Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 16, 2015

Interesting. Here is old time craftsmanship, preserved within a seemingly industrial context. The unspoken complication is that the resulting product is only affordable to the utmost plutocrat. Still, the array of skillful hands and flavourful voices that contribute to the manufacture of these pianos is kind of inspiring. In fact, Note by Note ends up as an accidental call for liberalized immigration policy. No one’s melting into any pot here!

I’m afraid I find M. Aimard to be quite annoying. It’s quite possible that he would feel the same about me. On the other hand, I find M. Lang Lang to be quite delightful. He’s told that Tom & Jerry story before, but it sure is a good one!

The part where the Steinway clergy ask kids to pick which piano speaks to them is telling. Truth, to those incapable of apprehending it, is folly. And a rip-off. They don’t know enough! Most of what we’re seeing is affectation, anxiety, and the ringing of cash registers. Mind you the Orthodox family that they do follow does provide us with a real emotional frisson. Their kid is actually a pretty average player. So what?! Music, and giving good things to your children. Now there’s a basic, universally held and almost/reasonably accessible American Dream.