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In Reply to: RE: Ronald Brautigam's Beethoven Sonatas via the fortepiano posted by John C. - Aussie on June 15, 2017 at 00:05:07
I like the sound of a well-chosen harpsichord, but alas not fortepiano.
Melnikov plays on a forte-piano quite a bit when recording for Harmonia Mundi. If you want to check out more, his Beethoven and Schumann Chamber music with (Faust on violin) is very well-recorded and I love their musicianship. I've avoided these releases however because I just can't warm up to the instrument.
I completely understand where you are coming from and would have agreed with you previously. I would not have changed my mind had I only been exposed to its sound on a good, rather than excepional, system.
And I'm still surprised at the difference in audio quality from the two systems here, and it is due to the DAC/amp, not the headphones.
On the top system the notes on the fortepiano sound more precise than with the regular piano and, to me, do give new insight into the music. Please note I'm not saying I prefer one to the other but the differences have been more "chalk and cheese" than expected. And Chris, please repeat your feelings on the fortepiano as I have missed those past comments.
And, BTW, I also love harpsichord music but have found its reproduction is not straightforward either and can be messed up by average electronics.
So I must confess that the quality of music reproduction is a very important aspect of my music enjoyment so few historical recordings are enjoyable althought the talent of Callas is an exception. From this viewpoint assembling a top system can be a curse as it detracts enjoyment from lesser systems, something I appreciate is of less concern to trained musicians who can "see through" the audio.
What can be more subjective than music? It reflects our individual tastes, says he enjoying many thousand albums on a Roon music Server.
wood frame 'forte'-pianos or Viennese Action forte-pianos? How are Brautigam's recordings miked? This is important.
No instrument is hard to record if you don't get too close and maybe, even! shock-horror! use a stereo pair of mikes.
If you are used to multiple-mono miked pianos - which you almost certainly are - you might find a modern iron-frame DA piano - when recorded with a stereo pair - difficult to like, too!
How often have you been to a live concert with a VA piano-forte?
Never, I'd be betting. .......
Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger
Well, John, as you know, I'm very sensitive to the feelings of others around here on AA, and, over the years, I've noticed that some inmates here just don't like to be exposed to my opinions about fortepianos (even though I have actual experience playing on them!). ;-)
But because YOU specially requested it, I'm dredging up my post from a decade ago on this topic. The context was CB's recommendation of a certain recording of the Trout Quintet:"To pick Simon Standage once again, I find that the recordings he made of Mozart and Schubert quartets with the Salomon Quartet (Hyperion), or especially the recording he made of the Trout Quintet with [forte]pianist Steven Lubin (gasp--playing a lovely-sounding Graf [forte]piano of about 1830) on L'Oiseau Lyre to be very close to my ideal in terms of tasteful, expressive violin playing."To which I responded:"That's one of SS's recordings I've actually heard - but here I wasn't so bothered by his playing as by the tone of the fortepiano - a kind of desiccated cross between a toy piano and strung-together rubber bands!"I would only add that, on the one Sonata I heard from Brautigam's cycle (thanks to the kindness of BIS Boss Robert von Bahr), the piano also had an unpleasant, percussive, metallic sound (which I blame on the piano itself, not at all on the engineering) - just IMHO. Other than the instrument itself, I thought the performance was well played.
They sound like broken pianos to me. It baffles me that there is any interest in them other than their historical significance.
You and I have discussed fortepianos before, and we see (and hear!) things differently. But I for one always enjoy your opinions, even if they're wrong :). Please don't ever hold back.
"The passage of my life is measured out in shirts."
- Brian Eno
Actually, I was just having a bit of fun with my previous post, But I'm glad that you, Timbo, jdaniel (and others) always stick to your guns! We should all be passionate about what we like - and I appreciate your comment!
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