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The modern form of the piano, which emerged in the late 19th century, is a very different instrument from the pianos for which the classical literature for piano predating this time was originally composed. The modern piano has a heavy metal frame, thick strings made of top-grade steel, and a sturdy action with a substantial touch weight. These changes have created a piano with a powerful tone that carries well in large halls, and which produces notes with a very long sustain time. The contrast with earlier instruments, particularly those of the 18th century (with light wooden frames, lightly sprung actions, and short sustain time) is very noticeable. These changes in the piano have given rise to interpretive issues and controversies involving the performance on modern pianos of the music written for the earlier kinds of piano, particularly since recent decades have seen the revival of historical forms of the instrument for concert use.

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Occasion: Connick on Piano, Volume 2 is an instrumental album recorded in 2005, presenting Harry Connick Jr. on piano and Branford Marsalis on saxophone, playing their own jazz compositions.
Presented as Volume 2 in the Connick on Piano series from Marsalis music. (Volume 1 is Connick’s quartet album Other Hours.)
Harry Connick Jr explains how it came to be a duo album: “When my drummer Arthur Latin hurt his shoulder, I decided to wait before recording another quartet album, and asked Branford if he would do something with me. What started as a project intended to mix solo piano and duo performances turned into an entire duo album.”
A DVD with Connick & Marsalis performing music live from this album, A Duo Occasion, was released in November 2005.

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The Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, is a piano concerto composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1829. Chopin wrote the piece before he had finished his formal education, at around 20 years of age. It was first performed on 17 March 1830, in Warsaw, Poland, with the composer as soloist. It was the second of his piano concertos to be published (after the Piano Concerto No. 1), and so was designated as “No. 2”, even though it was written first.

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The Wurlitzer electric piano, trademarked the “Electronic Piano” and referred to by musicians as the “Wurly”, was one of a series of electromechanical stringless pianos manufactured and marketed by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company of Corinth, Mississippi, U.S. and North Tonawanda, New York. The earliest models were made in 1954, and the last model was made in 1984. Since then the Wurlitzer electric piano sound has been recreated on digital keyboards, and the vintage models are sought by musicians and collectors.

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The Bösendorfer Model 290 Imperial or Imperial Bösendorfer (also colloquially known as the 290) is the largest model and flagship piano manufactured by Bösendorfer, at around 290 cm (9 ft 6 in) long, 176 cm (5 ft 9 in) wide, and weighing 552 kg (1,217 lb). It has an eight-octave range from C0 to C8. For 90 years it was the only concert grand piano in the world with 97 keys, until it was joined in 1990 by the instruments of Stuart & Sons of Australia. Music critic Melinda Bargreen has described the Imperial as the non plus ultra of pianos, while pianist Garrick Ohlsson dubbed it the “Rolls-Royce of pianos”.

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