Piotr Anderszewski:”there is no such thing as a good piano in the absolute sense”

Do you not find this paradoxical, in a world which is becoming more and more standardized?

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Piotr Anderszewski: It’s less standardized than you think. At the end of the day, I think I would prefer pianos to be identical everywhere (although I’m sure that would actually make me crazy!). Before, there were more piano makers on the market, and their instruments had more unique traits. Today, if Fazioli tries to gain ground, for example, it’s faced with a quasi-monopoly by Steinway on the concert circuit. But Steinway remains a house of high fashion, which makes hand-sewn products: every one of their pianos has its own personality. The tuning, maintenance, storage, the general state of the piano makes each one different – a Steinway from Hamburg is different from one from London, New York, or Tokyo. That said, I hate nothing more than talking with technicians who come to ask you if you want a piano with a ringing sound or a more muffled one, rich or brassy, heavy or light action. That doesn’t make any sense! I want it to ring and be muffled, I want brassy and rich, I want heavy and light! The worst is when a technician assures you that, if you don’t like the regulation, they can “have it all fixed in 5 minutes” – nothing is impossible, they can change everything – in 5 minutes! That makes me scratch my head. I prefer technicians who tell me outright, “You’re looking for something that this piano cannot do.”

The same thing goes for sound engineers: we don’t speak the same language. I just express my point of view (the idea being of course that I be able to recognize my playing), but this kind of conversation seems rather vain to me. I don’t understand anything, really nothing at all, regarding the changes they say they have made on the tracks. For me, in any case, it’s just as bad as it was when they started! I don’t know a thing about all this business of spacing, placing, positioning mikes. I’m not an expert in instrumental mechanics. Is that wrong? Should I be more like my compatriot Krystian Zimerman? Whatever the case, there is no such thing as a good piano in the absolute sense: you always have to account for the space around it that you have to fill with sound. That’s why I don’t think traveling with my own piano would solve anything. At times, I’ve chosen a piano to record an album in a warehouse or in a backstage room, then once the piano is in the recording studio, I think there’s been a mistake: I’ll check, realize that the serial numbers are the same, but nonetheless I don’t recognize it any more, not the touch nor the sound.

Source : http://www.iplaythepiano.com/piano-mag/piotr-anderszewski-interview.html

Wislawa szymborska : some tragedies can’t be talk with a sense of humour

Q: Some of your poems are pessimistic about the state of the world. You have no children: Is the future too gloomy for children?

2. Festiwal Czes³awa Mi³osza w Krakowie

image source : internet

Wislawa : Actually I would like to know how many people there were in the world when I was born, and how many there are now. I suspect the number has doubled. This is something of great concern for me. A small example. I was born in a little town close to Poznan and there was a big lake there. People went fishing, you could take a boat and sail. Now this lake is tiny. Weeds grow in it. It is going to dry up. And if you think about how many such lakes dry up in the world–and there are always more and more people–then you start having thoughts that aren’t very pleasant.

There are people who say, “Let more people be born, because the earth can sustain them all.” I don’t agree with that. We all know how many people die of malnutrition and diseases that should be extinct. I cannot talk about these things with a sense of humor.

source : http://articles.latimes.com/1996-10-13/opinion/op-53412_1_writing-poems-people