With its dramatic presence, unsurpassed power and emotional sonority this instrument is the ultimate representative of our skills. Ludwig Bösendorfer’s invention continues to inspire generations of classical, jazz and new music performers. Its massive soundboard, the largest of all concert grands, makes its sound an almost orchestral experience. The extra bass strings of the subcontra octave extend the tonal range and create additional harmonic resonance throughout the whole instrument.
The first prototype was built in 1909 following a request from Ferruccio Busoni. He was working on a transcription of Bach's organ music and needed a piano with deeper bass notes. As a result the Imperial was created with 97 keys- eight full octaves. Its extraordinary sound inspired major composers, including Bartók, Debussy and Ravel. Several music pieces composed require an Imperial to ensure that they are played true to the original.
Bösendorfer Imperial 290 provided by KIROV HIGH-END for JAZZ FM BIRTHDAY CONCERT
Valentina Lisitsa showing how the bass strings vibrate with a section from Liszt Ballade #2