... T-minus 4 days and counting for the recital. Piano Teacher (PT) suggested, nay, demanded that I find a way, some time, to get on the recital piano, and tinker with it a bit. She warned me it had a light touch, and, as a new piano (well, 5 years new, give or take), it had a very different sound from her old Emerson baby grand. So after church yesterday, after everyone had cleared out, and while Sue and the youngin's were having a coffee and cookie break, I took a moment to introduce myself to the piano.
First impression: meh. I don't know what I expected, but I expected more.
To begin with, overall, I don't find it THAT different from PT's Emerson. (Maybe this speaks well of THAT instrument, come to think of it.) What I mean is, I found the keys sort of spongy, and a little uneven, especially on the left hand. I expected that the keys would have a firm bottom, but it was more a matter of a gradual, soft landing at the end of their travel.
Furthermore, though I felt like I was hammering away on the keys, I couldn't generate nearly enough sound to fill the sanctuary. (For sizing purposes, the sanctuary is roughly the size of a basketball court. Which, not surprisingly, it is, complete with a carpeted floor and lines marking out the court.) I'm tempted to say, "This took a little getting used to," but that would infer I did, indeed, get used to it. I did not. In fact, my first time through, it seemed to me the left hand was totally dominating the right, so I paid a little closer attention to the relative dynamics between the two hands when I went through the piece a second time. I still didn't like it, and by this time, the family had consumed their cookies, returned the sanctuary (bringing NO COOKIES for me... hmph), and were listening to what I was doing. A minute or two later, in came our church's worship / music director, and by this point, I was ready to give Jillian a chance to try it out. (Not really... I wanted to keep playing, but I did not want to experiment in front of an audience, and I was a little concerned about the kids running around on a stage of expensive instruments and electronic gadgetry.)
So the good news: I'm not scraping around today for an extra $30k in sofa change, hoping to go out and by one of these things.
The bad news: I'm not totally comfortable with the piano, 4 days shy of recital. More importantly, I am concerned that what I didn't like about it (spongy, uneven feel) is a feature, rather than a bug. Have I become so used to the lightness and relative perfection of the graduated touch of my Ap-200, that when I sit down at a (from what I understand) perfectly fine acoustic instrument, I can't make the transition? Are the things that I dislike on the Kawai (and PT's Emerson) part and parcel of all acoustic instruments, and good piano players learn to use those characteristics to produce the exact sounds they want?
I suspect the answer to these questions is, "Yes, suck it up, and get used to it."
- Aw2pp, who is still awaiting the followup to Dexy's Midnight Runners 'Come on Eileen'...