The Ugly Duckling
Once upon a time, there was a little girl of about twelve, maybe thirteen years old, and she really liked playing the piano. So much, that her parents (and grandmother) graciously decided that it might be a good idea to find a replacement for the lovely little Yamaha upright she was always playing on.
So off they went to the piano store. Since the girl was very little, it was agreed that she only needed a little grand piano. Besides, anything bigger would've been too loud for the living room anyway. Since the little girl had neighbours, it was also agreed that it might be clever to install a silent system on the new piano, if only to make sure there wouldn't be any more tomatoes flying around than appropriate.
And so the grand piano - a beautiful Hoffmann - was delivered, and the girl lived happily for many a year. Sure, the touch was a bit heavy. But that was mostly a good thing, because when one is used to heavy keys, any other piano will be cake in comparison.
At some point, though, more than a decade later, the girl wasn't so little anymore, and started to notice that the poor beautiful Hoffmann had stopped responding to anything other than brute force.
Then the piano tuner came and told the girl that there was many a thing to be fixed inside this particular poor Hoffmann, the result of which would be essentially magic.
So, three years later, the girl hired this particular magic worker, and the result was, well, magic.
No, seriously. I giggle like an eight-year-old when I start practicing, which I tell you is decidedly not normal when working on études. I'm like a kid at Christmas.
The last time I've encountered such a beautifully working mechanism is when I practiced on the brand-spanking new Fazioli up in Eindhoven. The sound is divine. The touch, while still heavy, is essentially responding to the slightest thought. I am also totally not biased because it's my own instrument I'm talking about.
It's really hard to find an aspect of my piano I'm not really really excited about right now. It's almost getting into the danger zone, because I kind of kept practicing today until things started to noticably hurt, which is a great way of injuring yourself.
Bottom line is the following: if ever you have any problem with your piano, hire mr. Charles Rademaker. He's a genius.
Meanwhile, I look forward to giggling like a little lunatic whenever my piano makes really pretty noises.
I expect there'll be at least one attempt to have me committed within the week.