UPDATE MAY 2, 2017
MOZART & RACHMANINOFF PUT MY NEWLY-TUNED STEINWAY THROUGH ITS PACES
I could not be happier with the sound of my Steinway concert grand, now that it has been tuned for the first time in Arizona by the best local tuner, according to the Steinway dealer. It actually sounds much better than in Hawaii. And it is definitely richer than the sound of Steinway’s largest concert grand – Model D – which I have played both here and in Hawaii.
Tony, the piano tech agreed who did the tuning, agreed. He is also an excellent pianist. So he knows the instrument both as an engineer and artist – from the left and the right brain.
“It’s the dry air,” both Tony and I agreed. But that also poses new challenges. We will need to try to increase the humidity inside the house to prevent the wood from shrinking too much. And the piano will have to be tuned a couple of more times before the end of year before it gets fully acclimated to the desert.
After Tony had left, I sat down to put my Steinway through its paces. I did not plan the pieces I ended up planning. I just played. And Mozart and Rachmaninoff took over and did the rest. So now you can judge the quality of its sound for yourself.
MOZART & RACHMANINOFF PUT MY NEWLY-TUNED STEINWAY THROUGH ITS PACES – recorded by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic on May 1, 2017
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UPDATE MAY 3, 2017
BEETHOVEN’S MOONLIGHT SONATA RETURNS TO THE DESERT
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It’s interesting how life evolves in cycles,. Like a spiral staircase to heaven. With some detours here and there are we generate karma that blocks our upward thrust.
This evening, I was compelled to record Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on my Steinway, newly reunited with me here in the Arizona desert.
I don’t know exactly. I have recorded this piece of music many times before, including some rather unorthodox orchestrations. Such as with the Tibetan bowls and the wind and the bird calls in Maui (on Feb 24m 2011, for example. Which connected the East and the West – http://altzar.org/Music/Concert34_Beethoven_TibetanBowls.html).
With tonight’s recording, however, I think it was going back to my roots. Or at least my roots here in the Arizona desert.
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UPDATE MAY 13, 2017
A comment that made my day
MUSIC FOR THE HEART AND SOUL FINDS ITS TARGET ON I-95
My Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” recording helps break up monotony of a friend’s long drive from PA to FL
A friend: “I’m driving down 95 from Pennsylvania to Florida and I got you plugged right into the truck stereo with eight speakers and it sounds beautiful.”
WHY DOES ONE MAKE MUSIC?
When someone asked me a while ago why I play and make music, my answer was the same as that Sir Edmund Hillary gave a reporter who asked him why he felt he had to climb Mount Everest (the highest mountain in the world).
“Because it’s there,” Sir Hillary replied, the first man to climb to the “roof of the world.”
“Because it’s there,” I also replied to my friend who inquired about my music. It’s there, somewhere in my heart or soul or brain — or all three. Or in my ethereal (luminous) body. I know not exactly where. I just know it’s there, inside of me.
What I do know is that it is my way of communicating with the spirit realm from whence my inspirations arrive – both in dreamtime and daytime. And with the old masters whom I have either known in my earlier incarnations (Mozart, for example), or had actually been one of (Liszt).
“But why do you feel you have to record and share your music?” my friend persisted.
“Aha,” I thought. “What a great question.”
It made me do some soul-searching.
“Because my mission in this lifetime replied as in the past where I was a musician or artist,”I replied, “is to touch other people’s hearts with my music and enlighten their souls.”
Well, that’s what happened today. And my heart was filled with joy as a result.
COMMENT OF THE DAY
Michael Kretmar, a Truth in Media group member, wrote to me this morning:
“Honestly I looked at what you posted but it had no actual videos to watch this the names of songs then I look some of them up and none of them would show up.”
To which I replied: Songs? For my music, you need to visit my https://djurdjevic.wordpress.com/ website or my FB page https://www.facebook.com/BobAltzar or my Youtube site: https://www.youtube.com/user/yinyangbob/
To which Michael replied:
“Oh shit, you ain’t good at playing, you’re excellent. who knew? that’s amazing stuff.”
Michael Kretmar: “Hey thanks for turning me on to that I got it plugged in and cranked up right now as I speak.”
Bob Altzar Djurdjevicc: “Thank you, Michael. And thank you for your question. Because I discovered a missing video at my altzar website. So I have now corrected that error. Here it is… https://youtu.be/RWZdpGwAjDs.”
Michael Kretmar: “And that is really you just you making those heavenly sounds on the Beethoven piece. I’m listening to now if you had a blast girl singing along, with no words, just harmonizing along, I would fall out completely.
“Some people just regurgitate what they hear without feeling it I see that ain’t you. I’m driving down 95 from Pennsylvania to Florida and I got you plugged right into the truck stereo with eight speakers and it sounds beautiful.”
So that’s why I record and share my music. And in return, get to have my heart filled with joy when I see comments like this.
Screw the applause in concert halls. THIS is what music is all about. It’s about connecting the heart and the soul – mine, as well as other people’s.
Everywhere. Even on southbound I-95.
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RETURN TO MY SOUND OF MUSIC (2005)
In December 2007, however, had the innards of my antique piano completely replaced. It cost more than I had paid for for the whole piano originally. But I figured, if I am going to play again, I had better do it on an instrument that at least sounds relatively good.
That was the start of my musical renaissance. When I got my restored piano back, circa early Feb 2008, I started to play again. This is what it sounded like in Apr 2008, for example, when I recorded the “Autumn Leaves:”
https://youtu.be/NRxtmQoOqBY [music video]
Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata was the first “serious” piece of classical music I learned to play. And as easy as it now seems, I struggled with it.
I remember flying from Phoenix to New York in Feb 2008, for example, for one of my frequent business meetings in the Shitty. I was seated in first class next to a man who was flying to Kiev, Ukraine, for a premiere of his new composition. He was going to conduct there the Kiev Symphony orchestra.
I confided in him about my difficulties in playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. He tried to comfort me that it’s really not that hard. He must have had a good laugh inwardly.
Now in hindsight, when I think about that conversation, I have to chuckle. Because the Moonlight Sonata is probably the simplest and the easiest pice of music I have recorded since back then. A piece of cake compare to some other Mozart, Rachmaninoff or Schubert pieces. And yet it is still also one of the most beautiful.
That antique piano was the one I had eventually shipped to Maui, and later traded it in for my Steinway (in 2010), along with my Mercedes “rocket ship” – the SL 600. Not literally. I used the money I got for my Mercedes to buy the Steinway.
And with that as a preamble, here is now…
BEETHOVEN’S MOONLIGHT SONATA RETURNS TO THE DESERT – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – May 3, 2017
APRIL 24, 2017
FIRST STEINWAY SOUNDS AT OUR SCOTTSDALE HOME: MOZART’S “RONDO ALLA TURCA”
This morning, after traveling more than 3,000 miles across the Pacific and overland from California, my Steinway concert grand piano arrived at its final destination – our Scottsdale home.
The first music I played on it was Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca” (Turkish March). Elizabeth was there to record this short excerpt – just so you can hear its sound in addition to seeing what it looks like.
Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca” excerpt on my Steinway in Arizona – Apr 26, 2017 – a video clip by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – filmed by Elizabeth – [VIDEO CLIP, 42 secs]
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The piano is a bit out of tune, but it is still a superior sound to any other instrument I have played, including the bigger and more expensive Steinway Model D’s. On Monday, I am having it tuned by a Steinway piano tuner. And then it will be perfect in its pitch as well the richness of the sound.
YEAH! Welcome to the desert, you “jungle kid.” 🙂 Great to have you back.
Here are some still shots Elizabeth also took this morning:
(For those of you who are new to this Steinway adventure, I have had it shipped from Hawaii to Arizona – see the story below)
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APRIL 24, 2017
REUNITED: MY STEINWAY CONCERT GRAND PIANO ARRIVES AT ITS NEW DESERT HOME
‘My Steinway concert grand and I are reunited after a 5-month separation. And it FEELS GREAT! Yeah!
When I decided to put my Maui property, the Rainbow Shower, back on the market in early December 2016, I had shipped my grand piano to the Steinway dealer in Honolulu on consignment. We were both hoping for a quick and mutually profitable sale.
When that did not happen by the end of March, I invoked the Plan B: Have my piano shipped to Arizona.
Shipping a Steinway grand piano is complicated affair even for a local move. But doing it across the Pacific ocean for 3,000 miles is an experience onto itself. In the process of doing, I learned so much that I feel I can now qualify for a piano dealer. 🙂
Anyway, my grand piano arrived at the Scottsdale Steinway dealer’s warehouse last week while Elizabeth and I were in New York. Today, the dealer and his crew of 3 uncrated it and reassembled it.
They were amazingly efficient. In less than an hour, I was sitting at my Steinway playing Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca” (Turkish March). It’s my favorite piece to run a piano through its paces.
When Kevin, the dealer heard it, he asked me to play the same piece on his Model D – the biggest concert grand Steinway makes. Which was conveniently sitting right next to mine.
After I did it about four times, moving from one piano to the other, we both concluded that my piano had a better,, brighter sound. Yet the Model D is a more expensive instrument.
So now that my Steinway is out of the box, literally, they will deliver it to, and reassemble it at, my Scottsdale home on Wednesday. Then we will be finally and irrevocably reunited.