Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Piano Reborn

My century-old Mason & Hamlin has just been blessed with a new action.  It is a very special moment when ideas confront uncompromised acoustical reality.  Many mysteries in Schubert are clarified by this new experience:  the fingers and the pedal have no barrier caused by out-of-regulation hammers and squeaky pedal mechanisms.

It provides a powerful lesson about listening: How easily distracted we are by the mechanical limitations of instruments in less than perfect condition.  If this happens to me I can imagine what my students go through when they practice at home.  (This is perhaps why some of them don't practice.)