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  • A Very Special Home Concert

    As many of you know, we are very avid classical music fans. We go to many concerts a year and usually we host a concert in our home about once a year for our friends. Typically it is chamber music with musicians from the SF Symphony. This year it was something different and very special. Last Saturday, Jon Nakamatsu played the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto with Chris Salocks playing the piano reduction of the orchestra part. As you may know, Jon won the quadrennial Van Cliburn piano competition in 1997, the only American to do so in the past 38 years. He went on to an international career and a major recording contract with Harmonia Mundi where he has 13 CDs. You may have some of his recordings, including his Rach 3 and Gershwin concerti which were best sellers. Chris Salocks (an audiophile hifi buddy of mine) started accompanying Jon when Jon was nine years old, 42 years ago. He has worked with Jon preparing him for all of his major concerto debuts over the years, including the concerto parts of the Cliburn competition, where Jon played the Rach 3 and the Beethoven 2.

    We have two grands. Jon played our Boesendorfer 225 which my wife picked out at the factory in Vienna in 1985. If you look very carefully in one of the pictures you can see that it has four extra bass notes, a total of 92 keys. The other piano is a Yamaha S400E (the predecessor to the Yamaha CF4 for piano aficionados) which we had built with the disklavier mechanism so we can record on the piano also. We bought it in 1992.

    It was truly amazing to have a top flight classical pianist playing in our home and listening to the awesome dynamic range of our Boesendorfer 225 (7'4") from the thundering chords at the beginning of the piece to quietest pianissimos of the beautiful lyrical passages. I sat about 15 feet from the piano for the first movement and moved back to about 30 feet for the last two movements. Once you have such a listening experience, you know that there is no hifi system that can compare. We had 42 people attend the concert. What a treat.

    Larry
    Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre,Herron VTPH-2A
    Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
    Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
    Electronics-Herron 360Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
    Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
    Other-512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, ArtKelmGround1, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
    Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

  • #2
    Despite the fact that you don't listen to rock, Larry, you are a cool dude in my book. Having a Bosendorfer at home is awesome. (I had one, it was vintage and never stayed in tune, but man, when it was tuned and voiced, it was glorious). Having a concert in your home is very special. There's nothing like hearing that instrument played by a maestro.
    I assume you play?

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice, Larry! For me, attending the symphony and/or hearing live, unamplified music sufficiently informs me home rigs...and recordings...are but a facsimile.
      Speaking of recording...were there any of this performance?
      Vbr,

      Sam

      Comment


      • #4
        Impressive for sure!!!!!
        TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Transfiguration Proteus Cart; Arcam R Phono Preamp; Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer; VTL 6.5 preamp, Pass Labs 150.8 Amp; Piega C711 Loudspeakers; Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls; Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Atmosphere Excite Level 2X AC Cords, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables; Schiitt Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD700 Headphones; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Bill and Sam,

          My wife and I both play. However, she is much, much better than me. She has played all five of the Beethoven Piano Concerti with local orchestras and actually won a prize at one of the early Van Cliburn amateur (not the professional!) competitions in 1999 when it was just for piano concertos. Her prize was that she got to play the first movement of the Beethoven Emperor with the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra.

          We didn't record the performance. Jon is an exclusive Steinway artist and has a long term contract with Harmonia Mundi, so no recordings. It would have been great to record the performance on my Ampex ATR-102 at 15ips 2 track.

          Larry
          Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre,Herron VTPH-2A
          Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
          Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
          Electronics-Herron 360Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
          Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
          Other-512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, ArtKelmGround1, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
          Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

          Comment


          • #6
            Wonderful Larry! Thanks for sharing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
              As many of you know, we are very avid classical music fans. We go to many concerts a year and usually we host a concert in our home about once a year for our friends. Typically it is chamber music with musicians from the SF Symphony. This year it was something different and very special. Last Saturday, Jon Nakamatsu played the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto with Chris Salocks playing the piano reduction of the orchestra part. As you may know, Jon won the quadrennial Van Cliburn piano competition in 1997, the only American to do so in the past 38 years. He went on to an international career and a major recording contract with Harmonia Mundi where he has 13 CDs. You may have some of his recordings, including his Rach 3 and Gershwin concerti which were best sellers. Chris Salocks (an audiophile hifi buddy of mine) started accompanying Jon when Jon was nine years old, 42 years ago. He has worked with Jon preparing him for all of his major concerto debuts over the years, including the concerto parts of the Cliburn competition, where Jon played the Rach 3 and the Beethoven 2.

              We have two grands. Jon played our Boesendorfer 225 which my wife picked out at the factory in Vienna in 1985. If you look very carefully in one of the pictures you can see that it has four extra bass notes, a total of 92 keys. The other piano is a Yamaha S400E (the predecessor to the Yamaha CF4 for piano aficionados) which we had built with the disklavier mechanism so we can record on the piano also. We bought it in 1992.

              It was truly amazing to have a top flight classical pianist playing in our home and listening to the awesome dynamic range of our Boesendorfer 225 (7'4") from the thundering chords at the beginning of the piece to quietest pianissimos of the beautiful lyrical passages. I sat about 15 feet from the piano for the first movement and moved back to about 30 feet for the last two movements. Once you have such a listening experience, you know that there is no hifi system that can compare. We had 42 people attend the concert. What a treat.

              Larry
              That’s just amazing.
              Speakers: Horning Eufrodite Ellipse III on Stillpoints Ultra 5S feet
              Amplifier: Silver Circle Audio 300B Monoblocks with Takatsuki 300B tubes
              Preamp: TW Acustic RPA-100 Line Stage
              Phono Stage: TW Acustic RPS-100
              Turntable - TW Acustic Raven AC w/ Black Knight Anniversary Upgrades
              Tonearm: Kuzma 4-Point 14" with Air Tight Opus-1 Cartridge
              Tonearm: TW 10.5" with Miyajima Zero Mono
              Vinyl Care: Audio Desk Pro Ultrasonic & VPI 16.5 RCM
              CD/SACD: Playback Designs MP-5 to Bricasti M1 DAC
              Tape: Tascam 42B-NB (Refurb by Soren Wittrup)
              Tape Stage: Doshi V.3
              Power Conditioner: (2) Silver Circle Audio TCHAIK 6
              Wire: Custom Furutech PC's & IC's + Inakustik LS-4004 Air Speaker Cables
              Tweaks: Stillpoints Aperture II Panels & Stillpoints Ultra 5S's & SS's sprinkled about - SRA Ohio Class and Symposium Super Plus Platforms

              Comment


              • #8
                Larry-I don't know what I'm more impressed with; the fact that you can arrange to have professional concert level pianists to show up at your house and play your awesome pianos, or the fact that you can seat 40 people in a room to hear them play. I'm sure it was a great experience for all who were lucky enough to attend.
                SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Amazed just reading about it!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Would liked to have been even just a fly on the wall....

                    great story thanks for sharing.
                    SME 10, twin arms, SME IV with Lyra Kleos, SME 309 with Benz Micro Ace Mono.
                    Garrard 401 with Ortofon 12" arm and Ortofon SPU Classic GM MkII
                    Amp, Luxman 507u
                    Speakers, Harbeth SHL5Plus

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Larry,
                      Have you recorded yourself or your spouse? If not, I would indulge myself! Think about it...live-to-two track. All you need are a couple of mics.
                      Vbr,

                      Sam

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks, Sam. We have recorded my wife in her performances of the five Beethoven piano concerti with local orchestras. They were on video from 1997 through 2002. When she won one of the prizes at an early Van Cliburn amateur competition (not the professional competition) which was at the time just for piano concertos, her prize was playing the first movement of the Beethoven Emperor with the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra. Since it was a professional orchestra they didn't allow recording.

                        Our Yamaha is a disklavier, so it can record also for playback on the piano.

                        Larry
                        Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre,Herron VTPH-2A
                        Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
                        Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
                        Electronics-Herron 360Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
                        Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
                        Other-512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, ArtKelmGround1, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
                        Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Recording will add a wonderful dimension to our audio obsession...uh - avocation, Larry.
                          Highly recommended!
                          Vbr,

                          Sam

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