An extraordinary event starring three C. Bechstein D 282 grand pianos was recently staged in the concert hall of the Kulturpalast, the principal venue of the Dresdner Philharmonic Orchestra. Measuring 282 centimeters in length and weighing 540 kilos each, the three instruments arrived from the Seifhennersdorf manufactory, the production site of C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik AG, the world renowned manufacturer that has delivered instruments to many great concert halls on all five continents, including the Konzerthaus and the Philharmonic Hall in Berlin.
Once the three “heavyweights” had been set up on the stage by professional piano movers, C. Bechstein concert technician Torben Garlin had about half an hour to check the instruments for any effects of transport, and to make the necessary fine adjustments to sound and play. An experienced technician and pianomaker, he performed the task with bravura.
Bert Kirsten, manager of Dresdner Piano Salon, was fortunate to persuade Peter Rösel, Professor Emeritus at the Dresden Conservatory and full member of the Saxon Academy of the Arts, to do the honors in selecting one of the three concert grands for exhibition at the new C. Bechstein Center. With great care and intense concentration, Professor Rösel played various works on each of the instruments, testing their broad dynamics from the most delicate pianissimo to the most powerful fortissimo. The minuscule differences that he detected between the instruments with regard to their touch, dynamics and timbre formed the basis of the selection process, which was not easy as all three grands had excellent mechanical and acoustic qualities. Professor Rösel first ruled out one of them, played the other two several more times, and finally chose the one whose radiant voice shall thrill the visitors of the C. Bechstein Center in the Dresdner Piano Salon.
“It was truly not an easy choice to make,” said Professor Peter Rösel to Bert Kirsten after the selection. “All three instruments are of the highest quality, and only the merest of fine details made up the differences between them. In the end I chose that one, on the right, because I had the feeling that this instrument had the best touch.”