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high-quality-tuning the art of piano-making with Paolo and Luca Fazioli

a person standing in front of a piano: sm-d-doane-pianos.jpg © credit: CBSNews sm-d-doane-pianos.jpg

To the various sounds you'd predict to be produced by a woodland, consider including this: the sound of the piano. The majestic "purple spruce" growing in the Val di Fiemme of Italy's Dolomites has been prized via instrument makers for centuries.

Paolo Fazioli, now with his son Luca, exceptional-tunes the paintings of piano making

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to peer why, "CBS Sunday Morning's" Seth Doane adopted in the snowshoe tracks of an Italian forest ranger and Luca Fazioli, a second-technology piano maker.

"This could be a great tree for a resonating wood," Luca informed Doane.

sure, "resonating." This probably 200-year-old "purple spruce" has decent acoustic houses as a result of, at greater than 7,000 ft, these bushes — dormant in iciness months — grow slowly. That produces a beautiful, even timber grain.  

some of the most suitable planks finish up at the Fazioli's piano manufacturing facility a pair hours away in the town of Sacile. it be the place they make the form of instrument that's turned a celeb into a fan within the case of jazz exceptional Herbie Hancock.

"I even have in my contract that i will be able to handiest play a Fazioli piano," Hancock said. "It simply feels dependent — it looks like a very wealthy sound — and it simply begs you to play it."

"You consider here is whatever that only somebody with, what, 14 Grammy's can hear? Or could the relaxation of us hear?" Doane requested.

"The leisure of you hear it," Hancock pointed out.

Fazioli uses a dozen various kinds of timber in a single piano, including African mahogany for the rim, nevertheless it's that Italian pink spruce used for the "soundboard" it is key to giving this instrument its voice.

"The grain of this tree have to be precisely straight," Luca said. "because the sound run throughout the grain."

In a room of soundboards being "professional," Luca validated how, even at this stage, the sound of the piano emerges.

Paolo, Luca's dad, is the Fazioli who gave this piano its identify. He all started making these devices 40 years in the past.

"The wood is awfully mild — and within the identical time is also very mighty. And for the soundboard — these are the most efficient attribute," Paolo pointed out.

The son of furnishings makers, Paolo was all in favour of the inner-workings of a piano his father got him as a boy which, he says, sounded "awful."

"The piano become not sounding well," Paolo told Doane.

"and also you concept, possibly i can repair it?" Doane asked.

"yes," Paolo mentioned. "I birth his method to study the piano — however also to seem interior."

That curiosity has been developed into a enterprise employing about 50 americans who prove around a hundred and forty handcrafted pianos a 12 months.

each it is easy to take essentially three years to construct and promote for upwards of $200,000. custom models can attain half a million.

In 2003, Paolo Fazioli invited Herbie Hancock to come back to Italy for a tour.

"He had prepared three pianos for me. i attempted the first one, which sounded stunning," Hancock referred to. "Then I performed the subsequent one and it had this huge sound, like — WOW. right? Then I play the third one and it became so candy. That it will simply make you cry. i believed, oh, this will make the entire girls cry. I gotta have this one."

whereas the piano changed into invented by an Italian — Bartolomeo Cristofori — around 1700, it turned into richer countries, including Austria and Germany, that later perfected its construction.

"Why is it so many individuals have not heard of a Fazioli?" Doane asked Hancock.

"Hasn't been around that long," Hancock pointed out. "So there are lots of people that just do not know about Fazioli — he can not make them speedy enough."

it truly is via design. Paolo Fazioli instructed us he desires to be able to look at various each one. After employees left for the day. We discovered the 76-12 months-historic still at work.  

"There is a few piano that is often, they are very effective, one of the vital piano, they are more candy," Paolo spoke of. "and then you have to observe the persona on the piano."

He follows each step with one remarkable exception.

"When they arrive to carry the piano, the movers, I watch in a different route," Paolo referred to. "I don't love to look it."

each and every Fazioli is selected, but what they all have in common is that this type of transparency.

American pianist Rachel Naomi Kudo met Doane at Fazioli's in-apartment concert hall.

"It truly connects with whomever wants to play it," Kudo mentioned.

"it's an inanimate object," Doane spoke back.

"yes, however I trust every piano is alive," Kudo mentioned. "And it's during the performer that it becomes alive for the viewers."

The Juilliard-expert pianist from Chicago confirmed what this piano can do.

"a typical piano, for instance probably the range is like this, i would say Fazioli — every Fazioli — the capacity for expressive range can be like this," Kudo said while playing. "it be surprising."

Years after taking part in their pianos, Kudo met and married Luca Fazioli.

"You feel in love with Fazioli, the piano, before you fell in love with Fazioli, the person," Doane noted.

"Of path, I did not even know that there became a person," Kudo spoke of.

It provides a further dimension to the love affair right here this is headquartered round this instrument. And it has roots back in that Alpine forest the place centuries in the past, Luthier Antonio Stradivari got the pink spruce for his violins.

This particular woodland has impressed generations of musicians and instrument-makers who, in flip, encourage the relaxation of us.

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