

I used to own an Otto Steiner concert grand. Bought it as German, but in fact was made in Estonia. It had a Renner action and was a decent enough piano but it did not hold its price, in fact I lost a lot of money when I had to sell it.
by Stuart
22 Nov 2005, 15:24
Forum: Learning & Teaching Piano
Topic: Choosing the right piano for a childs education
Replies: 17
Views: 7843

Whilst I am not saying that a grand is always better than an upright, the actions are different, which means amongst other things that it is easier to repeat notes rapidly on a grand. The posture is different too as the pedals are usually closer on an upright. If you have the space and the money, bu...
by Stuart
22 Nov 2005, 15:08
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: RX-3 Kawai VS. 6' 4" Forster
Replies: 3
Views: 2968

I have noticed in my browsings that Americans tend to favour European pianos over Japanese to some extent, whereas UK people tend to be aware of the dodgy history of some European brands. Different perspectives. Having said that and having only ever tried one Forster grand recently (didn't like it),...
by Stuart
05 Oct 2005, 19:02
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Choosing a baby grand
Replies: 7
Views: 4341

Having just completed a foray into the same market, I would agree with the comments about the Boston. Yamaha and Kawai is a matter of personal preference. I went finally for the Kawai because it gave me the sound I want, but the Yamaha may give you, or more importantly, your daughters, the sound the...
by Stuart
29 Sep 2005, 21:00
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Pianos, radiators and humidifiers
Replies: 4
Views: 3614

Many thanks for this. Looks as though an RX3 might be too close at 15", unless I turn the radiator valve way down so it rarely comes on. The woodburner is far enough away and when in action will shut down the radiator anyway. Your mention of wood swelling reminds me of the Rubio copy of the Taskin 1...
by Stuart
26 Sep 2005, 18:15
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Pianos, radiators and humidifiers
Replies: 4
Views: 3614

Interesting and intriguing. Yes, probably the RX route, although this week I am checking out the 'older piano' option - Bluthner, Bechstein etc. But, why no humidifier for the RX? It will please my wife (unlike any shiny black piano). Does this mean I can have the heating and wood burning stove belt...
by Stuart
26 Sep 2005, 15:43
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Pianos, radiators and humidifiers
Replies: 4
Views: 3614

Pianos, radiators and humidifiers

Making progress on my choice of replacement piano but am wondering about length. At present my 5'3" is 25" away (tail end) from a radiator (which has a thermostatic control, so I can moderate it a bit). The alternative lengths of 5'10" and 6' 1" would therefore be 18" and 15" away respectively. Any ...
by Stuart
21 Sep 2005, 10:42
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Nobody got fired for buying IBM (Yamaha)
Replies: 5
Views: 5282

Many thanks for the comments. I certainly don't intend to buy another piano again and am looking for a permanent fixture - however, it will still get sold eventually, when I can't play anymore. Because of space and money I am mainly comparing the C2 with the RX2, even though the '3' pianos are more ...
by Stuart
20 Sep 2005, 08:17
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Nobody got fired for buying IBM (Yamaha)
Replies: 5
Views: 5282

Nobody got fired for buying IBM (Yamaha)

That was the boast of IBM before the competition got organised. Could the same be said of Yamaha? I am looking for a grand up to 6 footish. Everyone (?) says the Yamaha C3. Have tried the C2, C3 and the Kawai RX1, 2 and 3. I liked the Kawai sound immediately, the Yamaha I had to work at. But the gen...
by Stuart
13 Sep 2005, 17:23
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Yamaha C3 niggles!
Replies: 54
Views: 23787

I hope I am not being unduly pessimistic but...... I bought an 'Estonia' 9' concert grand around 12 years' back, under the name of Otto Steiner. (Thought it was German. Sad) Quite happy with it until I had to move/downsize. Couldn't sell it. Eventually went to auction for £3,000, even though Steinwa...
by Stuart
11 Sep 2005, 20:05
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Buying advice please Yamaha v Other makes
Replies: 1
Views: 2600

Buying advice please Yamaha v Other makes

Would welcome any advice on which way to go in replacing (or restoring, but I think not) my present piano. It's a Danemann 5'2", around 1960 -70 which I have had for around 6 or 7 years. The main problems with it are: uneven touch, very, and I mean very, bright sound, which I think is largely due to...