This was my hands on with Pianoteq's NY Steinway D and this is my hands on with Pianoteq's Ant. Petrof 275:
Although my goal is not to collect virtual pianos for their own sake, the nature of the instrument and technology is intertwined with the music-making. The line is most definitely blurred in this narrative:
The scene opens with the performer approaching a majestic Petrof P237 Monsoon acoustic grand piano.
The feed cuts abruptly to the performer at home with no Petrof piano, but instead equipped with a simulation of an Ant. Petrof 275 acoustic grand piano.
The piano simulation is powered by Pianoteq 7.5.4 running on a concealed Raspberry Pi 400 and a Kawai Novus NV10 with a Millennium III grand piano action. The interface is featured gloriously on an iPad, acting both as a piano visualizer and controller device. This is a luxury, since Pianoteq can be controlled directly from the Novus.
The system works wonderfully, with superb playability on the grand action, and fabulous sound experienced via the Novus. The integrated woofer brings the bass to life. Pianoteq is shown effortlessly modeling an Ant. Petrof while capturing the performance.
The twist is that the piano is not actually in equal temperament, but tuned to Kirnberger III temperament. This is a risky choice on the part of the performer, though perhaps, the stakes are not so high. Sarah McLachlan recorded Last Dance on a random out-of-tune upright piano, but here, the virtual piano has been very deliberately configured with a historical tuning, employing technology that did not exist in 1997.
Let's leave the technical mumbo-jumbo aside and allow for some musical storytelling.
The poor ballerina collapses. She gets up gingerly and resumes a gentle dance. That was almost the end of her story.
Throughout the piece, the performer has been pedaling mercilessly and the virtual piano strings have been resonating, painting a rich musical tapestry. For a brief moment of Zen, that pedal is released, while the dancer reassesses.
Her life is meaningless without dance.
We take a moment to enjoy the deep bass of the Ant. Petrof and crystalline clarity of the treble. This even inspires our tiny dancer to improvise a few steps that were not quite part of the original choreography.
The ballerina grows bolder. She outdoes herself in what turns out to be her last hurrah. Her heart gives and she collapses. She never rises again. She had always loved flowers.
End credits are shown. The performer reaches out and deliberately halts the piano simulation.
The feed cuts back to reality. The performer takes a bow.