My love affair with a Steinway

Out on my weekly date night with my wife tonight, Elaine reminded me of the only other “true love” I’ve know in my whole life — a “Steinway and Sons Concert Grand”:

During the summer of 1989 I attended “Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College Program”: on scholarship for music study, specifically vocal performance. In the CFA building there is a wonderful space called Kresge Recital Hall, which in 1989 was the resting place of the aforementioned Steinway.

As part of a Recording Studio course I was taking, I had keyed access to the Hall during my time at CMU. Almost every night around 11 I would make my way into the Hall, open the lid of the Steinway, and experience an unsually animate unity with the inanimate instrument.

If you have never played a piano, never really played a piano, it may not be possible to fully understand what it means to have access to such an amazing partner as a Steinway Concert Grand. Regular access. Even as I type now I can imagine the feeling of the keys under my fingers, the full, rich, resonance of the lower tones, the unshrill perfection of the upper tones, and the oozing blend of the midrange tones. The responsiveness of the keys. The absolute power of the lower tones marching through Vaughn Willams’ Vagabond. The rainfall, transparent sunshine, and returning rainfall of Debussy’s First of the Deux Arabesques. The consonant dissonance of Monk’s ‘Round Midnight. The feeling is really quite indescribable.

Perhaps one day, as payment for a consulting gig, someone will send me a Steinway Concert Grand instead of a check. Perhaps Elaine will let me keep it without feeling jealous. Wow. What a memory…