bigger the better?
'Grand' for pianists who got it all!
In 1987, the
Riga based German builder of pianos David Klavins, has
presented an instrument measuring more than three and a half meters
high, with strings of more than three meters long, weighing about
According to the German "Guinness- Buches der Rekorde"
it is the biggest instrument of the world!
Over the years
several builders have attempted to build the biggest piano possible.
What moves them to achieve this? A bigger instrument with a bigger
soundboard can produce more sound, this is important in large
spaces with lots of people in it.
Larger soundboards are also better able to pass on lower frequencies.
Because the strings are longer the inharmonicity
is different than in smaller instruments.
This improves the quality of the sound.
builders have improved the pianos and grand pianos step by step,
concert grands however kept looking like sturdy black shiny instruments,
standing on three legs with a huge top on it.
This Klavins is different. One is no longer seated at the
piano, one sits almost in the instrument.
Klavins wants us to believe one can expect new sensations in the
sound of his piano.
pianist Michael Ponti:
unique size of the piano has an overwhelming effect on me.
When I sit at the "Klavins" and play, it seems incomparably
more impressive than anything I have ever experienced before.
I think Mr. Klavins has succeeded in developing an instrument that
will satisfy the highest standards of piano playing.
In addition, its magnificent sound is an enrichment of the spectrum
of instruments available to the pianist."
The most important reason to build an instrument bigger than the
2.75 m concert grand piano is probably a matter of prestige.
The British Challen factory made a concert grand of 3.55
m in the honour of the silver jubilee of King George V and Queen
Mary in 1935.
It was not until 1987 this record was broken by David Klavins.
Although a bigger instrument with a bigger soundboard should be
better equipped to produce lower frequencies, the bass strings
of this big instrument sound a bit unnatural to what we are accustomed
Because of the length of the bass strings the inharmonicity
is at such a low level they stopped sounding like a piano.
A Piano is Art by itself