Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pleyel and Grotrian – プレイエルとグロトリアン


Esquire Japan version March 2008 was an excellent issue. It featured articles of 300-year piano history in which many pianists appeared, and more pages were dedicated for tracking Glenn Gould’s life. The issue was not limited to classical only, either. It even came with a CD of Chopin’s preludes that compared old and new Pleyel pianos. I instantaneously relate Pleyel with Wanda Landovska who brought the clavecin back to life with them. Pleyel has nobly mild tones unlike Steinway’s metalic sturdiness.
By the way the piano in my home is an upright of Grotrian, a very old piano family in Germany related to Steinway. There was an instrument show in Tokyo in early 80’s where most of renowned pianos gathered, and among them was a very compact piano but with fascinatingly beautiful sound. I immediately fell in love with Grotrian, and I even made a trip all the way to Osaka to visit the importer, Maruichi Piano-Harp Company to look at the products. I remember they also carried Pleyel clavecins in the store. It was impossible for me to do anything with the price of piano over 2 million Yen, but after a few years of patience, my friend Y helped me through his connection with a company in Germany and I ventured to import a Grotrian for myself in 1986. Its logo“Grotrian-Steinweg” is the proof of product for European market.

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