Monday, April 2, 2012

Amore a Prima Vista

When the assistant in the piano shop, Hollósy Zongoraterem, had enquired which of us played, we had replied, truthfully, neither one of us.

the piano shop situated on one of Budapest's main shopping thoroughfares 

Asked then if we intended to take lessons, our response had been, equally truthfully, no, to which, for a brief instance, her previously composed features had faltered, perplexity had furrowed her face and, in the way of the Magyars, she had sighed sorrowfully.


residential accommodation seen above the piano shop


The arrival of the piano, a joint birthday gift, happily coincided with the visit of friends from Italy. Oh, giorni felici! Since this was the first occasion of our being together in Budapest, and our knowing them to be in possession of a very fine Bósendorfer [the only make of piano able to withstand the virtuosity of Liszt], we anticipated, rather in the way of a scene from a Henry James' novel, the strains of Bartók, Chopin or Kodály echoing around the Morning Room.


the piano newly installed in the Morning Room alongside the music cabinet


But time, alas, did not permit the hoped for recital. No matter. With Gil and Paul our interests, of architecture, art and antiques, of fine dining, of gardening, of parties, of reading, of travel, and other such goodly things, more than overlap. They are the most delightful and entertaining of house guests. And our sadness at their departure only yesterday morning, whisked from us by taxi to the appropriately renamed Liszt Ferenc airport, was, at least in part, compensated for by the joyous memories of the past few days living the everyday life to the full.


the 'Alexander' piano awaiting the arrival of a 'Mad Boy' to play for us


Meanwhile, for the present at least, the strings of 'Alexander' [we shall not countenance any abbreviation of the name] remain silent. However, it now becomes somewhat imperative that our 'Mad Boy', for whom the search continues, is no stranger to the pianoforte and will, we trust, take pleasure in sharing.


sheet music sits in readiness to be played on 'Alexander'


N.B. Potential candidates for the position of 'Mad Boy', should note that interviews and auditions will be held at the Wigmore Hall. An ability to play Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op.18 would be seen as a distinct advantage.



238 comments:

  1. Oh, I am certain Mad Boy would excel at the piano! Now that Alexander has been found and installed, surely it is only a matter of time and diligence before he, too, is rightly installed at the bench playing alternately with levity and sobriety -- as the occasion should call for it -- for the two of you.

    (Absolutely lovely addition. Sincerest congratulations.)

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    1. We very much hope that you are right!! We cannot allow Alexander's keys to remain idle for too long. Suitable Mad Boys are not so easily come by these days!

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  2. Jane and Lance, Silent moments never transpire in that city of expressive music where sheep so safely graze!

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    1. But will our 'Mad Boy', once discovered, be able to transcribe Bach for piano in the manner of 'Egon Petri' ? We do so hope for our own sheep to be safely grazing!

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    2. Alas, the link to Egon Petri appears not to work. Baa to technology!

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  3. Is this another name for Chopsticks? If so you might be inundated with candidates ;0)

    There is nothing more uplifting than beautiful music being played wonderfully on an exquisite instrument. Good luck with your continued search ...

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    1. We may, possibly, be a little ambitious in our choice of piano music but it will, Gaynor, or so we think, be something for the 'Mad Boy' to aspire to.

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  4. Great expectations!
    By the way, outside novels, you are the only people I "know" having a Morning Room.

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    1. Indeed. But then, Meike, we must all live in hope! Up until now the Morning Room has been mainly used, as its name suggests, in the first part of the day, somewhere where we always take our morning coffee. Now with 'Alexander' it may well come into its own at other times.

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  5. Alexander is very handsome indeed. I hope you find Mad Boy very soon.

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    1. Thank you, Tracey. But the search has now been going on for some time. Perhaps we need to be a little less particular!

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  6. Dear Jane and Lance - now that you have such a beautiful, black, glossy Alexander, are you not tempted to try your hand at a few lessons? One of you may just have that little spark of musical genius lying dormant. I can't help but feel that Brighton may be a better place for your Mad Boy candidate!

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    1. Indeed, Rosemary, your suggestion may not go amiss. We are already thinking that it might be fun to be able to play, at least a little more than a few scales and God Save the Queen which is as far as we go at present.

      And we think that you may be right about Brighon and the 'Mad Boy'!!

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  7. What a beautiful piano, I always wanted to learn an instrument but a few lines of three blind mice on the recorder is all I can manage!! X

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    1. Thank you. But by our standards you are already well placed in the advanced class. We have much catching up to do!

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  8. Sometimes the melody is for our eyes instead of our ears

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    1. This is so very true, Gina, and so well said.

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  9. "You hum it, I'll play it".................

    (Wish I could REALLY, but I am the most unmusical of people...........

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    1. But in any event, Cathy, what fun it would be. And we have to start somewhere!

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  10. I am kind of siding with the piano shop lady here. I cannot imagine living in Hungary without music being a big part of life, including playing for fun. I think the instrument I would take up over there would be the tarogato, although my neighbors might not be as sanguine about the idea.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Now you are well ahead of us with a tarogato which, confession time, we had to look up. A kind of cross, if we understand correctly, of a saxophone and a clarinet. Most interesting and you would be more than welcome with it here.

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  11. What a beautiful piano and I must say, your Morning Room looks just gorgeous. I used to play the piano when I was little, but I was unmotivated when it came to practising. Mind you, I would love to be able to play now and my friend who is a music teacher has repeatedly said to me that it is never too late to learn. I hope you find the perfect candidate soon x

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    1. Your childhood experience of learning to play the piano is, we regret to say, rather akin to our own. However, we are ever hopeful of finding a suitable 'Mad Boy' with a great love of music - fools that we are!!

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  12. Alexander is certainly a handsome devil. I do know a mad boy who can play Rachmaninov but he has he's own Alexander plus a new love in his life an AeoliIan harp .
    See him here www.langfordfivehead.co/blog.HTML

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    1. Langford Fivehead looks to be exactly our kind of place. Simply wonderful and complete with its own very handsome piano. We note that the gardens will be open in June of this year. Might you go? Or, possibly, you have no need as it is all known to you. Whatever, thank you for the link.

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    2. I might just go. A new garden evolving is always exciting. These are dear friends of mine who work extemely hard at making your stay as enjoyable as they possibly can. I know it would be your kind of place.

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    3. WE rather think so too. Perhaps one day we shall treat ourselves.

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  13. You know, its never too late to learn to play the piano.
    I know you would enjoy it.
    What a beautiful piano, I would think it sounds wonderful.
    Briony
    x

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    1. We think that you are right, Briony, and this comment of yours may well push us in the direction of a piano teacher. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  14. Please do take care - I never, ever knew a Mad Boy who wasn't very demanding and more than a little dangerous.

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    1. Thank you for what we are sure is very sound advice!

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  15. This seems to me more than a little eccentric: a piano for two non-players? Will your fingers, jointly or separately, run over the keys and maybe depress one or the other in the hope of bringing forth a pleasant sound?

    It is a beautiful object, just sitting there, awaiting the attention of a mad boy; but beware, a mad boy, plucked from the platform at Wigmore Hall might not be willing to do more than make beautiful music and leave the rest of his tasks unattended to.

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    1. Eccentric, possibly, but so much more interesting and decorative than spending out on a flat screen television, or similar, which would certainly remain unused. And the potential of 'Alexander' is enormous, particularly when we have someone 'plucked from the platform at Wigmore Hall'!!

      We are open to the possibilities of the 'Mad Boy' just so long as he can play. Other tasks can always be decided according to his strengths and weaknesses, although we do accept that, in all likelihood, he may well be somewhat wayward!

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  16. A piano, even bereft of player, is a wonderful piece of furniture, especially a grand or baby! My daughter is about to move into a flat share with a young pianist studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. There is a grand in their sitting room. I can't wait to visit for afternoon tea. Good luck with finding your 'Mad 'Boy'. Brings me in mind of the film Ladies in
    Lavender who find a concert violinist washed up on their local beach!
    Happy week to you.
    Love
    Di
    X

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    1. How really splendid it sounds, Dianne, that your daughter should be sharing with a pianist at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a grand to hand, so to speak. So exciting.

      If we recall correctly, 'Ladies in Lavender' ended in tears before bedtime for either Judi Dench or Maggie Smith, or both, but certainly not for the concert violinist. Oh dear, not a good omen!

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  17. What a long and weary search it has been now for the Mad Boy, and what an indictment of our society that the position has not been filled three times over. I do hope that this call to the piano will galvanize potential applicants and that we may soon hear the sound of the cocktail shaker vying with the soaring tunes from your lovely apartment.

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    1. Oh, Mise, if only you knew!! We are so very tired of looking and our eyes glaze over as yet another wannabe crosses our horizons, chewing gum, frayed jeans sagging somewhere close to his knees, conversation limited to yeah, yeah, yeah. Is it that we are simply out of touch? Where are all the delightful unemployed whose qualifications fit them to run the country and who are unable to find gainful employment in McDonald's? So sad. So sad. But we are never ones to give in and you will, we assure you, Mise, be the first to hear when the position is filled.

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  18. Dear Jane and Lance,
    What a beautiful addition to your home. I actually don't think that it matters that the two of you can't play....the piano is a beautiful stand alone piece of furniture. When I was a child, we lived in a modest home but had a baby grand piano in our lounge.Our mum and dad were very musical, my dad played saxaphone and clarinet and my mum sang. I was sent off to a wicked old woman for piano lessons. She used to slam the lid of the piano onto my fingers when I got it wrong !! .....so, piano lessons didn't last very long for me. I would apply for the position of 'Mad Boy' but I fear that I wouldn't live up to expectations .... the best that I can do is a raucous but, even though I say it myself, a good rendition of a pub piano player on a drunken saturday night !!!! Not quite what you are looking for !
    I am sure that you will have many appropriate candidates for the job though.
    By the way, the piano shop looks intriguing .... just the wonderful, huge, double wooden doors would have inticed me in. XXXX

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    1. How lovely that you too, Jackie, see 'Alexander' as a decorative item which can, of course, on occasion, 'Mad Boy' in situ, be transformed into something very practical and a delight to the ear. And we should love it if you were near enough to pop in on a Saturday night to take up on the keys with jolly renditions of we know not what [perhaps the programme could be devised by your son?].

      As for your teacher of old, could she possibly have been any relation of Mrs. Gay who also employed similar teaching techniques?

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  19. Well that's me out then. Can't play a note. Always assuming you would consider taking on a 'mad girl' in the fist place!
    Looks to be a lovely piano. Ours is a cast-iron framed upright from 1902 and it weighs a ton; but has a lovely timbre -- it is Niall who plays.

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    1. But we could always do with a 'Mad Couple', Antoinette, and so you could take a crash course and join Niall and play duets!

      The pianos with the iron frames are, we know, the best for sound but not so good when they need to be moved.

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  20. I'm pretty sure that, presently, Chas and Dave find themselves at a loose end. I'm sure they'd love to entertain you and your guests.
    On a more serious not, Alexander is a sight to behold, belongs in that room.

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    1. Thank you so much for the suggestion, Lucy! We are not exactly sure that Chas and Dave are quite what we had in mind. How do you think that they are with Chopin?

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  21. It is a fine looking piano, and perhaps not very old? The keys are very white and possibly did not involve the destruction of elephants.

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    1. It dates, or so we are informed, from the 1950s. Alexander sold out to a Japanese company who made the frame whilst the mechanism was made in, and is, English.

      We do trust that nothing untoward happened to any elephant in its making but are unsure when the use of ivory was banned.

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  22. Gorgeous! I see that the criteria surrounding Mad Boy is firming up, I have a visual of him now, is he out there I wonder?
    We also have a piano that remains largely silent. Our son is a wonderful piano player but he has given it up for studying physics. It really came naturally to him.
    The green lamp on the piano is so pretty.

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    1. Indeed, the hunt is well and truly on!!

      How splendid that your son should play the piano but what a pity that it has been given up in favour of Physics. But of course there is a strong link between Music and Maths, and Physics may well be viewed as closely related to Maths.

      The lamp originally belonged to a Count Zarifopol.

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  23. One day I'll find an affordable pianola (complete with a box of rolls). Of course I'd have to set it up so guests couldn't see my hands in order to maintain the fantasy that 6 years of piano lessons were indeed not wasted!

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    1. We had considered something similar - perhaps a hidden tape with ourselves at a well hidden keyboard. But no, better to admit that we cannot play and take it from there with, hopefully, 'Mad Boys' queueing at the door.

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  24. Alas, Jane and Lance, I can play truant, play up and play dumb, but I cannot play piano.
    What about a faux Mad Boy, able to sit on a piano stool and look like he can play a piano? You could dim the lights and slip a CD on and no-one would know the difference!

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    1. Faisal, we LOVE it!! And though we should never think of you as mad, we could so easily see you in the role of a 'Faux Mad Boy' and what endless pleasure that would give and what great fun we all should undoubtedly have.

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  25. Oh, squeakity eek!!! (You just understand this response, I hope....;))

    I was surprised, when I was 16ish years old, with a very lovely upright grand piano for Christmas. Unfortunately, when I moved back East, my parents said that they were keeping the piano. (weeep! My baby....) One just never knows when someone will visit with the talent to create absolutely living magic and we/they have some extremely talented friends. They did, however, gift us with a broken down grand that they had won at an auction, now, lovingly restored. I've been meaning to blog about it for forever. (and, you know, now that I think about it, they let my sister keep her horse and move him back East when SHE came. Not fair! I think that the difference was that someone needs to feed the horse...)

    What a wonderful story to read - to watch unfold! I just love that you named your piano!!!!!!!!! =] I just, just love that you even thought of doing this. I am sure that you will enjoy some priceless - very, very precious moments, indeed! and, lastly, I am so extremely glad that you had such a pleasant visit with your dear guests!

    With very warm and fond wishes and smiles to you both,

    Katy xxo and xxo

    OH! I'm blushing as I say it but...I blogged about my garden...the bitty baby thing that it is....

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    1. Holytoot, Katy! Holytoot!

      How mean about your piano, your baby, and, yes, so unfair to allow the horse to leave home and travel East but then we suspect that you have hit the nail on the head [English expression] and that your parents quickly realised that a horse needs feeding whereas a piano only requires dusting. And fodder, after all, is rather more expensive than furniture polish! But do, please, post about your restored grand which does, after all, sound very grand!

      Yes, we think that we shall have enormous fun with 'Alexander' once we have ensnared our 'Mad Boy'. If only you were nearer to accompany him in song - now that would be a true delight.

      WE shall most certainly be over to your garden later on. Wild horses and pianos, so to speak, will not keep us away.

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    2. I have been considering how to get to you so that I'll be ready, when the time comes and you find your 'Mad Boy'! I think stowing away on a ship.... The Queen Mary II?

      and, I've been practicing up! This weekend, I had fun pretending to be Jeanette MacDonald in two spring concerts with our little country bumpkin choir. The genre of music was opera and musical theater - not our usual offering, at all. I got a standing ovation (haha-guffaw! =D) I hope that the videos turned out well so that I can share it with you.

      Anyway, I'm still in a sleepy daze from it all; so, off I go to recuperate some more. =]

      xxo

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    3. Oh, Katy, how wonderful your 'Jeanette Mac Donald' performance sounds to have been. We really do wish that we had been there and, if the previous performance that we saw of you at Christmas was anything to go by, we are not in the least surprised that you received a standing ovation. Bravo!!

      What fun it would be one day for you to come to Budapest, Mad Boy or no Mad Boy, it would, we know, be an absolute delight!

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  26. Well, I thought I'd left a comment, but it appears to have gone into the ether, unless you're holding publishing it for obvious reasons. Shall I re-post, or keep the story rolling?

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    1. No, we have certainly not withheld any comment which, sadly, probably has disappeared into the ether. Please do republish if you are able.

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    2. OK. (It seems I can only leave comments when I use Google Chrome, and not when I use IE; dunno why.)

      But I did sense a hoax in your story, in the interests of April Fool's, in that it corresponded with the posting from the pukkha gentlemen from Lucca. Am I right?

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    3. Yes, we tend to use Google Chrome the entire time as we now find it to be the more reliable.

      We can, and do, assure you that there is absolutely nothing of the hoax in either today's post [story] or in any other that we have ever published. The pukka gentlemen from Lucca were, indeed, our delightful house guests.

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    4. Ahah! Well maybe just Paul's attempt at a hoax - saying that he was sorry not to see you in Budapest etc. I assumed it was an April Fool. Or I have an overactive imagination.

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    5. No, Paul's comment to us was only a little joke between the four of us which began here and was not to be taken seriously. We do love your expression 'pukka gentlemen of Lucca' which fits them so well.

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  27. Dear Jane & Lance, what a lovely gift to one another for your respective birthdays. The piano looks completely at home in your Budapest apartment. It seems a cliche somehow but some friends in London have an Hungarian piano-tuner. He is a lovely chap; somewhat eccentric and with the charm and dress of someone from the 19th century.

    It's good to hear your search for the 'mad boy 'continues .... perhaps the Hungarian piano-tuner would fit the bill...:-))

    Jeanne
    x

    Jeanne
    x

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    1. Oh, Jeanne, your friends' Hungarian piano tuner sounds to be the most perfect person and we love the idea of his somewhat eccentric dress. And how marvellous it would be to have 'Alexander' tuned up to the mark at all times.

      We are so pleased that you approve of the gift, particularly as we seldom buy each other presents.

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  28. Replies
    1. Splendid! To be adopted at once. For now, can you supply the record, for we do actually have a wind up gramophone, not at all dissimilar to the one in the video clip? And thank you for the link - most professional embedded into the comment!! We failed to do the same earlier today!!

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  29. Ahhh, the search for a Mad Boy .. where are the Mad Boys when you need one ?
    besitos, C

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    1. Ah, Candice, that is the problem facing us all - or at least those of us sufficiently way out to think a 'Mad Boy' desirable!!

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  30. Dear Jane and Lance,

    What a beauty Alexander is!

    I have always wanted a piano in my home. When I was growing up, practically everyone I knew had one. Many times these were passed down from family members. Alas, I was not in any of their wills. Now, however, my granddaughters were given an older one in good condidition a few years ago and now delight me with their self-taught music.

    A perfect Mad Boy would be Harry Connick Jr. - at least for me.

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    1. We are so pleased that you approve of 'Alexander'.

      How lovely to have granddaughters who are able to play. Not to be able to do so is something we have come to regret in later life and may well yet be persuaded to take up lessons.

      We had not known of Harry Connick Jr. until now but he certainly looks handsome enough for anyone's drawing room!!

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  31. What a beautiful instrument and I am sure that some day someone will sit down and begin playing away. Meanwhile it is a joy just to look at.

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    1. We do agree with you, Adrienne, and are now simply waiting for the telephone to ring or the door bell to sound!!

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  32. With a Morning Room and Alexander at hand, can weekly salons with the Hattatts be far behind? And perhaps a Mad Boy will find his way to one. Though I don't know if a Salon can be held in a Morning Room. I'm sure someone in the Department of Protocol will know.

    I'm delighted you had such a full and joyous visit with your friends.

    Jen

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    1. Jen, what an absolutely lovely idea and as there are double doors leading from the Morning Room into the Drawing Room the Department of Protocol will surely be forced to approve! And once the salons are established, please be assured that you will have an immediate lifetime's membership for we know that your company will be perfect for each occasion.

      Yes, the days with our friends were wonderful and full of laughter and fun.

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  33. Alexander is so outstandingly handsome ... I am absolutely certain it is of critical importance to keep him tuned on a regular basis. Any Mad Boy worth your time must not be subjected to sitting down at your beautiful piano only to strike the first chords of Rachmaninov or Tchaikovsky or Chopin and have them 'twang' unharmoniously' back at him! It would be too cruel to The Boy and too embarrassing for Alexander. Oh dear, it doesn't bear thinking about, does it?

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    1. We can see, Katherine, that you are totally at one with all of this and with your spirited approach to the 'Mad Boy', combined with some practicalities, we feel that you should be on the selection committee.

      Now, do you happen to know a good piano tuner?!!

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    2. I 'might' know someone who knows someone who knows a good piano tuner -- in Hungary...!

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    3. Now that sounds interesting although the piano shop said they knew of a tuner who would come every six months or so.

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  34. What a beautiful piano. Even if you can't play it I can see the joy it's presence will bring you.

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    1. We do rather look on it as a decorative item until that moment comes when it can be played. And what fun that will be!

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  35. Greetings!

    With such a wonderful piano, knowing how to play is not important, it's presence alone creates a lot of music. It reminds me of one of our dear friends. The moment you enter their beautiful house, their 100 year old Steinway and Sons baby grand greets you. Both of them do not play :)

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    1. We love your friends already!! Even though poor 'Alexander' is slightly upstaged by his Steinway cousin, we are so heartened to know that there are others, like us, who do not see the necessity of being able to play to justify the ownership of a piano.

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  36. A piano is always a welcome member of any household! We always had one growing up. Even though none of us 'kids' played my mother 'played by ear' which meant she heard a song and could go and 'pick it out' on out upright baby grand, except the only style she knew was Honky Tonk so every song had a boisterous, rolling twang that made you want to stomp your boots, even hymns! I hope your Mad Boy can bring as much music and joy to your home as my mom did to ours - the piano awaits!

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    1. From what you describe here, your mother sounds to have been enormous fun and we know that we should certainly have enjoyed her Honky Tonk style, extending even as it did to hymns!

      Yes, we now await the arrival of the 'Mad Boy'. The problem is that he seems to have been rather a long time coming.

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  37. Lovely addition to your room! I don't play either, but if I hear of anyone, I will send them for an interview. :)

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    1. Thank you so much. And yes please, Rose, we should welcome any of your recommendations!!

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  38. Such a beautiful piano.
    Like another commentator I would think that just looking at the piano would make me want to try to play it.
    What a lovely joint birthday gift. Wonderful idea.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. We are so pleased that you like it. We seldom give each other gifts, preferring wait until there is something we really want. It also forms part of a wedding anniversary present - all around the same time.

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  39. You should give it a go - its v. addictive! That's a beautiful instrument and I'm v. envious. Its probably nonsense, but I feel all those taughtened strings vibrate in sympathy with other noises in the house - its like having a sleepy, friendly giant in the room :) Hope you find your Mad Boy soon! xxx

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    1. Well, we have already managed to master most of 'God Save the Queen' with one finger, so it should not be too much longer before a Chopin piano concerto will be being performed in the Morning Room we hope!!!!

      We do love the piano in the room but the dust...the dust!!!!

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  40. I might still remember how to play Swans on the Lake. A very far cry from your requirement, however. It's a very beautiful piano, compliments the room very nicely.

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    1. Swans on the Lake, well, Mary, that is definitely very far advanced from where we are currently and, indeed, most probably very far away from where we might ever be in terms of piano playing!!

      We are thrilled that you like the piano.

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  41. I cannot play the piano either but somehow understand why you should want one in your home.

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    1. We are so pleased that you appreciate why we should want a piano. Most of our friends find it quite beyond their understanding.

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  42. Dear Jane and Lance - I think your Mad Boy might make an appearance surprisingly soon. You are picturing him so vividly in your two minds that he's sure to manifest. Don't be surprised, though, if he sits down at the piano and turns out to be a young Victor Borge.

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    1. How thrilling that you anticipate a 'Mad Boy' materialising soon. Indeed, even a young Victor Borge might be amusing!!!

      Strange that you should say that we have a clear picture in our minds for, when we compare notes about what might be expected of the Mad Boy, we often come up with two entirely different sets of criteria. Still, we are both now agreed at least on his being a piano player!!

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  43. Hope Alexander will meet its mad boy very soon! A lovely gift anyway.

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    1. Of course, a Mad Boy named Alexander would just be perfect!!

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  44. Jane and Lance, I know one day you will hear the grand music you dream of being played on your wonderful piano. I do not play, but have a piano. I am always thrilled when my daughter is home and she decides to sit and play. It makes my heart happy. I do hope you find your Mad Boy soon. I would send George your way, but I suspect you are looking for something more than an imaginary butler. Bonnie

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    1. We are very fortunate to live close to the Music Academy in Budapest and so we are hopeful that a student might wish to practise on our piano. How wonderful it is for you to have a daughter who plays. It must be a great joy when she is at home and music fills the air!!

      George the imaginary butler sounds interesting.

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  45. What a beautiful piano! If it were in my living room, I think I might be rather happy just to sit and look at it....

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    1. We rather think the same. We enjoy looking at it in the room and so do not mind too much, at least for the moment, that we cannot play.

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  46. Oh the piano is stunning! Who cares if you dont play yourself or dont intend to? I'd grab that too! :) Its beautiful and will provide pleasure to anyone happy enough to visit you two! :) Great choice! ;)

    Hugs,

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    1. Thank you, Kasia, for such encouragement. It is good to know that we have not been totally foolish. And as you say, many of our friends do play.

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  47. All good homes need a fine piano and a good violin, and though we find it possible to get by without a pianist - melodious sounds are always possible on a piano - the lack of a violinist is more of a problem. Our young musician has left us babysitting her violins ... if only I could play!

    Alexander looks to be an elegant fellow, I hope he finds his Mad Boy soon :D

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    1. Now to have a violin as well would be utterly splendid, Annie, and then one would be well on the way to having some form of quartet which could then lead to a full orchestra!!

      For now, as you can tell, we simply await the arrival of the 'Mad Boy'.

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  48. Dear Jane and Lance, I love the piano storefront and your charming morning room, with all the elegant details including the lush window fabric and gorgeous floor. A piano certainly has a large presence in any room and your Alexander is a beauty. It sounds as though you had a great visit with your friends and I hope they return soon to offer you the concert you so long for. Ah, to have an airport named after Liszt instead of Reagan! I am so inspired by Kodaly! You would need to add a cello to your morning room to play my favorite piece and dear Alexander's strings and hammers would still have to remain silent. Enjoy your new piano!! I do hope you find your lucky musician!

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    1. You are always, dear Carol, so very kind about everything and now here you are giving us such kind encouragement about the foolish purchase of a piano which we cannot play.

      We had a lovely time with our friends and are now hoping to spend some time with them at their home in Italy, where they have created the most amazing garden, later on in the year.

      We do so agree about the naming of the airport. Liszt has so much more of a romantic ring to it. We were somewhat startled last week to walk through a square which fronts the American Embassy here in Budapest to discover a new, bronze, life size statue of Reagan has been installed!!

      We long to know what your favourite piece of music is. Do you have, and play, the cello? And the Kodály Museum, which is the flat where he lived, is one of our favourite places to take visitors. Jump on an aeroplane, Carol!!

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    2. Oh, No!! However could it have happened that Reagan deserves such an honor?? As if "Take down that wall . . . " did it all. How inappropriate it seems. Whose taxes paid for that I wonder or what donor? Alas, there is a blemish in Budapest. I fear there are many more . . . originated from my homeland.
      My son did play the cello and quite well . . . sadly he gave it up. I love the instrument but do not play. I did play and still play around with the piano, though I do not own one now. Erik Satie was/is a favorite composer. Alas, I could not play for you . . . I can no longer even read music! I did get a new case for my beloved guitar (bought from the man who made it in Madrid oh so many many years ago.) I want to take lessons again. I could, however, gather bundles of flowers from a local market and loosely throw them together in a simple vase while someone played Alexander . . . or perhaps that would be too distracting. ;>) The Kodaly's Cello Sonata, Op. 8 for solo cello is incredible and the passion and range of the music stirs my imagination unlike any other. If you had someone play the piece in your morning room even Alexander's strings would tingle. Joy, Joy to one day visit you and Zoltan too! You might enjoy this ~ http://www.earsense.org/chamberbase/works/detail/?pkey=7938
      P.S. You are right to think that many creatures do molt and wear a winter coat of white but the white robin is rare as robins do not change color in the winter . . . it is partial albino but that term may not be correct. 1 in 30,000 are reportedly sighted! I was lucky. I shall go back and make this clearer on my post. Thank you for your, as ever, thoughtful and supportive comment.

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    3. Dear J&L, I just reread the first 'haiku' line on my post. 'winter white robin' . . . how could I make it more confusing?? !! Sometimes the poetic can be misleading. ;>)

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    4. Dearest Carol, the statue of Reagan is indeed a blot on the Budapest landscape. Less important that it happens to be of Reagan than the fact that it is so very badly made, is so very ugly and is in so prominent a place.

      As we are totally hopeless with arranging flowers, the very thought of your creating hand tied bunches and decorating the room with them is simply marvellous. Having seen the arrangements which you have created for others, this would be an absolute joy for us. So, do not delay, consider a flight today!!

      We shall certainly look up the Kodaly Cello Sonata that you kindly lead us to here. We had heard so little by Kodaly before we came to Budapest but now, like you, find his work very moving.

      Yet again, our poor knowledge of the Natural World is in evidence!!! We really shall have to come to Flower Hill Farm one day and see all this wonder for ourselves to really understand it all.

      Thank you so much for returning and leaving such a warm and generous comment.We hope that your week is going well!!

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    5. I should delight in your coming Jane and Lance. Only be prepared . . . it is quite rustic. One day we shall all come together here or there and I so look forward to that time.

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    6. Most certainly we must, whatever, make that happen. And we know, from all that we have seen, we should love Flower Hill Farm and the amazing surrounding landscape.

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  49. A few years ago friends in America excitedly showed us their latest purchase of a piano. The fact that no-one in their household knew how to play the piano seemed not to be a problem. I had to bite my lip to stop myself laughing when they flicked a switch and the piano began playing itself! It was hysterical to watch the piano keys moving - with no 'Mad Boy' in sight - just mad friends I'm afraid!

    Thank you for your recent visit. Snow showers should reach us in Glasgow by mid afernoon tomorrow!

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    1. Now that is really something we could not do!! Like you, we should have found the whole thing highly amusing, particularly as your friends were obviously very serious about it. That is, as you say, madness!

      Bad news about the prospect of snow. We do hope for you that it will be light and not last for long. Warm, sunny days here!

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  50. How do you feel about poor old Chopin? Dead in his 30s and no stable family life, but ohhhhhhhh the legacy!

    By the way, I love your list of life's priorities: architecture, art, antiques, fine dining, gardening, parties, reading and travel. And of course music.

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    1. Yes, but as you say, what a legacy! And an enduring one at that.

      These are indeed the things which possibly most interest us in life to which we should also add people, perhaps in first place.

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  51. I would have loved to listen to Rachmaninoff at the moment...but only a live performance.

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    1. Most Saturday mornings we attend a live music concert, lasting for about an hour, in the Old Music Academy which is just around the corner from our apartment. In this, as in so much, we are so fortunate.

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  52. I love the idea of "living the everyday life to the full"!
    It's in the everyday things that I find the most pleasure if I am with friends. Sitting on the porch drinking ice tea. Watching the hawks circle about. Planting daffodils. On and on and on. Such is everyday pleasure.
    Nice piano by the way. Sorry, I know nothing about such things. Good luck with the Mad Boy.

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    1. It is the very things which you make mention of here, Rubye Jack, which are, in our view, the very essence of life and which, as you say, give the most pleasure. We value the 'everyday' life above all else, not least for it is reality.

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  53. I'm starting to think I might like my very own Mad Boy. I am hoping for one who has handyman skills, a love of the finer things in life, along with mad gardening skills. If he brings a piano with him that would be divine! I will be envisioning this Mad Boy. Actually, two Mad Boys, one for you and one for me.

    The piano is perfect.

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    1. Well, we have to say, dear Teresa, that your list of Mad Boy attributes does sit very easily alongside our own. Perhaps, as Mad Boys seem to be extremely difficult to track down,we might share a Mad Boy?....one week with you, the other with us. In this way, we could also tempt the said Mad Boy with international travel!!!

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  54. Well, I guess I won't be invited to play "Chopsticks" and "Heart & Soul" (oh, or "Summertime is Here Again"! I hope the piano makes beautiful music soon!

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    1. At the moment, dear Mitch, this repertoire seems very advanced....so, if you are free...!!!!

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  55. How wonderful to have a piano. My father played, My daughter plays,my youngest sone is a professor of music and plays and one of my grandaughters play.
    I was brought up with a piano in my home and continued the tradition having a piano in the house as the children grew up. My youngest son still has the piano.
    Dear Jane and Lance. Wish you luck with your "Mad Boy".! "Alexander "simply must have someone with that special touch to make the heavenly sound of the "masters"
    All the excitement, ads to your love of all good things.
    Another great blog
    thank you
    Happy Tuesday
    val

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    1. How absolutely delightful, Val, to have so many accomplished musicians in your family. When you are all assembled you must pretty much have your own family orchestra!

      Yes, we think that 'Alexander' deserves someone special to tinkle his ivories but finding the Mad Boy is proving to be tricky!

      Hoping that your week is going well!

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  56. I'm with Teresa, but actually I am lucky to have my own mad boy who is now fixing the sprinklers and does clean house and garden whilst I make clay, but he does not play piano. Your's being such a lovely one I can just hear the wonderful sounds that must have emanated from its depths so I do see the need for a mad boy in your household for sure.

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    1. Oh, Linda, lucky you to have a Mad Boy all of your own. And, able to clean the house....now that, we can imagine, is a highly sought after talent and we do not imagine for a moment that we shall be so lucky to find a Mad Boy who is equal to yours. Still, no piano playing so, even if approached, we should have to reject his application!

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  57. Hello! Interesting post...We have no piano at home...And I never have nerver thouhgt to play the piano...

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    1. No matter that you cannot play the piano, Amin, for you can take the most wonderful photographs and we cannot do that either!!!

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  58. What a gorgeous piano, Jane and Lance. Our dear daughter and her two sons would love it, as all three play, but sadly I think the boys are too young and too busy to be candidates, though they can be mad enough when they try. :-)

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    1. How absolutely wonderful, dear Perpetua, that you have such musical talent in your family. But, two mad little boys are, we fear,much more than we can cope with!!

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  59. What a gift!
    I've procured a piano and guitars, but no one in my house has yet felt compelled to really PLAY any of them. *sigh*

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    1. Now that really is something of a sadness. Could we share a 'Mad Boy'?!!

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  60. I perused these comments trying to figure out what the expression "Mad Boy" might refer to (so as not to make a perfect fool of myself in responding, you see), but ended up just as in the dark at the end as the beginning. So, I must set that aside to say my thoughts kept going to Max McKee (he of the Ligeti Syndrome). With the Liszt Academy right there, there must be a student who would be willing to come play for you. For a piano should not be silent, should it now, beautiful though it is?

    And, speaking of Budapest, is early to mid-July an uncomfortably hot time visit there? (We are fomenting vacation plans, and it is long past time to see the Danube, if we can swing it.)

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    1. The Liszt Academy is, in fact, very close to our apartment and so ideally placed for having a student to come and practise on our piano. This we may well do. As it happens the principal building has been closed for restoration for nearly two years with no immediate sign of its reopening.

      How splendid if you are able to come to Budapest. If this is the case, then you must be in touch. By mid July it is usually quite hot with temperatures most often around or above 30C rising, on occasion, to 40C. But always a dry heat.

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    2. Wouldn't it be fun, if you should find a student to come play your piano, if it could be put up on youtube: just think, Morning Room Concerts with the Hattatts!

      As for Budapest, we are hopeful it will happen. We're a little concerned about weathering the July heat, but Easter break 2013 is another time we're thinking of for this. We will definitely let you know--it would be fun to shake hands live!

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    3. Easter is a wonderful time here, pleasantly warm without being too hot. And everything still looks very fresh and green.

      Whatever, and whenever you come, you must be certain to let us know as we should be more than delighted to show you around some of the less well known sights of interest. And most Saturday mornings we attend a concert in the Old Music Academy which it would be such fun to go to together.

      Now we must start planning the Morning Room Concerts!!

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  61. Hello Jane and Lance,
    Surprisingly, I'm going to leave a rather short comment. That would be in direct contrast to my often disjointed ramblings. No, this will be short, but still a disjointed rambling, nonetheless.
    Great photos! Great piano and I have a 'Mad Dog' that can paw the piano. I could now note something silly like I have 'pianist envy'...however, I shall not....
    Take care and have fun.
    Your adoring fan, shy, humble and oh so unassuming, Gary

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    1. Your comments, Gary, are always most welcome. We know that we shall enjoy having the piano and if we cannot find a 'Mad Boy', then possibly a 'Mad Dog'!!

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  62. I'm not a 'Mad Boy', but I did learn how to play Born Free on the organ when I was 12...I'm just sure I could remember how and play for you both into the night while you wax poetic about all things beautiful and lionish! What do you say?! ;)
    xo J~

    BTW~ Your new acquisition, *and* your morning/music room, are absolutely wonderful...congratulations!

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    1. Well,Jessica, what we think is that if you mastered 'Born Free' at 12 you were obviously a child prodigy and we are certain that the talent will not have left you. So yes, hop on a plane and play into the night, that would be wonderful. And, we are sure, after a few glasses of Hungarian champagne, we shall all be singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak!!!

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    2. Fantastic! On my way then...and no sheet music needed, as I had always refused (stubbornly and stupedly) to learn how to read music! I believe the Hungarian champagne will help in the recalling of the notes though, and most definitely in the singing! See you soon...
      xo J~

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    3. Oh, dear Jessica, if only it could be. But perhaps one day we shall all meet and then there will be so much music and fun, endless talk and laughter, and singing of course to be had. We do so hope.

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  63. how fabulous to have a piano...my friend has just bought a grand one for her twin Vietnamese daughters, now teenagers they play brilliantly...I love that piece of Rachmaninoff and some times stick on the CD when trying to sleep....would be rather delightful to be able to sick on the pianist instead .....or indeed have a mad boy!!

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    1. Your comment made us instantly recall a concert at the Music Academy here in Budapest where a Korean girl's piano playing was simply terrific. How absolutely wonderful that your friend's daughters can play at such a high standard.

      Whilst we can well imagine dropping off to sleep with Rachmaninov's Concerto caressing our ears, we fear that there will be no rest with a Mad Boy!!!

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  64. Dear Jane and Lance, how wonderful that you had such a fun and busy time with your Italian friends. So sad, that they did not have time to play for you. (You could have recorded it, and pretended that you were playing the piano yourself).I wonder what responses you would get if you put an add in the paper for a 'mad boy'? I have my eye on that wonderful blue and white ceramic stool! Lots of love to you, Linda xx

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    1. Oh, dear Linda, Paul and Gil were such delightful guests and we did have enormous fun with them. And, as you say, no time for piano playing, indeed, barely time to sleep!!

      Although we are always ready for adventure, placing an advertisement for a Mad Boy seems a step too far even for us.No, we must content ourselves with waiting until one presents himself to us. We are sure, however, that when we do see him, he will have Mad Boy written all over him!!!!

      Now, dear Linda, we are happy that you covet the ceramic stool since we are confident that when you visit us [and we do so hope that one day you will]the stool is far too heavy for you to steal!!!

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  65. I would gladly apply but I suspect that I might not meet the required standards. we have had a piano sat in the front room for 15 years in the vague hope that it might infect me with musical skill by nothing more than proximity. Alas, it hasn't worked.

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    1. Now, all our hopes are dashed, Alan! If you have waited 15 years, then after 15 days we are surely not to have any hope of acquiring piano playing skills simply by polishing the keys.

      Still, we do hope that your piano does not sit idly by in your front room, but rather, that a whole series of piano players beat their way to your door to tinkle the ivories!!!

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  66. What a stunning new addition to your home! You truly have an eye for beauty and perfection. My sons, who are just learning to play, look forward to the day when they are able to play on such an insturment.

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post, I hope you find your entertainer soon.

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    1. That is more than kind of you, Joy, and not at all true!! How splendid that your sons are starting to play. In later life they will be so pleased to have learnt and not regret, as we do now, not having carried on when we had the chance.

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  67. How wonderful! I bet the sales assistant's hands were rubbing together in glee when you left the shop. I have an electric piano in the "florrie" room and taught myself "informal playing" with the help of Total Piano Tutor by Terry Burrows, a book, I purchased from The Works for £2.99. SFX music books have big notes with the letter of the note written inside for easy playing, if you know the location of the seven notes on the piano you can start playing straight away.

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    1. We shall be in search of 'Total Piano Tutor' by Mr. Burrows just as soon as our fingers have typed this out. Wonderful, a stop gap until the 'Mad Boy' can be procured [if that is the correct or appropriate verb]. And, yes, we have found Middle C and are able to master the scales!!

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  68. Perfectly completes my former vision of such parties at your home, with Noel Coward at the piano, a gowned-and-black-tied array of urbane guests, martinis in gloved hands, and the slightest hover of Chesterfields in the air.

    Absolutely gorgeous, and you've stirred my feeble brain to try to remember the name of the lovely couple I was introduced to by a friend long ago. They traveled the world giving concerts, hauling their twin Bosendorfers (I am, alas, umlaut-less) in an eighteen-wheeler.

    They even had the rigging to load and unload the magnificent machines with very little help, and I'm still amazed at the feat---AND at the wonderful music of that magical evening.

    My great congratulations on the lovely new member of the family, and on such marvelous occasions to come!

    rachel

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    1. Oh, Rachel, you are so kind. We love the picture which you paint here of elegant salons and will, we do assure you, try to live up to your vision. We must launder the gloves and retrieve the tiaras from the bank!!

      We too failed on the umlaut [so stuck on an acute accent for good measure] but are most intrigued to hear of the adventures of your friend's friends with their twin pianos. Now we do call that style. And how splendid to have heard them.

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  69. Dear Jane and Lance, nor can I play the piano; in fact, the only thing I play is the radio and, Dave would say, not very well. I have an eclectic taste in music while he only listed to 60's rock. The piano is lovely, dare I say grand and do I understand you've both had happy birthdays recently? In April? If so, we're alike; my birthday is the 11th.

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    1. Had we had to guess, dear Sandra, we should have had you down as a pianist as we certainly think of you as being so very accomplished in so many different areas.

      Yes, the piano was a great treat as normally we do not buy presents for birthdays, preferring to treat ourselves occasionally as and when the mood takes.

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  70. Oh I love love love your piano and the cabinet in the background, oh my, you're killing me here. I've always wanted to learn how to play the piano. Come on guys you have the opportunity now.
    Play Chopin's Nocturne for me please :).
    Kisses Jane and Lance.

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    1. You are so very kind and, yes, we are really rather thrilled with it and are longing to hear it played properly.

      Oh, sigh, if only we could play the Chopin for you!! But, let us never say never!!

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  71. What a beautiful piece! Enjoy becoming virtuosos:)

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    1. Thank you so much, Mark, but it may take a little while!!

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  72. Dear Hattat,
    I am glad that I found your blog, and the piano looks terrific! After scrolling down 154 comments I got a vague impression what you are looking for (but maybe I've got it all wrong - than bear with me). As the E.F.Benson Society will meet in Rye in May, I will eventually have the chance to ask if Georgie Pillson is willing to come to you (the mot "boy" will appeal to his trying to be perpetually young) - the last time I saw him was when "he rose from the piano with a little sigh, and after adjusting the strip of flannel over the keys, shut his piano and busied himself for a little with a soft duster over his cabinet of bibelots."
    Au reservoir! Britta

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    1. We suspect that you already know us better than we know ourselves. And whilst Georgie Pillson is unlikely, we fear, to be tempted away from Tilling to the uncertainties of Eastern Europe, it is possible, of course, that he may be in touch with someone with the daring to make that leap across the Channel and onwards to Budapest.

      Meanwhile, with soft duster in hand, we shall return to the Morning Room to give 'Alexander' yet another admiring glance.

      Thank you so much for becoming a Follower and we too are delighted to have discovered you.

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  73. What fabulous addition to your Morning Room.
    I've been wanting to buy and learn how to play piano for years, but never seem to get around it. Now that my living room is full of books (on shelves and floor) and has very little space left, I don't know where I'd put it if I did finally buy it!

    Good luck with your search for the "Mad Boy". Let us konw when you find him.

    Red

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    1. A room full of books is equally as good, if not better, as a room filled with a piano in our book, so to speak. And the books of course can be read, whereas we have an instrument we are unable to play. Is this wise or sensible, we wonder?

      Be assured, as soon as a 'Mad Boy' is found he will be publicly introduced!!

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  74. Ohhhh! What a beauty!
    My playing is not much more then rudimentary, but I love to improvise. We have a delightful Estonian baby grand, in cherry and has a wonderful sound!
    Would so love to hear yours. What does it sound like, crisp, mellow?
    Soft, warm....
    Your music room is a confection of 19th Century loveliness! The light is gorgeous!
    I can hear Debussy's Claire de Lune....
    Enjoy and happy birthday, you two!

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    1. We suspect that in all likelihood you play very well and are being far too modest. Your baby grand sounds wonderful and we are certain that it must look very splendid in your lovely house.

      And thank you, Victoria, as always you are so very generous and kind in your comments, making us walk on air. Not good, but so nice. And thank you too for the birthday wishes of 28th. March and today!!

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  75. You had me LOL! I hope you will find your Mad Boy. Unfortunately it will not be mine.... :-) When I saw photo's of your piano (before I read the text) I saw images of people singing in your beautiful parlour with one of you behind the piano. Alas.... Hope you will find your Mad Boy soon!!!!

    Best Wishes to you both for a Happy Easter!

    Lieve groet, Madelief x

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    1. 'Mad Boy' aside, we are very excited about the piano and are fortunate to have a number of friends who do, unlike us, play and play well and so we are very hopeful that it will have plenty of use. And what fun it would be to have people singing around it.

      A very Happy Eastertide to you and your family, Madelief.

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  76. Lovely to meet you!
    Alexander is very handsome indeed. I hope you will hear the beautiful sounds of your new arrival soon. My son plays a little but I think Rachmaninov is a bit beyond his self taught capabilities!
    I think your piano is a bit like my desire for a horse, even though I don't ride, just so I can enjoy the beauty of the beast!
    Penny x

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    1. Yes, we only need now to find someone to play 'Alexander' and all will be well with the world, so to speak!!

      How splendid that you wish for a horse. Our advice would be that if you have somewhere to put it, the front lawn perhaps, then you should go straight to the horse showroom [or whatever is the equivalent] and buy one. The riding, like the playing, can come later.

      But, seriously, thank you so much for becoming a Follower and for leaving a comment. Both are much appreciated.

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  77. May I recommend my music teacher - a former concert pianist, now cat breeder ( orientals) who lives on an acreage just outside the spa town of Daylesford in Victoria Australia with a collection of chickens, cats and at one time an emu. He has a Steinway Piano in his lounge room and has talked most of his students out of doing music exams. Which means he actually teaches music, instead of the rote learning and absolute agony of practising for an examiner. Through him I have found Mozart... and maybe more..

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    1. Now he sounds absolutely ideal. Clearly a man definitely with an individual approach to the teaching of music, and a lover of animals and birds too. Do you think that he will be up for the commute from Australia to Hungary?

      And to have discovered Mozart.....wonderful!

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  78. I could have played this for you 30 years ago, but, alas, it's not like riding a bicycle - we do forget ) - not to mention that I am the wrong gender, marital status, and age to be a mad boy!!!).

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    1. We are certain, Chris, that you would pick it all up again in no time at all. And we are most definitely not going to be caught out discriminating on the grounds of age, marital status or gender. See you at the Wigmore Hall!!

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  79. Keeping your standards high - good on you! I played the piano from age 5 to 16; eventually my teacher said that I "played notes not music" and I was finally allowed to stop the dreaded lessons. She was quite right.

    Your piano is absolutely beautiful - even I would want to play it...notes only obviously! I hope you enjoy it as it really does look so at home in your lovely apartment. Have a relaxed, Happy Easter. Annie x

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    1. How many of us have been put off by, we should argue, poor, unimaginative teaching which we suspect was so in your case?

      We are delighted that you feel that the piano fits in to the room. Some rearrangement was necessary to accommodate it, as you can readily imagine. And a very Happy Eastertide to you and your family.

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  80. Dear Jane and Lance

    What a beautiful acquisition. It belongs in your home and I love the music cabinet. Is Mad Boy still being elusive? Perhaps he is yet to be made or re-invented. Perhaps Apple can come up with a new devise that will suffice. The new iTod or iCod might be suitable names for a robot Mad Boy. How about a TV show to recruit your Mad Boy? "Hattatt's Next Idol" or should that say "idle">.
    OK, OK, I will now go to my room

    Helenxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Helen. The music cabinet was bought some forty years ago, having been seen in an antique shop in Kent and was purchased on the condition that it could be got onto the back seat of a Mini which we had at the time.

      We love your suggestions for acquiring the very elusive 'Mad Boy'. An invented one certainly adds a new dimension but do you think he would turn out to be as decorative as we should wish? We are prepared for idleness which probably goes with the territory!!

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  81. I cannot believe you have a Bosendorfer! (So jealous) When I was piano shopping, its voice was the one I preferred. My budget did not agree.

    Thank you for swinging by my blog. And your motto finds a fan in me: the eclectic, eccentric, and esoteric are often tops on my checklist.

    www.thefoolishaesthete.blogspot.com

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    1. Actually the Bosendorfer belongs to our friends. Ours, an 'Alexander', is not nearly as grand but does play rather well.

      We much enjoyed your post and are delighted that we share common interests. We shall hope to see you here again.

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  82. Alexander in the morning room! How lovely! I think one of you should try to be the Mad Boy - there may be a talent in you... what other reason could there be to own this gorgeous, black piano? You are describing your days with your friends in such an exciting way - there must be strong strings of friendship between you! Thanks for your most appreciated comments on my blog. I wish you happy Easter holidays - hopefully with some music from Alexander.. Christa

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    1. Certainly we think that it is great fun to have the piano, Christa, and maybe you are right and one of us should take on the role of 'Mad Boy'!

      We did, indeed, have such a wonderful time with our friends and were so sad when they left but are looking forward to seeing them again later on in the year in Italy.

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  83. Oh I'm sure Mad Boy would be perfect for Alexander and will definitely be creating beautiful music together:)

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    1. Yes, it is just a question of finding the right person to play and then, as you say, together there will be 'beautiful music'.

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  84. Hi, Jane and Lance! Not only the piano but also the music cabinet is beautiful! You have a Morning Room? Now I’m curious what your “Evening Room” is like. Alexander sits quietly with his impressive appearance and manner. awaiting for “Mad Boy”. Piano sings resonating the emotion of the player. I hope Mad Boy’s playing will soothe you. Till the arrival of Mad Boy, why don’t you touch the keyboards? Random touches or search-and-peck playing according to a sheet of music is just wonderful to give Alexander the feel of life. Have a melodious days ahead.

    Yoko

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    1. Alas, we go no further into the day, and after the Morning Room we have to content ourselves with the Drawing and Dining Rooms. An Evening Room sounds to be most interesting.

      As you have mentioned it, we have been tempted to try out the key board, so far mastering a few simple scales and 'God Save the Queen' all on one hand. Not, we fear, very advanced and somewhat of a long way off Rachmaninov! But thank you for your encouragement, Yoko.

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  85. I love the piano and it looks so beautiful there waiting for someone to sit at the keyboard.
    Both of my parents played the piano beautifully, I often wonder why I never had piano lessons, something I now regret. Diane

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    1. That is so very kind of you, Diane. Indeed, it does seem a little strange that as your parents played, and well, that you were never given lessons. But, as we all say, it is never too late!!

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  86. Jane and Lance, thank you very much for the lovely comments you left on my blog.
    Have a happy and joyful Easter.

    Red

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    1. Your posts are always, Red, of great interest and a joy to read. The pleasure is entirely ours. Happy Easter.

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  87. Your new piano is stunning! In a joint venture with my school music teacher I've been teaching my middle school students to create presentations on classical musicians!

    Like you, playing the piano is a dream . . . I hope you and your friends from Italy had a wonderful visit!

    Happy Easter!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary. We love the idea of the work which you are doing with your middle school students. It sounds to be most imaginative and enormous fun and we are sure that the students gain a great deal from it.

      We did, in fact, have a wonderful time with our friends and are now looking forward to going to Italy later in the year.

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  88. Perhaps piano lessons would not be such a bad idea, dear Jane and Lance :) So much fun to learn together!
    Alexander is such a beautiful addition to your home! I love a house filled with music...
    After more than twenty years, I have decided to sit back down at the piano (I never did learn to play well..absolutely no patience!)..beginning with a book entitled "Easy Chopin"...we shall see :)

    It sounds like you had a delightful time with your friends...
    Enjoy your grand gift to each other!
    Sending love across the miles,
    - Irina

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    1. We think that you are right and that in all probability we shall end up taking piano lessons, or at least one of us.

      How wonderful that you have taken up the piano once more although to us 'Easy Chopin' sounds anything but easy. But we are sure that you will have fun playing again.

      The time spent with our friends was very enjoyable but, alas, the days passed far too quickly. But we shall see them again before too long, we hope.

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  89. It looks lovely, I'm sure it plays well to. How could it not? Wishing you well and much happiness.

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    1. We are, as well you may imagine, delighted with 'Alexander'. Now we just need a suitable 'Mad Boy' to play to us!!

      Much happiness to you this Eastertide.

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  90. Hello! Thanks! Why You think that You can not do beautiful photos?I do not think so...Have a wonderful week-end!

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  91. I remember as a child, going to a family reunion and finding a grand piano in the den that I was allowed to play. I was able to actually pick out notes and play recognizable songs...all by ear. I wanted a piano so badly after that. ....but never did get one until my son was ready to learn. That intuitive ability to play was lost though. I think your Mad Boy must be very young so he is able to grow and flourish under your guidance. There is a window of opportunity when we learn so much easier than at other times. It is called youth.

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