Monday, 9 April 2007

Marlborough MS Society

15 Mar Blenheim 6pm
Up late and missed breakfast at 0930 just beginning to realise that Kiwis get up early. Lunch with the Marlborough MS Crowd and a quick rehearsal before the gig.

This recital is a special event for two reasons - first the wine !! and secondly there is a special Steinway in the Brancott Winery visitors centre. This instrument is one that Rachmaninoff played. I prepared a special treat with the early romantic works 1891-06 of the young Sergei .

The instrument is the property Marlborough City and many persons have helped me to arrange the events. At Montana, Kathy Hughes Manager of the Brancott Visitors centre gave the venue free for the MS society.

Wine was terrific bought 2 boxes to be shipped to Paul’s kids in UK .

The piano – is an enigma – there is no double strike, three pedals and art neuveau legs and a number of 584 – our first reaction was it’s a forgery and a legend – then Paul got on his back underneath – and it appears it is a very early piano being all hand tool finished underneath with 584 stamped into the frame.

Maybe the pedals and lyre were replaced . The sound is lovely and the sound board and frame are in perfect condition and it bears ther signature of Dame Myra Hess.

–I have to find out more – it can easily be the Queens Hall piano that broke Rachmaninoff’s enforced performance silence from 1897-1898

Being neither fish nor fowl – the instrument requires a patient and coaxing approach – having defeated a number of previous keyboards masters!

Away too quickly - I fly off early for TV interview in Wellington at 6am

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