The Lord's real name is Fabricio André Bernard di Paulo, and he was born in São Paolo, Brazil. His name sounds Italian. His ancestors may have been among the thousands of European immigrants who swept into Brazil in the late-nineteenth century. The Lord regularly posts his piano-videos on YouTube, where I discovered him. I found him the way I have found other things on the Internet, by cruising sort of absent-mindedly. Before long, the Internet intuits things about me and guides me to the things that I want to watch. TV is so yesterday. . . .
I have snipped a few images of the Lord from his videos so my readers can identify him. Thanks to the Lord, I have reconnected with Chopin—remembering Horowitz's performances of him—and with the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky, which someone transcribed for piano. Before I learned anything about the Lord, I just assumed he was a Russian national. Note his deadpan way of staring at the camera. He threatens to "stare into your soul" if you do not subscribe to his videos.
Often, he mixes piano-playing with a droll sense of humor, which is really the reason why I wanted to write about him. Apparently, the Lord walks into music shops, sits down, and records himself on the piano. He plays them all. Cheap pianos sound tinny and out of tune, compared to costly pianos, which carry a noble-sounding resonance. In one video, the Lord unlocks a vault stocked with really expensive Steinways, starting at $200,000 and going up to $2.5 million.
The John Lennon "Imagine" limited-edition piano costs $217,000. But you don't have to buy an expensive piano. You can get a telescope for the same price, or even a yacht, complete with GPS.
In another video, the Lord again makes viewers aware of the convertability of wealth. Instead of a $17,000 piano, buy a Coco Chanel $17,000 handbag. I wondered, "That much for a handbag?" So I googled "Coco Chanel handbags." They are indeed that expensive—$17,000 being at the low end. They can cost anywhere up to $200 Grand. Imagine anyone paying that much for a handbag!
We live in a consumer-oriented culture where we can buy nearly anything. It's like heaven on earth to have so many choices. The Lords teasingly mixes high culture with crass materialism. You can't separate them for anything!
The Lord himself chose a piano, and it was not cheap. It cost him $53,000. He videoed its delivery. You can see workers carrying the disassembled parts of his concert grand-piano to his dwelling. Moving a piano is not a piece of cake! I had to help some friends carry an upright piano up a flight of steps. It was a typical apartment-complex staircase, about seventeen steps. It took us an hour to do it.
The Lord's piano is a Pleyel, built in Paris in the early 20th century, established by Ignace Pleyel, an Austrian immigrant originally named "Pleyl." $53,000 is not a bad price, even for a used one. The Lord infers something important about life in a free society, that we value things by the price we pay for it. As long as it trades unfettered, the market sets the price.