The link above will bring you to Mr. Bartoli’s epic campaign to restore his 1959 Steinway. The crowdfunding platform is in Italian, but below is an English translation. Any help will be greatly appreciated!
During the pandemic, in an unprecedented programme of cultural divulgation, pianist Sandro Ivo Bartoli recorded Domenico Scarlatti’s complete Sonatas: 558 films which he freely shared through his YouTube channel. Introducing each episode with his colloquial yet informed style, Bartoli reached a global audience, including a multitude of people that were not previously accustomed to classical music. This resulted in thousands of channel subscriptions, hundreds of thousands of views, and an avalanche of comments asking him to do more. Bartoli is keen not to disappoint, and intends to do much more. Yet, in order to be able to continue this work, his piano needs a complete restoration. Bring A Piano Back To Life ia a project which will enable anybody to take part in this great adventure, donating a new lease of life to the instrument which will donate music.
Bring A Piano Back To Life: why?
«Recording all the Sonatas by Scarlatti taught me many things – says Bartoli – but the biggest of all has been the realization of how much our societies need serious, entertaining and accessible musical divulgation. As a musician, I have always considered it part of my mission to make this wonderful art form accessible to a vast audience, and especially to those individuals who are not accustomed to Classical music. I knew that I had an an audience of aficionados who followed my concerts eagerly, but with internet it was possible to reach a much larger audience. It has been very exciting to see how many people became passionate about Classical music through my little films.
When the project finished, on Christmas Day 2021, many came forward asking me to do more, to continue with this divulgatory work. How can one disappoint the expectations of those eager to learn? It would be a betrayal of those principles which are, or should be, at the core of my work.
In my small ways, I will continue to earn my living doing what I have always done: giving concerts. However, it has become an imperative priority to continue my work online, building on the musical sharing which began with Scarlatti. My project is quite simple: to make my repertoire available to all who have an internet connection.
Following on what I did with Scarlatti, I will realise a broad range of video projects such as, for example, all the Sonatas by Hayd Franz Joseph Haydn, the Nocturnes of Chopin, or Clementi’s Gradus ad Parnassum. With the intent of being useful to the many young students who follow my channel, I will film a selection of teaching pieces – especially Etudes – of various authors such as Czerny, Heller, Liszt: the daily diet of all who approach piano studies. In addition, in my years as a concert pianist, I have had many pieces written for and dedicated to me. The third and final part of my project will consist of bringing to the public this new and unknown music, thus closing an indeal trajectory which spans from the dawn of the pianoforte era (with Bach, Scarlatti and Clementi) to, quite literally, our days.
It is an ambitious and onerous work, but a work which will – in my intentions at least – give a modicum of music education to thousands of people who would not otherwise have access to that great heritage of humankind we call “Music”».
Pianos are complex machines, made of thousands of mobile parts which are capable of creating magic. Like any machine, however, pianos are susceptible to wear. After a certain limit, the instrument’s tonal capabilities rapidly degenerate, rendering it impossible for the pianist to realise the myriad of tone colours which distinugish noteworthy interpretations. The protagonist of thie project is Steinway & Sons’ Model B-211 364.122 of 1959: taxed with the enormous workload of the Scarlatti project, it is in need of a complete restoration. The experts of Piano Team recommend a series of actions which will bring the instrument back to its former tonal splendour, rendering it once again suitable for excellent recordings. In detail, the restoration includes: the renewal of the soundboard, keeping the piano in a controlled climate chamber; the complete restoration of the keyboard, the complete substitution of all mechanical parts (action, hammers), the restoration of the cast iron frame, the substitution of the legs attachments, the substitution of pins and strings, a new pedalboard, the restoration of the case and a final repolish of the external areas.
Such a great amount of work on a musical instrument is a noteworthy event, which requires specific knowledge and many months of work. In line with the divulgatory charcater of Sandro Ivo Bartoli’s YouTube channel, the restoration will be documented in a series of films by Emanuele Zampieri and Luca Damiani who will follow each step of the restoration process, beginning with the long journey that the instrument will need to make from its home in Tuscany to Piano Team’s laboratory in Verona. At the end of the restoration, all the films will be reunited in a documentary which, for the first time, will reveal the secrets that lay inside a piano: the magic assonance of the various parts, which together create a unique sound.
How to take part.
Helping us, you will help musical divulgation globally. We will gratefully accept any donation, big and small, but with a donation of € 500 it is possible to adopt one of the piano’s 88 keys. Donors who will opt for this solution will receive an authentic piano key, autographed by Maestro Bartoli.
Businesses will have the opportunity to purchase publicity on Sandro Ivo Bartoli’s YouTube channel, in so doing gaining complete tax deductibility. For more information, please contact Maestro Bartoli directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
All donors who wish to will be mentioned individually in the final documentary, to be released at the end of the restoration process.