Use your computer mouse or keyboard to play the virtual piano keyboard (or the device touch screen for mobile devices). You can view the corresponding computer keyboard letters by activating the Real Keys feature. For the entire keyboard spectrum, click it twice.
A virtual piano keyboard is perfect when there isn't a real piano or a keyboard at home or when your piano or keyboard isn't next to a computer. The online piano keyboard simulates a real piano keyboard with 7 1/4 octaves of 88 keys (only five octaves for mobile devices), a sustain pedal, ABC or DoReMe letter notes representation, a Metronome, zoom-in, and a full-screen mode.
Use your computer mouse or keyboard to play the virtual piano keyboard (or the device touch screen for mobile devices). You can view the corresponding computer keyboard letters by activating the "Real Keys" feature. For the entire keyboard spectrum, click it twice.
A player piano is a modified piano that "plays itself." The piano keys move according to a pattern of holes punched in an unwinding scroll. Unlike a music synthesizer, the instrument actually produces the sound itself, with the keys moving up and down, driving hammers that strike the strings. Like its counterpart, a player piano can be played by hand as well. When a roll is run through the instrument, the movement of its keys produce the illusion that an invisible performer is playing the instrument. Vonnegut uses the player piano as a metaphor to represent how even the most simple of activities, such as teaching oneself how to play the piano in one's spare time, has been replaced by machines instead of people. Early in the book, Paul Proteus's friend and future member of the Ghost Shirt Society, Ed Finnerty, is shown manually playing a player piano, suggesting the idea of humans reclaiming their animus from the machines. The book's most tragic character is Rudy Hertz, the machinist who was the prototype recorded by the machines. They are player pianos replicating his physical motions.
In the Italian translation, Player Piano is rendered as Piano meccanico, a double-entendre, which, without any other words in the phrase, can mean either "player piano" or "mechanical plan."
In April 1943, Szpilman watches from his window as the first of two uprisings, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which he aided, unfolds and ultimately fails. Soon thereafter, when a neighbor discovers Szpilman hiding in the flat, he is forced to flee to a second hiding place. His new hiding location is another vacant apartment, and it has a piano in it which he feels drawn to play; but he does not as he must keep quiet to avoid discovery. While in hiding at this location, malnutrition due to very limited food supplies takes effect; he loses weight and begins to suffer from jaundice.
In August 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising, the Home Army attacks a German building across the street from Szpilman's hideout. Tank shells hit the apartment, forcing him to flee. Over the course of the following months, Warsaw is destroyed. Szpilman is left alone to search desperately for shelter and supplies among the ruins. He eventually makes his way to a house where he finds a can of pickles. While trying to open it, he is discovered by Wehrmacht officer Wilm Hosenfeld, who learns that Szpilman is a pianist. He asks Szpilman to play on a grand piano in the house. The decrepit Szpilman manages to play Chopin's Ballade in G minor. Hosenfeld lets Szpilman hide in the attic of the empty house. While there, he is regularly supplied with food by the German officer.
The Pianist was released digitally on 27 May 2003 in a double-sided disc Special Edition DVD, with the film on one side and special features on the other. Some Bonus Material included a making-of, interviews with Brody, Polanski, and Harwood, and clips of Szpilman playing the piano. The Polish DVD edition included an audio commentary track by production designer Starski and director of photography Edelman.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment released the film on HD-DVD on 8 January 2008 with extras comprising the featurette "A Story of Survival" and rare footage of the real Władysław Szpilman playing his piano, as well as additional interviews with Adrien Brody and other crew.
His vast catalogue of recordings includes the complete piano works of Rachmaninov and Chopin, the complete sonatas of Beethoven, Mozart's piano concertos as well as works by Scriabin, Prokfiev and Brahms. He's worked with all the biggest names of the 20th century including conductors Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta and Bernard Haitink.