Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Bechstein Grandpianos

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The Man On The Prowl user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 27 Sep 09, 05:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hello beautiful people! I hope there is some pianist or grandpiano experts out there!
It'll take me quite a lot of years yet to buy me a grandpiano, actually first I should have a home only for me and my future family where to place it, but sometimes it's nice to fancy about my future buyings...
If I ever buy a grandpiano I'd like to buy a Bechstein, mainly for two reasons. First because I remember when I played them in Harrods: they were so great to play, soft but dynamic keys, great sound, warm and crystalclear at the same time. Second because I know the piano in Trident Studios was a Bechstein, and it has been played by Queen on Bohemian Rhapsody, by Beatles on Hey Jude, by Elton on Your Song, by David Bowie on Life on Mars, and so on...
So, do you know which is the exact model of the Trident Studios grandpiano?
I have visited the webpage http://www.bechstein.de/instruments/default.aspx and there are some beautiful models different from the ones on the catalogue I took in Harrods in 2003... The grandpianos on that catalogue are the white K158, the brown M180 and A189, and the black B208, C232 and D280.
In case the Trident Studio model is no more available, do you know which model is the most similar? Or else which one would you advise to buy, keeping also in mind the quality-price factor?
Thanks!



The Man On The Prowl user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 27 Sep 09, 05:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Also, keeping in mind that I live in Italy, which is the best way you buy it, and do you know where I can find the indicative prices of all the models?


Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 27 Sep 09, 07:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Bechstein housed at Trident was NOT the une used for Bo Rhap. It was, however, the one Freddie used for the first two albums and Dr May for Doing All Right, Father to Son, Now I'm Here and God Save the Queen.

Both 'Opera' and 'Races' were recorded using a different Bechstein (same model and same dealer though) in white finish (you can see it in the videos for Bo Rhap and Best Friend as well as Hammersmith '75 and Hyde Park concerts).

Still, both pianos (the Trident one and the Rhapsody one) are D models and were hired from Jacques Samuel's in Edgware Road. The Trident one is a 1898 model and was purchased about five years ago by an American individual. It's never been officially said what happened with the Bo Rhap one... Fred bought his black Steinway in 1977 and the Bechstein wasn't required anymore, so it must have been bought by somebody else during the 1977-2004 period and now must be in the lounge of some lucky owner (who may or may not know about the instrument's past).

When Maylor set up a 'reconstruction' gear for the Bo Rhap documentary in '04, they used a different white piano, not the Bechstein. They also didn't bother finding a bass of the same model as John's.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
Adam Baboolal user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 27 Sep 09, 09:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

For some reason, I got the feeling that either Brian or David Bowie had the white one. Either that or someone else well known has it. Hmm...why am I thinking this? I must've seen or heard something to give me a distinct impression that this was what happened to it.

Adam.

Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 27 Sep 09, 15:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Maybe you got confused by the Sept 2004 e-Bay sale of a black Steinway made in NY which was claimed to have been owned by Fred and Bowie in the past. When asked about it, Brian said Fred didn't use Steinway's, and then I corrected him myself. He was kind enough to publicly acknowledge his mistake and my correction was published in his website. Those were the days...

Dr May does own the (other) black Steinway btw... after the Magic tour it was housed at Mountain Studios but when David bought them Rog took it away to his home studio (source: an e-mail DR sent to me seven years ago). Some time between 'Electric Fire' and the visit from a cancer patient to Bri's flat in early 2000's, it went from Taylor's to May's.

I've never heard 'The Cosmos Rocks', but I assume that if they used piano there, they probably played Fred's 1972-model Steinway from NY, the same one he'd used for all tours from 'News on the World' to 'Magic'.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
The Man On The Prowl user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 27 Sep 09, 17:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ok thank you all for your kind answers! So it is a Bechstein D model... Which exact model? Is it still on sale? Do you think it is a good model? How about keys dynamic and sound respect to a Steinway? And how about the quality-price factor? Would you advise me to buy the Bechstein D model or a Steinway, and why?



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Posted: 27 Sep 09, 18:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Trident one is a D Concert Grand handmade in Berlin in 1898. Ebony finish.

The Bo Rhap one's also a D Concert Grand, I don't know from which year but I do know it's basically built the same way as the Trident one but in white finish. Those pianos tend to be made only by special request and surcharge.

Fred's Steinway's a 1972 black model from NYC, 8 ft 11 3/4 in.

As for Bechstein vs Steinway... there's no accounting for taste: thousands of people would prefer Bechstein, thousands of people would prefer Steinway. At the end of the day, the best is for you to play on both and see which one you're more comfortable with. Remember: no two pianos are ever the same.

If you want, compare the piano of Bo Rhap, Two Legs, Teo Torriatte, I'm in Love With My Car, Good Old Fashioned, Millionaire Waltz or Somebody to Love in their studio versions (all with the Bechstein) with their post-Races-Tour live arrangements (all with the Steinway), to see which one you prefer.

Although... Steinway's tend to change their sound a bit when fitted through Helpinstill... which is why DSMN sounds tad different on stage and in the studio though both are with the exact same instrument.

Regarding quality-price: The best deal you can get is a piano that satisfies your needs, no matter for how much. Still, remember that most of Fred's sound came from his hands, not the instrument he sat on. That's the same as Dr May and his guitar: even if one could steal his Red Special, he or she wouldn't automatically play or sound like him.

The most important part of an instrumental performance is the one that can't be purchased: the skill.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 28 Sep 09, 11:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Keep in mind, that this is a great time to purchase a used piano.

The market for grand pianos is very poor, at present.  If you've just got a pile of money to waste, then go ahead and get what you want for sentimental reasons.  But if you want a really good sounding piano, there's nothing like a Steinway, although Baldwins have always been a favorite of mine.

I wouldn't pay to have a piano shipped to you, I'd look into something locally if I were you.  Shipping a piano is extremely risky.  You're dealing with wood and entrusting it's care to the shipping company, not the dealer you're purchasing the piano from.  Climate is very important, especially this time of year, so make sure that a shipping company takes that into consideration.