What you get when you purchase a C. Bechstein C234 piano
(Retail Price: $210K)
"C. Bechstein pianos are jewels handmade in Germany, the last word in piano-making, built to satisfy the most discriminating ears and most demanding musicians. The C. Bechstein C234 is a sensational, powerful semi-concert grand piano with compelling dynamics and a subtle, colorful and transparent voice."
"Music is truly fascinating. When it stems from a C. Bechstein instrument, it illuminates its surroundings, whether a concert hall or a private music room. Regardless of the style, music is a universal language, a means to overcome barriers and transcend both time and space. Moreover, playing music clearly goes beyond rationality, making our entire being vibrate in harmony with our emotions. Feeling music under our skin bursts conventions, generates creative energy and boosts our motivation. Every C. Bechstein piano is a masterpiece that conceals artistic secrets of ineffable depth. A C. Bechstein grand piano will seduce you with its clear voice and colorful timbre, its poetry, power and incomparable touch."
"The C. Bechstein pianos feature a musical personality that sets them apart from all other instruments. Their singing, transparent and articulate voice is absolutely compelling. C. Bechstein grand pianos are masterpieces with a legendary timbre. Their truly exceptional quality makes them good long-term investments. They have won a reputation for acoustic and technical excellence in conservatories, concert halls and recording studios. Musicians the world over appreciate their unlimited rich color, perfectly balanced registers and powerful yet transparent voice."
"Every C. Bechstein piano has its own engaging personality. A friend who can share all your emotions, it will show you new dimensions in the world of music, and will never disappoint you. The C. Bechstein sound has fascinated the world’s elite pianists since 1853. Great artists and music lovers entrust their musical message to Bechstein. Concert programs and inscriptions in the company’s guest books attest to the intimate dialogues between star pianists — including Liszt, Lutoslawski, Brahms, Debussy, Godowsky, Penderecki, Leonard Bernstein and Cecil Taylor — and “their” Bechstein."
"Perfection is not only for professionals, however. Anyone who loves playing or listening to the piano will be touched to the heart by the beauty of the Bechstein sound. Practicing becomes a pleasure on a C. Bechstein piano. You will love your instrument, its precise action mechanism, its delicate touch, its subtle dynamics, and its incredibly colorful voice. Your C. Bechstein piano is a masterpiece that will reward your discriminating taste in sound and action, a musical friend that will accompany you from your first steps at the piano up to virtuosity."
"The excellent Bechstein sound is born of the intelligent mix of craftsmanship and modern engineering. Making pianos of the highest quality is a luxury that requires committed specialists for every single part and production step, as well as clear specifications for all materials and components."
"At the C. Bechstein factory, experienced masters and specialists make unique instruments that have musical personalities all their own. These masterpieces are born under truly luxurious conditions: natural raw materials of prime quality are carefully selected, then stored under controlled climatic conditions, and finally processed by conscientious piano-makers. The genesis of a C. Bechstein piano is thus a process that takes several years. The masterpieces that originate in the German factory of C. Bechstein are highly complex creatures, the results of a long process composed of hundreds of individual steps. They are musical jewels cultivated and produced with love."
"C. Bechstein outer and inner rims are exceptionally sturdy, practically indestructible parts, withstanding extreme tensions. Layers of birch and mahogany are carefully selected, then glued in form in a special frame under a precise pressure. The selection and arrangement of the layers, together with the special glue used, guarantee the stability of the acoustic assembly. The inner and outer rims are subsequently stored upright for six months under controlled climatic conditions so that the internal tensions stabilize and remain constant throughout the piano’s lifetime. Special devices continuously monitor the pressure as the glue dries, as well as the humidity and temperature of the room. Bechstein uses optimized processes to assemble the soundboard and the back posts that perfectly support this wooden membrane. Rim and soundboard form a symbiotic unit that vibrates freely, never constricted yet never slack."
"A special department of C. Bechstein’s German factory produces the ribs of every grand piano soundboard. These special parts ensure the stability of the board and maintain its tension throughout the piano’s lifetime. Bechstein oversees the making of this wooden membrane, the true heart of the acoustic assembly, with all the care a trainer devotes to a top athlete; only experienced master piano-makers are involved in the making of the soundboard. The raw material is European spruce grown above one thousand meters in altitude. The soundboard’s profile is carefully shaped. The board’s complex curvature is created by precisely applied tensions that result from the interplay of several factors, including the exact milling of the rib ends and drying phases in a climatic chamber. The soundboard thus remains responsive to the slightest vibrations over decades. This top-quality wooden membrane enables C. Bechstein pianos to “catapult” notes both sensitively and elastically, without energy loss, allowing a single tone to open up like a bud. Thus equipped with a soundboard that optimizes the propagation of sound energy, the C. Bechstein grand pianos have an exquisitely cultivated timbre."
"The cast-iron plate masterpiece is made using a traditional process: casting molten iron at a temperature of more than a thousand degrees Celsius in a sand mold. The resulting cast-iron has a high carbon content which in turn has a positive influence on the plate’s natural frequency. The cast-iron bell found exclusively on the C. Bechstein models B, C and D is made using the same process. The bell is subsequently affixed to the plate with a screw that can be used to regulate the piano’s dynamism. This additional part generates another harmonic partial, thus contributing to the excellent timbre of the C. Bechstein pianos."
"A luminous, golden bass register and light, silver trebles: all Bechstein strings are top-quality products with a noble, powerful sound. The bass strings are made of a high purity copper wire wrapped by hand around a steel core manufactured according to Bechstein’s exacting specifications. Wrapping the bass strings requires a special dexterity. The craftsman holds the steel core and prevents it from vibrating while it rotates rapidly. At the same time, he guides the copper wire and maintains a constant force: too much tension would impair the copper’s elasticity and the string’s vibration amplitude; insufficient tension would result in undesired noise. Strings wrapped and mounted by hand are a luxury that yields decisive advantages over mechanical processing: the excellence of Bechstein strings also contributes to the instruments’ rich, colorful and profound voice."
"Every C. Bechstein instrument is a masterpiece of German piano making that integrates a considerable amount of craftsmanship and attention to detail. This is especially true of the action and acoustic assemblies, made exclusively by specialists who dedicate themselves to creating instruments with a distinctive musical personality."
"At C. Bechstein, parts are made exclusively of carefully selected mahogany, pine and red birch to guarantee maximum stability. The support of the action assembly is also made of carefully selected solid wood, while the parts that withstand particularly high stress, such as the lyre and the leg mountings, are made of coniferous wood reinforced with hardwood. The case that contains and protects the impressive cast-iron plate with the strings, as well as the action and the soundboard — a lively masterpiece combining tension and elasticity — is likewise made of solid wood. It is therefore not surprising that C. Bechstein upright and grand pianos tend to keep their tuning even during transport."
"Today C. Bechstein is Europe’s leading maker of upright and grand pianos. The company is owned by German shareholders whose intent is to preserve an acoustic culture of royal distinction, an inimitable sound that fascinates music lovers the world over — a sound that speaks the universal language of excellence and connects people around the world."
"A touch of unequalled refinement and elegance, a voice of unmatched beauty, colorful and well balanced, C. Bechstein pianos allow you to play any repertoire with complete freedom. Moreover, they can be passed from one generation to the next thanks to their legendary robustness with some 70,000 century old C. Bechstein pianos are still played all over the world."
Source: C. Bechstein, Sound of Excellence