Go WestConn, Young Man! (2015Jul25)


Saturday, July 25, 2015                                            2:16 PM

Pardon the mangling of the Horace Greeley quote—he and I share a birthday—and he was a big deal in my Gramma Duffy’s town, Chappaqua. They have a statue of him, he drained the swamplands there, Chappaqua has a Horace Greeley high school—it’s a whole thing.

Anyway, the point is, I’ve just returned from the western campus of the Western Connecticut University’s college at Danbury—the music building to be precise. Some of you may know my old friend who tunes our piano, Chris Farrell. Between his twice-annual visits to our house, he tunes a great many other pianos—including the thirty-three beauties that reside at WestConn.

Chris very kindly invited Claire and I to see the place—and he even let me play a little—which was a great treat and a big thrill for me. The Steinway concert grand I played on today retails for $180,000—and it sounds like every penny of it. I’m tremendously grateful not just for the opportunity to play in such a rarified environment on such excellent equipment, but also just for the break from my hum-drum, everyday Mason Hamlin baby grand’s all too familiar timbre.

Plus, a great instrument just naturally makes the player sound better—I hope I get that little extra in these recordings—they’re very short, but it was a bit unsettling to be sitting on a stage playing a grand piano—I don’t get out that often. Claire said it sounded pretty good—you might think that a modest compliment from one’s wife is no big deal but in this case you’d be wrong.

As a bonus, I return home to a freshly tuned piano. Piano’s always sound best that first few days after a tuning. That reminds me—my apologies to anyone listening to my recent improvs who had ‘ear’ enough to notice that I put off calling Chris for a couple of weeks too long. You can always tell when my piano’s a little sour—I stop posting any classical music. I figure my playing is atrocious enough without the pitch being off.

Here’s a little something from yesterday—before Chris came to tune, unfortunately, but here it is anyway…

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