A Tropical 1887 C. Bechstein Upright Piano

In this video, we feature a remarkable C. Bechstein upright piano originally built in 1887 and meticulously restored by our world-famous piano artisans. Originally hand-built in Berlin, Germany, this piano was prepped for its intercontinental destination in India. Due to the high humidity and tropical temperatures, Bechstein couldn’t rely on the hide glues of the time to keep the piano together, so they reinforced every part of the cabinet and action parts with brass tacks, screws, and even stitches. What we have is a remarkable example of a “tropical piano” that eventually made its way to the United States, where a local family who inherited the piano from a distinguished relative asked us to return this piano to its original glory. What you will hear is the piano sound that Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, and Frederic Chopin would have been intimately familiar with. At the family’s request, I perform an early work of Franz Liszt, “Romance in E minor”, a perfect piece to bring out the intimate warmth and subtle colors of this incredible piano.

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