Notation Magazine Issue 001

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the classical music digest

FAZIOLI

November 2021

Telus piano meets architecture

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o N t e s ’ r o t i Ed

iano is something that I treasure the most in my life. I love being able just to get completely lost in the instrument at 2:30 in the morning, playing song after song, completely losing track of time. I love the connection between the player and the instrument, the tonality, the control. I love how all thoughts go away when sitting on the bench, giving way to the music… The piano is simply one of the most sophisticated instruments. Its history and innovation are beyond fascinating. The fast-growing music industry brings the competition between piano makers to the next level. With the rise of innovative, modern piano makers like Fazioli, today, pianists have so many more choices than just Steinway & Sons. However, a piano is such an emotional and subjective instrument. Whether it sounds good or not, it’s decided by you— the performer. —Marcus Ren, EDITOR IN CHIEF @marcustakefive

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Marcus Ren


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Beautiful design meets best-in-class sound music unplugged


Contents Musician in Style

Musician Portfolio

STYLE GUIDE FOR MUSICIANS BY ANTOINE RENAULT 7

DANIIL TRIFONOV, WHO? BY ANNE MIDGETTE 8

Cover Story FAZIOLI TELUS piano meets architecture. BY ENRIQUE GARCIA 9

FAZIOLI’S PAST & TODAY 40 Years of Piano Making and Changing the game. BY THOMAS OLSON 13 Small Talk THE LEGEND OF MARTHA AGERICH Virtuso piano literature interpreted differently in contemporary age. BY VICTOR SALVATORE 15 Deconstructed TCHAIKOVSKY: SYMPHONY NO. 5 IN E MINOR One of the most celebrated symphonic piece by Tchaikovsky. Composition deconstructed. BY THIERRY FISCHER 16


EDITOR IN CHIEF Marcus Ren PUBLISHER Johnathan Nguyen CREATIVE DIRECTOR ARTICLES DIRECTOR DESIGN EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR DEPUTY EDITOR ART ART DIRECTOR LEAD DESIGNER DESIGNER

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IMAGING SPECIALIST

MARK RENOK BEN SHERMAN TED SCHNOZIAK LI WEIWEI JING TIAN FREDDIE GONZALEZ

MARKETING MARKET DIRECTOR MARKET EDITOR PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALIST MARKETING STRATEGY

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RESEARCH RESEARCH CHIEF RESEARCH EDITOR

ENRIQUE GARCIA VICTOR SALVATORE THOMAS OLSON ANTOINE RENAULT SAMANTHA FREEMAN TIM TIMBERS

PUBLISHED BY REVERBERATION MAGAZINE GROUP


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Musician in Style

STYLE GUIDE FOR MUSICIANS

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BY ANTOINE RENAULT

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Daniil Trifo

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end a t io n s


TOP

1 COLOGNE

ACQUA DI PARMA: ‘BLU MEDITERRANEO’ MANDORLO DI SICILIA EAU DE TOILETTE SPRAY $190

6 SWEATER

PAUL SMITH TIPPED CREW-NECK MERINO-WOOL SWEATER $200

4 BLAZER

Z ZEGNA SUMMER BOUCLE NAVY JACKET $1,395

9 SCARF

BURBERRY THE CLASSIC GIANT CHECK CASHMERE SCARF $470

BOTTOM 2 SHOES

ZEGNA XXX BLACK DEERSKIN TRIPLE STICH SNEAKERS $795

3 TROUSER

ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA HIGH PERFORMANCE VIRGIN WOOL TROUSERS $795

ACCESSORIES 5 SUNGLASSES

GUCCI MEN’S HALF-RIM HAVANA ACETATE/METAL SUNGLASSES $405

8 BRACELET

BVLGARI MAN LEATHER BRACELET $630

7 WATCH

ZENITH CHRONOMASTER SPORT $21,300 Musician Portfolio

DANIIL TRIFONOV, WHO? Daniil Trifonov, the pianist who won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow this year, looks very much like a 19th-century romantic poet. He has a lot of straight, soft brown hair in need of a trim; pale, translucent skin; and an arsenal of soulful expressions. When playing, he throws back his head, eyes heavenward, or arches over the keyboard until he looks like a 90-year-old, Dickensian hunchback picking

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notes from the instrument with a greedy, acquisitive glee, as if he were purloining cherries. And sometimes he bangs on the keys until the piano grows strident in protest. In short, Trifonov is the physical embodiment of the stereotype of the Russian pianistic virtuoso. And he does a number of things one might find distracting, or annoying. It really doesn’t matter, though, because, as he showed on Saturday night, playing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, his playing is also freakishly brilliant. That’s not to say it was always easy or even enjoyable to hear. It left me enervated and slightly disturbed. In some fast passages, his fingers produced a sound with a hypnotic, neurotic effect, an irresistible twitchiness that was all his own. Throughout the piece, routine patches or banging (was it a bad piano?) would yield to moments of startling precision that offered unexpected insights. Toward the end of the first movement, he played with such intensity that it seemed as if this moment was the greatest or most powerful thing that one could possibly experience. At that moment, for this 20-year-old pianist, it was.


FAZIOLI Telus 9

November 2021

piano meets architecture

F

BY ENRIQUE GARCIA

azioli revealed its newest custom-made grand piano—Telus, a concert grand piano designed by Gregory Henriquez, architect for TELUS Garden from Henriquez Partners Architects. The stunning Bauhaus-influenced design made this very piano breathtaking. The Telus a unique piece, built exclusively for the Henriquez Partners Architects and, as such, it cannot be replicated. The fact that this is the one and only Telus in the world makes this piano even more interesting. The Fazioli Telus is now located at the lobby of the new “TELUS” headquarters in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Canada. The architect drew inspiration from the design of the new office building itself.

Fazioli Telus Photograph: Fazioli


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One of the most pianos yet... Rather than opting for traditional black, Gregory Henriquez chose a natural wood finish, echoing the dramatic, sculptural glulam beams of the expansive plaza canopy. The legs supporting the piano mimic the distinctive V-shaped concrete structural supports that are an integral part of the tower’s design. And in a nod to the high-tech features of TELUS Garden office, the inside panel of the lid is mirrored, providing viewers with a clear perspective of the piano’s inside. At this point, you must be wondering—how much does this gorgeous custom-made Fazioli cost? The piano itself costs $425,000 CAD, which is $333,198.27 USD. However, this does not include the design cost and shipping cost. So the aggregated total cost is much more expensive than $333,198.27. But really, a lot of you might wondering, what is even Fazioli? How come this not-so-popular piano maker sells its piano even more expensive than Steinway & Sons? Does it even sound good... With the aggresive brainwashing marketing strategy, many pianists were told that Steinway & Sons makes the best pianos in the world. What made Fazioli succesful in today’s piano world? The success of a company which today is not just considered an authentically “Made in Italy” brand, but a brand in the truest sense of the word, is confirmed by the presence of FAZIOLI pianos at the world’s most important institutions for piano training of the highest level. The famous Juilliard School in

November 2021

New York has recently purchased a FAZIOLI concert grand, thus breaking a monopoly that, to that day, had been bonding the institution to another historic brand. FAZIOLI pianos are also present on the prestigious stages of Teatro La Fenice in Venice and the Palace of Arts in Budapest, the Beijing Grand Theatre and the Colburn School, as well as in the rooms of the Paris Conservatory and the Universities of Vienna, Graz and Salzburg… to cite only a few of the hundreds of institutions owning FAZIOLI pianos worldwide.


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Overtaking Steinway & Sons Fazioli Pianos has been producing grand and concert grand pianos since 1981, when the company was founded by the engineer and pianist Paolo Fazioli. Passion for music, great artisanship, continuous technological research and strict material selection: these are the elements required for building a Fazioli piano. FAZIOLI refuses any industrial approach to manufacturing and pursues the objective of uncompromised quality. The factory is located in Sacile, in the Province of Pordenone (60 km Northeast of Venice) in an area boasting an ancient and prestigious tradition in the art of woodworking. The history of the company is characterised by a growing number of successes: from the first international fairs, to the acquisition of important dealers worldwide, from the sales to the world’s most prestigious theatres to the always closer cooperation with renowned artists who exclusively require Fazioli pianos for their concerts. Among them, we can’t avoid mentioning the great pianist Angela Hewitt and living jazz legend Herbie Hancock.

THE THE


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The treble was brightly translucent, the middle register had a viola-like mellowness, the bass enormous. The further down the register he went, the notes began to blossom, then growl, now swelling, like an organ, the sound rising from the great belly of the instrument and pouring into the elegant music room. — Jaques Samuels

PIANO OF FUTURE


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40 YE AR SO

PA FA ST ZIO & T LI’ OD S AY

FP IAN OM AK ING

AN D

CH AN GIN G BY T

TH E

HO MA

GA ME

SO LS

ON

In the meantime, his older brothers took over the family business: a factory producing office furniture, using rare and exotic woods such as teak, mahogany and rosewood. Paolo Fazioli joined the company as well; however, he never gave up on pursuing his dream of building the world’s finest grand pianos. Thus, at the end of the 1970s, the Fazioli Piano Factory was realized within the furniture plant in Sacile, about 40 miles north of Venice.

P

aolo Fazioli was born in Rome in 1944, into a family of furniture makers. In 1969, he graduated from Sapienza University with a degree in mechanical engineering, and received a diploma in piano at the G. Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro in 1971, where he studied under Sergio Cafaro. In the same period, he also earned a master’s degree in music composition at the Academy of St. Cecilia, where he studied with the composer Boris Porena.

A Fazioli F308 in the Milan Showroom In 1979, Fazioli started designing the first prototype for a baby grand piano. He was assisted by a small team consisting of Professor Pietro Righini, an expert in musical acoustics,[citation needed] and Professor Guglielmo Giordano, a wood technologist, as well as Virgilio Fazioli and Lino Tiveron. The prototype of the F183 model was completed in June 1980, followed at the end of the year by the prototypes of two other models, the F156 and the F278. In the latter half of the year, work began on the prototype of the F228 model. In February 1982, all four models were exhibited at the Musikmesse Frankfurt.[citation needed] The production area within the MIM factory was subse-


14 quently expanded to 600 square meters (6,500 sq ft) increasing production to two pianos per month. In 1983, the company began collaborating with Zeltron (Zanussi Institute for Research) with the aim of further improving tonal quality. Initial success followed in 1984 and 1985 when pianists including Aldo Ciccolini, Alfred Brendel, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lazar Berman, Nikita Magaloff, Michel Beroff, Annie Fischer, Louis Lortie and many others began to play on Fazioli pianos. A number of important concert halls purchased the F278 concert grand piano,[citation needed] and the firm started exporting to major European countries and the United States. The demand for an instrument having even greater power and richness of tone, for use in large concert halls, inspired the concept of the F308 model, which is presently the longest piano available on the market. Alongside this project, work began on a new model to complement the existing line, the medium-size F212 with a length of 212 cm. In 1998, the company purchased an area of approximately 14,000 square meters (150,000 sq ft) next to the existing factory, leading to the construction of a new plant capable of producing approximately 150 instruments per year. The new facility includes a laboratory for acoustic research and a concert hall in which new instruments can be tested. In 2001, the new factory edged closer to the target of 100 pianos per year. In 2004, large orders were placed and production finally exceeded 100 units. That same year, the new offices and the Fazioli Concert Hall were completed. Equipped with variable acoustic devices, the hall is ideal for instrument testing, concerts and recordings alike. The Fazioli Concert Hall’s first concert season was inaugurated by Aldo Ciccolini, who played the instrument which is still standing in the hall: the F278 concert grand nicknamed “Merlin the Magician” by Ciccolini. By 2006, Fazioli was producing between 120 and

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130 pianos per year. In a relatively short time, Fazioli has attracted many world class concert pianists, who now request to perform on these illustrious instruments at their concerts and recitals. These artists include Angela Hewitt, Louis Lortie, Nikolai Demidenko and Herbie Hancock. Whilst Fazioli categorically refuse to have an artist list, there are many players emerging from the younger generation who have also stated a preference for these Italian hand built pianos; Daniil Trifonov (who won first prize in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, and 3rd prize in the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw) and Boris Giltburg (winner of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium), are both leading pianists of their generation and Fazioli lovers. It’s interesting to note the effect this is having on music conservatoires and specialist music schools here in the UK, as well as international piano competitions too.


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Small Talk

THE LEGEND OF MARTHA AGERICH Virtuso piano literature interpreted differently in contemporary age

M

BY VICTOR SALVATORE

artha Argerich rose to fame with her interpretations of the virtuoso piano literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her repertoire ranges from Bach through Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy and Ravel, to Bartók. Martha Argerich was born in Buenos Aires. From the age of five, she took piano lessons with Vicenzo Scaramuzza. In 1955 she went to Europe with her family, and received tuition from Friedrich Gulda in Vienna. Following her first prizes in the piano competitions in Bolzano and Geneva in 1957, she embarked on an intensive programme of concerts. Her victory in the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1965 was a decisive step on her path to worldwide recognition. At the age of 17, she accompanied the violinist Joseph Szigeti - two generations older than herself. She has toured Europe, America and Japan with Gidon Kremer and Mischa Maisky and has also recorded much of the repertory for four hands and

for two pianos with the pianists Nelson Freire, Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich, Nicolas Economou and Alexandre Rabinovitch. She appeared with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic at the 1992 New Year’s Eve Concert with Strauss’s Burleske and also at the Salzburg Festival at Easter 1993. May 1998 saw the long-awaited musical “summit meeting” between Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky and Gidon Kremer. In March 2000 Martha Argerich gave her first great solo appearance in almost 20 years in New York’s Carnegie Hall. Martha Argerich has close ties with Deutshe Grammaphon, dating back to 1967. She has recorded prolifically during this period: solo works by Bach, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt and Schumann; concerto recordings of works by Chopin, Liszt, Ravel and Prokofiev with Claudio Abbado, Beethoven with Giuseppe Sinopoli, and Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Leonard Bernstein.


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Deconstructed

TCHAIKOVSKY: SYMPHONY NO. 5 IN E MINOR One of the most celebrated symphonic piece by Tchaikovsky. Composition deconstructed BY THIERRY FISCHER

Instrumentation: 3 flutes, 3rd doubling piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons; 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba; timpani; strings Performance time: 47 minutes Composed between 1840 - 1893 The sheer abundance of melody in Tchaikovsky’s symphonies can eclipse their superb craftsmanship, but it is ever-present, both subtle and spectacular. Like all his symphonies, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth is deeply personal and is characterized by a sense of yearning. It is unified by thematic elements that return in every movement, and we can associate these with Tchaikovsky’s contemplation of personal fate. Even so, we can sense his strug-

gle in expressing the authenticity and urgency of this quest, and, in the fourth movement, resolving it; he worried that the finale might seem overstated or insincere. But the result is a glorious “blowfest.” This is a term your annotator first encountered

high stakes. In Tchaikovsky’s Fifth, any choir in the orchestra can sound heroic. In the criticism class where I learned this term, I was the only student who had not played professionally in an orchestra, and my classmates’ enthusiasm for Tchaikovsky’s

“THOUGH IT IS DANGEROUS TO LOOK FOR COMPOSERS’ LIVES IN THEIR MUSIC, WE CAN SAFELY SAY THAT TCHAIKOVSKY’S SYMPHONIES COME CLOSEST TO BEING A KIND OF MUSICAL DIARY OF AN INCESSANT BROODER.” –THIERRY FISCHER in the late 1980s in Baltimore, while studying and teaching at the Peabody Conservatory. It was more respectful than it sounded, and it was lovingly applied to this symphony, which gives all the players in the pit— not just the brass and woodwind players, who literally blow into their instruments – a chance to play loud, long and hard in passages with

symphonies, and for the Fifth in particular, surprised me. Not that I didn’t like these works, but as a listener I had long observed a certain snobbish resistance to them among the most eminent music critics—a group that everyone in the class aspired to join. His implication: Sure, great melodies are okay if you like that sort of thing.


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