Bechstein have exhaustively sampled one of their own instruments to bring us this lavishly produced virtual piano.
The sampled piano market, as most players and purchasers will know, is jam-packed. At the more expensive and specialist end there seems to be every kind of instrument on offer, from ultra-clean no-disk-space-spared modern-day Japanese beauties to deliberately aged, European character pianos complete with studio and artist provenance.
Bechsteins, though, are generally not well represented — you’re much more likely to come across sampled Steinways, Bosendorfers, Yamahas and even Faziolis. And that’s a fair mirror of real life too, on the concert hall stage. The perception in classical circles has often been, rightly or wrongly, that the Bechstein grand is a more delicate, lighter-sounding instrument, and less suitable for doing battle with a symphony orchestra in really big repertoire, despite its tremendous historical legacy (Liszt, Debussy, Scriabin et al). But maybe that unique character would make it an ideal candidate for sampling: something distinct that could be an attractive alternative for pop and jazz as well as concertos. As someone who spent much of their teenage years stationed in front of a Bechstein (albeit an upright, still in the family), I was quite keen to find out if that theory stood up to scrutiny.
Let’s get some factual stuff out of the way first. This sample library is an official Bechstein product — the piano factory and digital offices share the same...
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