7.5/10
361
8 user 34 critic

Pianomania (2009)

Unrated | | Documentary, Music | 4 November 2011 (USA)
Pianomania follows Stefan Knüpfer, a piano tuner from Steinway and his famous clients Lang Lang, Brendel, Buchbinder and Pierre-Laurent Aimard as they search for the perfect pitch. Truly an... See full summary »

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Jan Schomburg
Stars: Sandra Hüller, Georg Friedrich, Felix Schmidt-Knopp
Four Lovers (2010)
Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

What are adult love affairs ? Two couples meet and fall in love, lose sight of each other in the confusion and end up pulling through.

Director: Antony Cordier
Stars: Marina Foïs, Élodie Bouchez, Roschdy Zem
Why Not Me? (1999)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Four gay French expatriots share a business in Barcelona. When they and their parents are thrown together for a "coming out" party, another French Farce ensues.

Director: Stéphane Giusti
Stars: Amira Casar, Julie Gayet, Bruno Putzulu
Rendezvous I (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Alexander Schüler
Stars: Tim Lang, Lisa Martinek, Anika Mauer
Mozart in the Jungle (TV Series 2014)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Love, money, ambition and music intertwine in Mozart in the Jungle, a half hour comedic drama that looks at finding yourself and finding love while conquering New York City. A brash new maestro Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal) stirs up the New York Symphony as young oboist Hailey (Lola Kirke) hopes for her big chance.

Stars: Gael García Bernal, Lola Kirke, Saffron Burrows
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Stephan Knüpfer ...
Himself
Pierre-Laurent Aimard ...
Pianist
...
Pianist
Till Fellner ...
Pianist
Christoph Koller ...
Himself
Alfred Brendel ...
Pianist
Ian Bostridge ...
Tenor
Hyung-Ki Joo ...
Himself (as Richard Hyung-Ki Joo)
Christoph Claßen ...
Himself
Tobias Lehmann ...
Himself
Marita Prohmann ...
Herself
Rudolf Buchbinder ...
Pianist
Aleksey Igudesman ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

Pianomania follows Stefan Knüpfer, a piano tuner from Steinway and his famous clients Lang Lang, Brendel, Buchbinder and Pierre-Laurent Aimard as they search for the perfect pitch. Truly an unusual and entertaining peek behind the curtain at the world's great concert halls. Written by Cibis & Franck

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 November 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

PianoMania  »

Box Office

Budget:

€400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,238 (USA) (27 May 2011)

Gross:

$48,349 (USA) (13 January 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(35 mm version)| (HD)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
They're not neurotic, just specific
31 August 2011 | by (Rockville, MD) – See all my reviews

The technician and pianists studied up close in Pianomania, a 2009 Austrian documentary, are searching for the perfect sound. They always get close, but I am not sure any of them well confess to ever actually hearing it. Stefan Knupfer is Steinway & Sons master technician based out of Vienna. He works at the Vienna concert house tuning, re-tuning, breaking apart and re-constructing grand pianos. Working closely with the most famous and skilled pianists in the world including Lang Lang and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, they have intense discussions concerning tone, flavor, color, air, etc… It turns out that grand pianos each have their own respective flavor, shape, and feeling. Is the sound round or too round? Is it full, thick, thin, light, or heavy? In Pianomania, Stefan describes the piano as the perfect music machine. Its full volume can reach 4000 in a single hall. Conversely, another technician raises the question of just how much of a musical instrument it really is. It takes three people just to move it around and if you draw on a particular string you will slice your hand open.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard will record Bach concertos in one year at the concert hall. A full year before these recordings, Stefan is already hard at work on it. He travels to Hamburg to painstakingly select the back-up piano in case the first one is not to Pierre's liking. He goes over to the Hofburg to consult harpsichord and clavichord experts because he feels he must know their sounds better. He almost self destructs when new hammerheads arrive (the parts which hit the piano strings) and they are 0.7mm too skinny, a fact he can tell just by looking at them.

Throughout the year, Stefan works hand-in-hand with all of these accomplished solo pianists to find the sound they are so desperately trying to describe. Tension frequently arises when they either cannot understand one another or when a piano sounds amazing to one person but like garbage to another. Well into the film, it is not odd to hear phrases such as "the tone is fine, it is what is in the tone which sounds off." Listening to the musicians play after they have finally decided the piano is ready is a real pleasure. There are extended sequences devoted to them. The camera work veers off every now and then though to try and match the sounds such as filming clouds reflecting on water or blurry neon lights. Those shots do not work very well but they are few and far between. Also, once the Bach recordings begin a year later, they can become quite tedious as you will see microphones adjusted and re-adjusted and Stefan running up and down the stairs repeatedly between the stage and the recording booth. This conveys exactly what it is supposed to, that recording major works of classical music is extremely challenging, but it also not very amusing for the audience either.

I recommend Pianomania to those who appreciate classical music and would like to peek behind the curtain a bit. Beware to those of you who do not seem interested by these descriptions, you will probably be bored.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What song was played when pianist was lying on the ground? azper
More about Steinway technicians and great pianists... Musikdrama
Discuss Pianomania (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?