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29 July 2019, 14:58 | Updated: 31 July 2019, 16:34
This is probably the largest concert grand piano in the world, and you have to climb a steep flight of stairs to play it. Here’s what its inventor has to say…
Last Friday, a concert grand piano boasting up to five-metre-long strings was revealed to the public for the first time in a new concert hall in Ventspils, a Latvian port city.
Designed by German-born innovator David Klavins, the steel-framed, vertical grand piano hangs as if in mid-air some three storeys above the audience.
To play it, pianists must climb a steep flight of steel stairs to a balcony. And with no wooden casing around it, audiences seated in the concert hall can see the piano’s enormous steel strings stretching down against the wall.
“The most suitable music for this instrument would be all the very expressive works, for example Rachmaninov, Scriabin but also Beethoven’s sonatas would sound totally different on this instrument,” Klavins told the news agency Agence France-Presse.
With its six-metre-high, navy blue painted frame, the 450i Vertical Concert Grand is believed to be the world’s largest piano of its kind – although the Guinness Book of World Records has not yet measured the new instrument.
But this isn’t the first time Klavins’ incredible work has caught peoples’ attention – his Model 370, unveiled in 1987, is also regarded as being one of the world’s largest pianos.
However the piano maker’s aim, he tells AFP, was not to break a Guinness World Record, but “to create the best imaginable sound for all the performers and listeners who come to this particular hall.”
The creative head of the new concert venue, Miks Magone, said the piano had sparked interest among composers and performers, including Canadian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk, who will be among the first to play it next week.
The city’s mayor, Aivars Lembergs, hopes the record-breaking instrument will bring new faces to Ventspils: “We’re hoping to attract foreign music lovers as well”.
What a magnificent piece of work!