Why Do Pianists Know So Little About Pianos?
At any time when attainable, Ms. Uchida brings her personal piano, which is uncommon amongst pianists, even main ones. (Vladimir Horowitz, in his later years, typically performed his personal piano, or one reserved particularly for him by Steinway; extra not too long ago, Krystian Zimerman has virtually at all times traveled along with his instrument, and understands its mechanics totally.) At her dwelling in London, Ms. Uchida has three live performance grands, and retains one other “parked in Germany,” she stated, making it simpler to move it to halls and recording studios in continental Europe. Clearly, the logistical challenges of shifting a piano lengthy distances are appreciable — to not point out the expense. Do establishments cowl the associated fee? Whereas it’s “case by case,” Ms. Uchida stated, often not.
However she put this expense in context. “I’ve no extra in any other case,” she stated. “I don’t want nation homes, costly jewellery, costly vehicles, particular collections of no matter.”
She does keep away from delivery to the US, nonetheless — besides as soon as, some years in the past, when she went on tour with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra of Munich to South America and New York. “The South American pianos had been to not be beneficial,” she stated. So she introduced her personal, which she additionally used for a live performance at Carnegie Corridor.
It’s not exhausting to think about why pianists would possibly lengthy for this luxurious of at all times with the ability to carry out on their very own devices. Nonetheless, Mr. Tao made an affecting argument on behalf of adaptability.
“I see the truth of being a pianist as a present, a chance that expands the thought of what approach in music might be,” he stated. The notion that you just apply a efficiency to perfection at dwelling after which repeat it in a live performance is “taken off the desk,” he added. “With each new instrument, you must be humbled a bit, and develop a connection to the logic inside your enjoying.”
Again at my condominium, the technician lastly dropped by, tuned my piano and made mechanical tweaks to a couple of the keys. Afterward it felt and sounded vastly higher. I don’t know what was concerned.