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Note By Note: The Making of Steinway L1037

Loving, but tedious
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  December 26, 2007
2.0 2.0 Stars


Ben Niles’s loving, if at times repetitive and tedious, exploration of the making of a Steinway piano — a concert grand L1037 — from the factory in Queens to the concert hall highlights the majesty of the instrument, as well as the meticulous handcraftsmanship that goes into making one. Men run their hands along the wood, eyes closed, to feel for imperfections. Tuners with perfect pitch tighten and loosen strings for hours by ear. The pride the craftsmen (and one woman) feel is palpable. Niles also films concert pianists selecting a piano; he emphasizes (to the point of redundancy) the individual personality of each instrument. Pianists — Harry Connick Jr., Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Hélène Grimaud, the manic Lang Lang — try out different pianos, feeling and hearing which one talks to them, which one responds to their touch. But it’s the craftspeople and their work, and the pianos themselves, that are the real stars. 81 minutes | MFA

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  Topics: Reviews , Harry Connick, Jr., Helene Grimaud, Lang Lang,  More more >
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