Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Double Your Playing Pleasure: The Ultimate 2-Seater

This is perhaps the ultimate "solution" for two piano players: The Pleyel Double Grand Piano. The instrument in question here belongs to the Thai royal family and has been restored to a concert ready state. Here's a bit of it's reported history:

"This piano, bearing the serial number 152919, is now considered one of the rarest musical instruments in the world. It was created in France, probably between 1911 and 1915, and is said to be one of only eight ever built. It has one main steel frame but two sets of keyboards. Sold to a Frank Lewis in Cambridge on October 16, 1916, it later became the property of Prince Chudadhuj _ a son of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) _ who was studying at Magdalene College, Cambridge University, at the time. The prince graduated with a bachelor's degree in language and returned to Siam in 1918, accompanied by a golden harp (now called the Chudadhuj Harp and kept at Tamnak Prathom) and the double grand piano." Read more about it here (including a photo of the beast).

If a double grand piano is not to your liking, well there's always the double-keyboard upright piano. Have a look at this beauty! Wow!! It's fascinatingly ugly yet lovely in it's own right!

To hear music played on one of these rare birds check out this CD recording performed by a very fine piano duo.

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