When most people contemplate the purchase of a piano, it is generally Yamaha, Steinway & Sons and certain other popular manufacturers that first come to their mind. You may not have therefore considered the merits of a piano from Bösendorfer, a brand with a remarkable history on which it is continuing to build in its distinctive present.
The illustrious story of Bösendorfer
Bösendorfer is an Austrian piano manufacturer with a history that can be traced back to 1828. Ignaz Bösendorfer was born in 1794 in Vienna and became apprenticed to one of the preeminent piano makers of the era, Joseph Brodmann, at the age of 19. On Brodmann’s retirement, aged 65, Ignaz took over his firm and was officially granted the right to become a member of the prestigious Austrian instrument manufacturers’ guild in Vienna.
Among the key figures to contribute to the rising renown of Bösendorfer pianos was the young Franz Liszt, whose passionate, virtuoso play was known to place particular demands on pianos. For his concert in Vienna in 1838, friends recommended that he selected a Bösendorfer Grand, with which he proceeded to thrill his audience.
Although since that date, Bösendorfer pianos have always been especially strongly associated with Liszt, they have also found use down the years by such legendary artists as jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, American singer-songwriter Tori Amos and jazz artists Nina Simone and Shirley Horn. Consequently, Bösendorfer pianos have also featured on many classical and popular recordings.
A darker, richer sound
While pianos from such manufacturers as Steinway & Sons and Yamaha are rightly feted for the purity of their sound, the Bösendorfer sound is generally characterised as comparatively richer, darker and fuller-bodied. This warm and powerful tone combines with a smooth and responsive touch and an aesthetically impressive cabinet to make Bösendorfer a go-to choice of piano for many of the most discerning artists.
However, it isn’t merely the distinctiveness of the sound, but also the impeccable craftsmanship with which Bösendorfer pianos are associated that may lead you to consider buying one. That aforementioned remarkably rich and colourful sound – described by the manufacturer itself as a “sonorous and warm bass, angelic and brilliant in descant, a breathtaking spectrum of colours in the middle range” – would not be possible in the absence of such exacting standards.
In particular, the construction of Bösendorfer pianos involves extensive use of spruce, from which integrated components are made that become acoustically active, forming a complete resonating body that allows for the projection of play by the entire instrument. This spruce is naturally dried by air, with the elements to which it is exposed – the wind, sun and great variations in temperature – making it even more suitable for use in Bösendorfer pianos.
Bösendorfer pianos remain as desirable as they have ever been
Bösendorfer may have been taken over by Yamaha in 2008, but the brand’s Austrian factory continues to operate independently, while drawing upon the Japanese enterprise’s expertise for the selling of its instruments. This arrangement has helped to preserve the handcrafted, premium quality for which Bösendorfer pianos have always been known, while continuing to make its pianos a highly attractive option for those who may have otherwise been tempted by the more ubiquitous manufacturers.
So, why not approach Coach House today about which Bösendorfer piano we can supply, which may represent the very best choice for you?