Changing Piano Design #1

Bosendorfer-290-Imperial

 

 Ferruccio Busoni: 97 Keys

Any piano student can tell you that their instrument has a total of 88 keys, but that isn’t always the case. While working on transcriptions of Bach organ works for the piano, composer and pianist Ferruccio Busoni found that the standard keyboard was unsatisfactory.

In order to mimic the sound of the largest organ pipes, Busoni worked with Ludwig Bösendorfer of the eponymous piano factory to create an instrument with an extended the piano’s lower register. The result was the Model 290 Imperial, a 97-keyed piano that encompasses eight full octaves.

The first prototype was built in 1909.  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.

Garrick Ohlsson once called it the “Rolls Royce of pianos.”

June 19 ~ Today in Music History

today

 

• 1618 ~ Christian de Placker, Composer

• 1708 ~ Johann Gottlieb Janitsch, Composer

• 1717 ~ Johann Wenzel Anton Stamitz, Bohemian violist, conductor and composer

• 1730 ~ Jean-Baptiste Loeillet, Composer, died at the age of 49

• 1747 ~ Alessandro Marcello, Composer, died at the age of 77

• 1759 ~ Charles-Joseph-Balthazar Sohier, Composer, died at the age of 31

• 1762 ~ Johann Ernst Eberlin, Composer, died at the age of 60

• 1766 ~ Edmund Weber, Composer

• 1782 ~ John Bray, Composer

• 1825 ~ Ferdinand David (1810) Violist and composer

• 1815 ~ John William Glover, Composer

• 1822 ~ John Bray, Composer, died on his 40th birthday

• 1825 ~ Gioacchino Rossini’s “Il viaggio a Reims,” premiered

• 1842 ~ Carl Johann Adam Zeller, Composer

• 1843 ~ Charles Edouard Lefebvre, Composer

• 1854 ~ Alfredo Catalani, Italian composer

• 1885 ~ Stevan Hristic, Composer

• 1886 ~ Robert Herberigs, Flemish Composer and writer

• 1898 ~ Paul Muller-Zurich, Composer

• 1902 ~ Guy (Gaetano) Lombardo, Canadian-born American bandleader with The Royal Canadians: “The most beautiful music this side of heaven.”

• 1904 ~ Balis Dvarionas, Composer

• 1905 ~ Taneli Kuusisto, Composer

• 1910 ~ Edwin Gerschefski, Composer

• 1910 ~ Father’s Day was observed for the first time at Spokane, Wash., at the request of the the local YMCA and the Spokane Ministerial Association to earmark a Sunday to “honor thy father.” The idea originated in the mind of a Ms. John Bruce Dodd, a local housewife who was inspired by her admiration for the great job her father, William Smart, had done in raising his 6 children after his wife’s untimely and early death.

• 1912 ~ Jerry Jerome, American saxophonist

• 1913 ~ Sergey Ivanovich Taneyev, Russian Composer, died at the age of 58

• 1926 ~ DeFord Bailey was the first black to perform on Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry

• 1927 ~ Karel Kupka, Composer

• 1930 ~ Jul Levi, Composer

• 1932 ~ First concert performed in San Francisco’s Stern Grove

• 1936 ~ Tommy DeVito, Singer with The Four Seasons

• 1939 ~ Al Wilson, Musician, drummer, singer with Show and Tell

• 1940 ~ Maurice Jaubert, Composer, died at the age of 40

• 1942 ~ Spanky (Elaine) McFarlane, Singer with Spanky and Our Gang

• 1943 ~ Shiek Of Araby by Spike Jones & City Slickers peaked at #19

• 1951 ~ Ann Wilson, Singer with Heart

• 1953 ~ Larry Dunn, Musician, keyboards with Earth, Wind & Fire

• 1956 ~ Doug Stone, Singer

• 1960 ~ Loretta Lynn recorded Honky Tonk Girl

• 1961 ~ Little Egypt (Ying-Yang) by Coasters peaked at #23

• 1962 ~ Paula Abdul, Singer

• 1965 ~ I Can’t Help Myself, by The Four Tops, topped the pop and R&B charts. The Tops, who had no personnel changes in their more than 35 years together were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

• 1966 ~ Marjan Kozina, Composer, died at the age of 59

• 1984 ~ Wladimir Rudolfovich Vogel, Composer, died at the age of 88

• 1988 ~ Zdenek Blazek, Composer, died at the age of 83

• 1994 ~ “She Loves Me” closed at Atkinson Theater New York City after 294 performances

• 1994 ~ “Twilight – Los Angeles 1992” closed at Cort New York City after 72 perfomances

• 1995 ~ Murray Dickie, Opera singer/director, died at the age of 71

• 1996 ~ Alan Ande Anderson, Opera director, died at the age of 78

• 1996 ~ Vivian Ellis, Composer, died at the age of 91

• 1997 ~ Bobby Helms, singer (Jingle Bell Rock), died at the age of 63

• 1997 ~ “Forever Tango!” opened at Walter Kerr Theater New York City