Central Valley, Haddorff piano, Hans Oviedo, piano blog, piano blogging, piano movers, piano moving, piano sales, Valley Music Center

“Haddy” Haddorff is given a new home: The back story

My beloved singing nightingale that came into my life in May, 2011, has found a new, permanent nest.

About 4 years ago I stumbled upon “Haddy” while browsing a Fresno, California Craig’s Listing (by owner, used piano sales) It wasn’t that I needed another piano to join a growing family of Steinways but I was curious about an eye-catching console that had the exotic name, Haddorff. And since it resided around the corner, I simply arranged to see/play it just to purge myself of a growing obsession.

My Haddorff 1951 console, gorgeous inside and out

ESP or well-developed intuition bore out. I was led to a beautifully voiced and regulated piano that commanded my undivided attention. Gliding over its keys, blissfully enjoying its enviable resonance, I experienced a piano that begged to join my lovely brood of keyboard instruments. And though I possessed a modest living space, there was yet room for one more addition, especially since it had the look and feel of a piano perfectly crafted for younger students.

$700 dollars down, and this heaven-sent piano was mine.

With a preliminary tuning and inspection at its point of origin, the best laid plans were made for its relocation.

The mover, Ginaddy, who owned a piano store that had sadly gone belly up, accomplished the most incredible solo move I’d ever witnessed…on a dolly, with a breathtaking set of wheelies, he convened a rollicking journey IN THE STREET as cars stopped, and passersby gazed at his awesome escapade.

Once over the last bump before settling in, Haddy spent the next few years with me in Fresno, and the children flocked to her, avoiding the big Steinway grand, and sister upright. They gravitated to “Haddy” only, hardlly budging on the bench while Aiden cat snugly bonded to them through scorching Valley temps.

For me, Haddy was a great springboard for imparting an analysis of Bach Invention 1 in C Major– Its voice rang out at just the right volume and timbre.

With a sterling C.V. and growing reputation, Haddy, was surely destined to become a fixture in my Fresno repository of keyboards, though in time, my eventual relocation to Berkeley, CA, came with a necessary sizing down of pianos. In fact, my new digs in the East Bay could barely accommodate a Steinway upright and grand, let alone a Yamaha digital console. So where was Haddy to be put amidst a crush of pianos?

Unfortunately, Haddy had to find a new home, and I knew it must be with an owner who’d cradle and well-maintain her forever!

Within weeks of painstaking inquiries, I found the perfect partner for Haddy. She was Karen, a piano teacher colleague whom I had known over years through our local MTAC, and because needed a second piano in her Clovis home studio, the arrangement worked.

That said, Haddy enjoyed more than two years in the Central Valley, until an email arrived from its caretaker mentioning a dramatic change in circumstances that foreshadowed Haddy’s imminent orphanhood.

Could I take Haddy back and squeeze her into a corner? My pea-pod size apartment was becoming hazardous to walk through. I had already tripped on a sea of entangled wires and cables, careening into the wall, incurring a golf-size hematoma. And my grand pianos had no easy access, so I found myself crawling under them to get to the kitchen. For sure, Haddy would not have a secure and safe presence in my household.

In the nick of time, I thought of a former El Cerrito-based adult student, (Irma) who had given up piano lessons, but still had a hankering to play at her leisure. And at the time she quit, I had taken back my Baldwin Hamilton grand that I had loaned her.

Perhaps it was now time to fill the void with my singing nightingale piano if she acquiesced. (and she did!)

Over 24 testy hours, I located Hans Oviedo, whom I had known from my years in Fresno, and together we mobilized Haddy’s relocation the East Bay.

Oviedo, who earned himself a sterling reputation building up the local piano store, Valley Music Center, owned a tenacity I could admire, and now having the Steinway dealership in agriculture’s heartland, he had opened a window to the Bay area in the retail and moving services arena.

Quickly, I tapped into his allied moving services wrapping up the saga of Haddy’s wandering fate–securing her desired adoption.

Today Haddy, the singing nightingale, is nesting in her new El Cerrito home after a safe and snug journey.

Thank you Hans, Karen, and Irma for the collective effort!

***

P.S. Miraculously, my pod is becoming a bit less treacherous under foot, with a few strategic keyboard shuffles. The space Haddy might have inhabited is now freed up for safe and easy access to the kitchen and bedroom.

piano room, spacier

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Pianos, Old Age, and Cosmetic Imperfection

I wish I could order an instant make-over for gorgeous-sounding pianos that suffer rejection because of imperfect exteriors. By example, one of my students who’d grown attached to her respectable-looking, 70′s era, walnut console piano, was devastated when her family whisked it away during a move to a bigger house. Apparently, the instrument’s wood grain clashed with the decor of a newly furnished living room.

In another “case,” a prospective piano buyer declined a resonant 1980 Wurlitzer spinet because it had a scratch or two, only noticed upon ultra-scrutinized, up-close inspection.

Yet, the beginning 6-year-old student for whom it was intended, would have ignored the piano’s dings, compared to its pleasurable ping.

***

My first real piano, a Sohmer upright in glossy black, wasn’t much of a looker, but it played to the heavens and sang like an angel. What more could I want.

After Oberlin graduation, a Steinway M, 1917, bestowed as a gift by my father, had its share of nicks, glossed over with glop an East Bronx shop owner had in his apron pocket. Decades later, its many moves to performance venues and rebuilding shops, incurred more dings, while my love for its golden sound intensified over time.


***

Pianos absorb the prevailing culture’s obsession with eternal youth and cosmetic perfection. Not surprisingly, quite a few with great soundboards and strings are put on the Goodwill Industry truck as the last stop before the scrap heap.

Connell York, age-defying piano tuner, ivory-key scavenger, and hammer-assembly collector, owes his treasure trove of piano-associated skeletal remains to the premature retirement of towering old uprights. These “antiques” are lined up on Craig’s List as either “free” for the taking, or priced not to sell. As ornate as some appear, their age and size make them piana non grata.

As piano stores drop away like flies and digital entertainment centers appeal to buyers of all ages, acoustic pianos with or without cosmetic eyesores are being put out to pasture. What was once considered space-saving and attractive about spinet and console pianos, is now passe.

Pressing buttons that ignite a shower of big sounds whooshing around the living room beside the streamlined I mac, iPhone, and super big screen plasma TV, are a sign of the times. “Old” technology is not “in.” Even a space-age looking Roland will be replaced by something more spiffy, sexy, and up-to-date.

But back to acoustic pianos that have aged out and lost their family heirloom status. My 1951 Haddorff console was one of those passed down through three generations and suddenly sent on its way. While I benefited from the owner’s decision to cut the umbilical CHORD, it was sad to see this beauty leaving its home without a tear of regret.

Contrast this emotionless separation to circumstances surrounding the sale of an old nameless player piano housed in the Central Valley. A middle-aged owner bound for Las Vegas shed tears upon her blemished piano’s departure, admitting that a “part of her arm” was taken during the heart-wrenching move.

Last year, I spoke to the music-teacher owner of a vintage Gulbransen Grand who reluctantly placed it for sale on Craig’s List. While she sang its praises, describing a piano of great tonal beauty, she expressed a desire to “clean house” in the aftermath of her spouse’s death, and start a new life without lingering memories of the past. The poor piano, loaded with extra-musical baggage carried a burden it least needed. As it was, an older grand with a $3000 price tag in a depressed economy would probably not sell. Like other pianos of this vintage, it would join the roster of fine pianos appealing to the few and far between.

(A recent sale of a 1962 Sohmer baby grand, priced down to $1500, was driven by its beautiful art case, Queen Anne scrolled legs, and florid rack. A hastily produced video about this piano surely helped! But bottom line, its drop dead good looks sealed the deal!)

At DC Pianos in Berkeley, Dennis Croda has an interesting crop of vintage pianos that are appealing in appearance and sound. An Acrosonic console from the 60’s was purchased by a student of mine over there that shimmered and resonated to the exponential. Its gorgeous tone, plus embellished case, gave it more than an edge over brand pianos of comparable size.

(I’ve always regarded Baldwin Acrosonics as the “Cadillacs” of console and spinet-variety pianos. They’re at the top of my list in the used instrument category because of their wide, innovative sound space)

****

Three-thousand miles away in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, Pat Frederick resurrects very old pianos of historical importance that have life breathed into them through regularly scheduled performances. These instruments, replete with dings, still sing in a voice that preserves what composers of the past intended.

(Frederick Collection of Pianos, http://www.frederickcollection.org/)

In this spirit, pianos that are heading for a premature demise around the country might be revitalized in some form or another. Youngsters starting lessons should have the chance to play a piano that doesn’t sound electronic and devoid of personality. With decent piano maintenance, instead of benign neglect these instruments’ lives can be extended without the dire, end of the line, need for life support.

Even cosmetically unappealing Oldsters should have a place to shine in the musical universe.

In tempo with the times, New York City hosts street pianos decorated in graffiti as part of “Sing for Hope.”

Watch concert pianist, Jeffrey Biegel give a flawless performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” on a twangy console in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Needless to say, the composer would have appreciated this Tin Pan Alley celebration.

***
My blog with a tie-in.. but more attuned to resurrection at its conclusion
https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/pianos-old-age-and-cosmetic-imperfection-2/

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More and more “piano” students are going Digital. Is it a good idea?

It’s sad but true that a glut of former piano buyers who would have considered piano lessons for their children at age 7 or so, have made the choice to invest in a DIGITAL. (known as a DP)

Of further testimony to the culture’s relatively new fixation on electronic piano technology, are the 35,000 plus You Tube hits my DP overview has amassed, compared to a mainstream “acoustic” offering that snagged the spotlight because of my bench potato CAT.

The CAT and Chopin

Considering the above, which musical purveyance is more pleasing?

I’d say hands down that Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” (below) would be better rendered on an acoustic than a Roland, etc. based on tone dimension and timbre alone. The “feel” of a real piano, also cannot be compared to any so-called mimicked “hammer-weighted” electronic keyboard, though many buyers have tried to trick their hands, not to mention EARS into believing so.

“Fur Elise” rendered on a Steinway (Compare to Roland/Yamaha samples)

So having voiced my bias against digitals, why would I have invested hours of time scoping them out at Guitar Center and Best Buy? No less, bringing a video camera along for the ride? (thanks to Guitar Center’s CEO, Jeremy Cole for the written permission, and to Matthew Wheeler at BB)

Well, reality is, that the purchasing trend is in this direction, and if I tabulated all the inquiries fielded for an opinion on which one to buy, it would stagger the reader’s imagination.

It’s a fact that shoppers are flocking to acquire DPs at every opportunity and they haven’t stopped for a moment to think of what they are sacrificing in this fever-driven pursuit.

***

Elaine Comparone, a well-known New York City-based concert performer injected a bit of social commentary about the wave of DP buying. It was after I had bemoaned the number of parents contacting me for piano lessons who had electronic keyboards. Some of their prize musical possessions amounted to 61, bell and whistle sounds, with a few “belches” thrown in for special effect.

Elaine’s thoughts were riveting:

“I think a lot of this is economic along with the pervasive effect of pop culture. Which of these kids, or parents for that matter, have ever seen or heard a real instrument on TV or live? Real music study has become a pastime for the wealthy elites where years ago it was a sine qua non of immigrant working class culture. But it behooves us to hang in there and pass along genuine musical values, which can exist in myriad musical forms. Blah blah…..”

I added to the mix that “real” pianos sold at dealerships were beyond the financial means of the average instrument buyer, though, ironically, struggling consumers might in a flash, slap down a credit card for a $4100 Roland equipped with EVERYTHING, like a snazzy new car with all imaginable options.

Try this DP out for size:

One Facebook correspondent owned a 9-foot Steinway grand, but had the luxury to invest in a pricey Digital console that would yield hours of pleasure with its fancy accouterments.

Initially plagued by making a choice between a LX10 Roland at $4,100 and a $2900 Yamaha CLP 440, she was biased toward the Roland based on its “accelerated action and weighted keys from bass to treble unlike the Yamaha.”

It could also simulate the so-called Steinway grand piano sound with a simple finger tap.

Other consumers, of more modest means, might have gone the less expensive route buying a portable or more modestly priced console like the Yamaha Arius going for about $1100 plus tax.

Still, when it came right down to it, teaching piano to a child or adult equipped with a “hammer-weighted” digital wouldn’t be same as working with an acoustic.

I Skyped a few piano lessons to rural Pennsylvania, where a DP flashed up on the screen. In time, after the first virtually transmitted instruction, it was tossed in favor of a twangy Haddorff 1941 console. To call the latter a saloon piano would have been an understatement, though its “feel” and “resonance” appealed to the owner.

I could relate.

The decay rate of any note on this “real” piano was astounding. It reverbed to the heavens despite its shortcomings attached to a poor maintenance history.

By coincidence, I had purchased my treasured Haddorff 1951, advertised on Craig’s List for $700, and it played circles around any digital in the tone and timbre department. (Though I will admit that its tuning needs were frequent, compared to tune-free electronic instruments)

Nonetheless, the above example alone, proves to me, that there are many worthy used pianos waiting to be purchased, and like mine, they may be located around the corner.

I’ve helped any number of students acquire pianos before the digital rage took hold and these purchases included Baldwin Acrosonics and Wurlitzers from the 50s, 60s and 70s era.

Just a decade ago most parents who contacted me for lessons had one of these acoustic pianos in their home. Today, the majority own a Casio, Yamaha, or a lesser known DP, and they have no idea that embarking upon instruction might require the real deal as far as some piano instructors are concerned. (myself included, though I’ve made adjustments for students who have little or no space for even a console or spinet piano)

***

But for piano study to be meaningful, it entails properly teaching the singing tone, touch, phrasing, nuance, “feel” which means a student needs to practice on a functional acoustic piano– one without sticking notes, missing notes or blanks, etc. In addition, the instrument needs to have tuning viability. (an able technician can examine the tuning pins, hammers, strings, etc. before a particular piano is acquired)

Many DP owners boast the critical lack of need and cost associated with tuning or regulation. (not to mention having climate-free concerns ) While these may be definite advantages, the trade-off in other areas of assessment is, in my opinion, not worth it. And I’m not talking about the hours of recreation and pleasure afforded by DPs. That’s FUN and great. My concern surrounds TEACHING and passing on a traditional legacy that has been time-honored for generations. (and that goes for mentoring “beginners.” There’s no reason for the training-wheels equivalent of a digital as predecessor to a real piano) One piano teacher’s website, for example, shows a row of 3-year olds wearing over-sized ear phones, hooked up to computer screens and attached digitals. She claims they are Mozarts in-the-making.

I’ve heard that song sung so often, that it’s become a dissonant reminder of the status quo.

But to inject some humor into this posting,

Evgeni Bozhanov, a distinguished Bulgarian pianist who competed in the last Cliburn International Piano Competition, was quoted as being unhappy with the complimentary Steinway grand donated to his host family in Fort Worth Texas as he prepared for his first-round musical appearance.

Pictured at a Yamaha Clavinova practicing a warhorse Rachmaninoff piano concerto, he was the poster boy for musical sobriety, shrugging off the arrogance of effete snob pianists who might discredit him. (Would that happen to be me?)

So on this disturbingly confusing note, I’ll conclude by sharing my voiced fears about the survival of the acoustic piano culture as channeled in a previous blog.

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/is-the-piano-a-dying-breed/

RELATED:

My “new” old 1929 Baldwin grand–a tribute to a seasoned used piano. For me, no digital can come close to it.

***
Footnote to item about Evgeni Bozhanov, from Wilson Pruitt who blogged about the last Van Cliburn Piano Competition

http://varropieces.blogspot.com/2009/06/bozhanov.html

“Things we know about Bozhanov: … He doesn’t like Steinways, especially American-made Steinways, and definitely not the brand-new New York grand that was delivered to his host family’s house so he could practice. Instead, his host family bought a Yamaha Clavinova electronic piano for him to use for practice (while in Texas) … He travels with his own piano bench.” (which looks like one of those DP jobs)

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Only the singing nightingale could be true to Chopin’s music

Haddorff came through with her beautiful voice today. Her older brother, Steinway M on the far side of the room, had some communication problems while upright Steinway, the middle child of the trio, couldn’t begin to rival Haddy’s tone and temperament.

So as it happened, One special piano sang her heart out:

Haddy’s bio:

Made in 1951; kept by musicians until passed on to the next generation of non-musicians. Lived in the neighborhood, a mere walk away.

Cost $700, and was wheeled over to my home by a Russian fellow whose piano store in Visalia went under. His truck broke down.

He did what amounted to wheelies, or some kind of fancy acrobatics with a dolly. I should have had a camera.

A few bystanders helped nudge Haddy over a few nasty cracks in the sidewalk until she was turned right on Arthur. Then it was a smooth ride until a final bump over the threshold.

She should have been lifted up and carried in like a new bride.

In any case, Haddy’s fixed to stay here for a time, and she’ll sing like a nightingale whenever asked. (despite her imperfect tuning that makes her who she is)

***

But just the same, here’s older brother’s companion Chopin reading. He boasts a bigger bass and tonal proportion.

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Performing a piece–Getting it right (all the notes) OR really getting it right (the phrasing and nuance) VIDEOS

For many pianos students, playing 100% perfect notes, with no clunkers is goal in itself.

They breathe a sigh of relief looking back on a video of a recital, where they managed to “get it right,” counting correct notes from beginning to end. One even managed to play note perfect while intermittently eyeing her family seated in the third row.

But playing rises above myriads of notes permeating a composition.

Videotaping at Piano Lessons

In the piano studio, which is some ways a learning lab, we try to be as objective as possible in our review of playing from week to week, keeping in mind that music is a form of communication from a heartfelt place–It’s a language of phrasing and nuance.

In this frame of reference, note perfect playing without beautiful phrasing, nuance, dynamics, etc. can leave a listener, if not the player, out in the cold, disconnected from music’s warm embrace.

In the creative process, most performing musicians strive to integrate the notes into a beautiful mosaic of well spun phrases, creating a space where inspiration reaches beyond the artist into the audience of listeners.

Embracing a mantra of art for it’s own sake, with a sense of its feeding the soul and spirit with the nourishment it needs, I set out to videotape one of my students reading the Bach Invention 13 in A minor.

Over a period of two weeks time we reviewed a few of her playings and together commented on them.

At the last piano lesson, Claudia recorded the Invention three times, with a gap in between to discuss what we both decided needed improvement

In this way teaching was not dispensed from one individual to another, but became a shared learning experience.

What it basically came down to, was “letting go” of the notes that she had learned well, and instead, thinking big shapes, with relaxed, swinging arm motions.

We talked about the dualism of the Subject with its arpeggiated opener in legato 16ths followed by staccato notes in 8ths. To thread this MOTIF throughout the Invention, wherever it occurred, in one voice (Right Hand) or the other (Left Hand) was a priority. This is the hallmark counterpoint or dialog of voices that Bach cultivates.

I prompted her to shape the arpeggios with a round, rolling motion of her arms, using supple wrists, and to play the staccato notes, press lift, but with definition.

Our collective goal was to “let the piece out of an encapsulated space.”

This last of her playings is on the way and will continue to grow with each passing week. (She is rehearsing behind tempo)

***

Like my students, I’m engaged in the same process, videotaping myself myriads of times, stepping back and assessing what I have to do to rise above the notes to reach a spiritual place in my music-making.

And by example I recorded the same Bach two-part Invention in A minor many times, but left these two to compare. (played on my Haddorff) In one sample, I inadvertently left the mic down on the rug a few yards from the piano which created a timbre that is quite Baroque. The other had the mic up higher, front and center.

I still need to refine my own performances, and watching these on camera gives me a clearer direction to take in the future.

Hopefully, this process of examination by videotaping in the piano studio, will be of help to other teachers and students as they grow and learn together. It’s worth the effort.

Link of interest:

“The book’s substance is rewarding and refreshing. He speaks of a topic we cannot hear enough of: learning. I think everyone will benefit from the call of William Westney’s book: activate your minds, breathe life into music, dare to make and learn from mistakes, and ‘get back in touch with your magical three-year-old self.'”
– David Schwartz,
American Record Guide

Televised Interview with William Westney:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jrlsLGwi0w

Shared ideas about learning Bach Invention 13 in A Minor

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/tutorial-shared-ideas-about-practicing-j-s-bach-invention-13-in-a-minor-bwv-784-videos/

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Tutorial: Shared ideas about practicing J.S. Bach Invention 13 in A minor (BWV 784) Videos

As I observed an 11-year old student work on this Invention at lessons, I came up with some ideas to improve the performance landscape. These included an awareness of the dualism of rolling arpeggiated 16ths and detached 8th notes in the opening. More often than not, the arpeggios can sound too flat if the whole arm and flexible wrist aren’t enlisted. And it’s easy to short shrift the 8ths and not be attentive to their definition and resilience that permeate the Invention. The subject extends from the opening arpeggio through the 8ths and is in a counterpoint relationship of two voices.

I have an older play-through of this composition rendered on my Steinway piano that I’ve added as a second video. I should really catch up, and play on my Haddy Haddorff so it matches up with the piano used in this lesson.

Approach: Separate hands, shape phrases, experience each voice independently before interacting with the other. (Realize the dynamism of each voice as it relates, overlaps, and is engaged in dialog/counterpoint)

Slow, behind tempo practicing is recommended. Be aware of sequences, modulations, resolutions, and the drive to the peak of the piece where the voices/hands converge starting in measure 19.

Play through on the Steinway grand:

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The Cult of Haddy Haddorff, her dual personality, and lovesick owners

“Haddy”

Serious, but exalted in Bach..

Affording a dreamscape of beauty in Debussy

These are her remarkable polarities.

Depending on the weather, and internal environment, she can either raise you up, or let you down. But even with her intermittent note-lazy landscape, she will always sing heart songs.

I happen to be in the exceptional company of two singular owners of Haddorff pianos who form the Cult of Haddy. One of these infatuated lovers of the nightingale voice posts regularly at the Piano World forums as “Cinnamon Bear.” A flamboyant character by all accounts, he has a 1903 Haddorff upright that is personified in his self-produced radio dramas that he calls “Postcards.”

He sent me links to these that evoke the 50’s soap operas with those creaky doors and exotic sound effects. I’ll share Postcard 8 with Bach snippets and a Haddorff Christmas Carol.

But first, Cinnamon Bear (aka Andy Strong) does it up to the hilt in this opener, as he introduces one of his rescued Haddy’s that he claims Ragtime Composer Scott Joplin played and composed for. (The piano was Cinnamon’s for a mere $225!)

In this audio sample, he showcases the old world twangy Haddy, and the history of its Rockford, Illinois based manufacturer. Note the Swedish antecedents.


http://www.box.com/shared/49hgigxc69

And here’s a display of the internal workmanship:

Cinnamon Bear greeted me with this message after my Haddy console, (not a spinet, by the way) was safely nestled in my living room. (It followed a hand pushed street ride to my abode in Northwest Fresno)

“Congratulations on your recent acquisition! Haddorffs are, indeed, lovely, solid, dependable, well-built pianos. It looks like what you have is a spinet rather than a console? Does it have a drop action? Or, does the action rest on top of the keys? (Just curious…) I believe that by 1951, the Haddorff Piano Company was controlled by Kimball, though the pianos were still made to Haddorff specifications at the factory on Ethel Ave in Rockford, IL. Haddorffs have such a rich, full sound because of their unique soundboard design, and because of their large cast-iron plates that are mated to the pin-block in a special way (source: internet research, plus corroborated first-hand experience!… smile ).

“It seems like every Rockford native that I’ve talked to who is over 60 years old has a Haddorff story to tell! I would love to collect some of these stories, and hope that I have time to collect them before that window of opportunity closes.

“Did you happen to follow, or find, any of my series of “Haddorff Postcards” that I made last year? They were all posted in the Pianist Corner Member Recordings sub-forum.

“If not, you can follow the un-folding drama by listening to these links (in order is best– wink ):
Haddorff Postcard [No.1] with “Deep Purple”
Haddorff Postcard No.2 with “I Love Her”
Haddorff Postcard No.3 with “Yes, Sir! That’s My Baby”
Haddorff Postcard No.4 with “Mistress Murphy’s Chowder”
Haddorff Postcard No.5 with “All Alone”
Haddorff – (no postcard) with “He Wipes The Tear From Every Eye” played on the Haddorff
Haddorff Postcard No.6 with “Constantinople”
Haddorff Pictures (no postcard, yet)
Haddorff Postcard No.7 with a couple of Scriabin Preludes
Haddorff Postcard No. 8 with Bach Snippets http://www.box.com/shared/x9m09gddlf
Haddorff Postcard No.9–A Haddorff Christmas Carol http://www.box.com/shared/vkikog9by6

“Best wishes to you and your new find! Let me know how things turn out!

–Andy Strong
Rockford, IL, Home of the Haddorff Piano Co. from 1901-1960

“P.S., I also “brokered” the acquisition of a Haddorff console for a friend of mine whose daughter is going to start lessons soon. It is a relatively un-adorned model from the 20s or 30s era, but still a very handsome piano.”

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The other member of the Haddy Haddorff cult is a new owner who commented at my blog site after I posted my first Haddy tribute.

“Don,” from the West Coast, sang Haddy’s praises:

“My Haddorff Vertichord arrived yesterday afternoon in relatively good tune. It plays great and has that natural reverb or resonance that I was looking for. It looks good too, although the reddish tint of the mahogany has faded except for on the keyboard cover which didn’t get exposed to 70 years of light. I am the 2nd owner. This piano was purchased new in Ohio and taken to Europe for 20 years and then back to California. There is only one key with some slight ivory damage and I will take your advice and have it repaired and tuned and regulated by one of our local local RPT’s. I would send a pic of “Haddy” (yes, I named the piano) from my I phone but I’m not sure how to post it unless I’m sending to an email address.

“BTW, there is a really nice looking Haddorff upright for sale locally on Sacramento Craigslist for $385.00 (!). I have $385, but I have no room for it. There is a great video on you tube of Deep Purple being played on a 1903 Haddorff upright that is exquisitely out of tune with just the “right” amount of sour (does that make sense?).” (He must have been talking about Cinnamon Bear’s rendition that comes straight from one of his Postcards, titled “Deep Purple.”)

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As always, this cult welcomes new members, so if you own a Haddorff, please join us, and share your story.

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