"Note by Note" will make you want to own a Steinway piano. This world-renowned company certainly are skilled at promoting their brand! This is a fascinating peek inside the Steinway piano factory, showcasing the "family" of laborers who construct these intricate machines. Insights from several top performing pianists (all Steinway-endorsed, mind you) provide additional, unique insights.
This is fascinating viewing for anyone with an interest in pianos and piano playing. I have already recommended this film to many people, and all who have since viewed it have thanked me.
As a postlude to my review above, here are some thoughts on the documentary from a fellow Netflix viewer named JSkyer:
"As a piano technician I appreciate this documentary for what it really is: An extended promotional piece for Steinway. And with the exception of the dramatic opening scene where a team of big burly men use all their strength to force layers of lamination around a mold to form the piano's rim, that’s pretty much all it is. Steinway, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, Fazioli, Bluthner, any piano manufacturer that has a high end, hand built line is going to have a devoted team of craftspeople that have spent years, if not decades, honing their skills. Steinway is no different, they are just better at self promotion and branding, hence this “documentary”. When push comes to shove, if you are in the market for a high end hand built piano forget about the name on the fallboard and buy the one that gives you the sound you want and provides the touch that works for you while falling within your budget. Unless you have an ego that demands that your friends see you with a Steinway, NO other parameters matter."
Wise thoughts, indeed. Regardless of his critique(s) it's a great film worth seeing.
I went to see this movie when it opened in Dallas a few years ago at the Dallas Theatre. Ben Niles the director was there and answered questions from the audience at the end. He said that this is a documentary he wanted to make on his own and that Steinway did not ask him to make it. He just wanted to make a documentary and chose the subject piano and the company to be Steinway since he lives in the east coast. He borrowed money and did it independently. Steinway let him film, but it was all this director guy's idea from the beginning to end. Steinway didn't contribute to the movie making financially at all. Now the movie is out, Steinway is happy that it is a good movie and would love to promote it since it promotes the brand, but I just want the truth let known. thank you, sophiarain