As a player who has been brought up on pianos from the age of 9, I have a preference for real pianos, especially grand pianos. Our first family piano was an 1896 German THURMER upright piano with an overdamper action. It was bought for my mother Helena, in the 1930’s and is still in our family’s possession residing in my sister’s home, and remarkably, it still plays quite well. Both my parents played a little, Mum strictly by ear, and Dad only by having music in front of him – he was also very good at playing the organ in our local church, and I have inherited both the ear playing and reading skills, plus a good memory for hundreds or possibly thousands of tunes.
Hello to my First Grand Piano
When I moved away from home in the country to live in Melbourne, Victoria, I shared a house with my teacher who owned an Australian made Werthiem Concert Grand Piano which measured over nine feet [ almost three metres ] in length with a majestic sound of awe inspiring power. I was able to buy it from my teacher who was heading overseas and do my practice on this monster of an instrument every day, and ever since there has been a total addiction on my part to have a grand in the family. Circumstances changed after 3 years and, very sadly I had to sell it – moving such an instrument from rented premises to rented premises is a logistical nightmare and very expensive, so an upright piano was the answer.
Hello to my First Upright
Staying with a quality Australian brand my next one was a Beale which had been a pianola, but had all the player mechanism removed thus making it a normal piano. Beales were revered for their durability, excellent actions and superb tone, and although it wasn’t the same quality of sound as the Werthiem it certainly was a great and more portable instrument. It was sold when I moved interstate and after settling in to my new home, another Beale upright joined the family. After a year my gypsy spirit said I should return to the original home of Melbourne, and this Beale number two was sold. Next was a Lipp upright of German origin which I kept for several years and was sold when I moved to Singapore.
My C3 Love Affair Begins……….
Life was never the same after that as I was asked by the hotel management to go to the local Yamaha warehouse and choose any model of Grand Piano as long as it was white [ to suit the interior decorators taste ] The model I chose was a white Yamaha C3 which was a very nice instrument but not as beautiful as a better playing black C3 next to it – the decorator won the argument but I started my lifelong love affair with black C3’s. The letter “C” refers to the Conservatory Model which has a superior grade of materials and finish to the “G” models which play very well, but not to the “C” series excellent standard. The C3 is just over six feet in length and is about as big as most homes can comfortably accommodate. On my return to Australia, you guessed it, another Beale was bought, then sold as we had the chance to get an delightful August Forster upright which is still in the family. Following this there was a bit more of the gypsy life when I went flying seaplanes and didn’t play for two years except for ” Happy Birthday ” occasionally on an electric piano, and a few months after settling on the Gold Coast and deciding to combine flying and piano playing, we found an auction advertisement which simply said Black Grand Piano – was it worth a look ? Only rarely do general auctions have good pianos, but it was worth a look, perhaps ! You guessed it – a dusty black grand was up for auction.When I lifted the lid I was totally agog ! A Yamaha C3 ! It was a little older than the one in Singapore, but was just as good to play or even better, so we decided to bid for it. YES !!! We got it ! My love affair Black Yamaha C3 Grand has lived with us for twentyone glorious years and is still loved and played regularly.