The story

This is my C.Bechstein Model 9 upright piano from 1911, serial number 101058.

I have had it since 3 o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday 9th January 1973, when I was nine years old.

I’d previously asked my parents if I could learn to play the piano. I was already quite a good recorder player and had tried the acoustic guitar for a year without really taking to it. Neither of my parents played an instrument although both loved listening to music. They had no real idea of what to look for in a piano but happened to hear that an old lady in the next village was selling hers. It turned out that she was asking £25 for it which was quite a lot of money to my parents back then – they really had to think about whether or not it was affordable and had little appreciation of the quality of the instrument they were getting. They were told it had been “tropicalised” and recounted to me how it must have spent some of its life in hotter climes… My first piano lesson was at 5:10pm on Friday 12th January 1973 (with Miss Dorothy Parkin: she had a Steinway upright that I had all my early lessons on, as well as about a dozen cats).

My C.Bechstein has been through many moves with me over the years and in 2013 I had it fully refurbished by Evan Hatch of Launceston, Cornwall. Today (Saturday 23rd March 2019) it is being sampled for Piano Book by Patrick Ytting who kindly reached out to me in the comments section of one of Christian’s YouTube videos, offering to come and capture it for the community and for posterity.

And now, here it is…



Reviews for 1911 Bechstein Upright

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • I'm biased!

    I'll always be grateful to Patrick Ytting for undertaking the technicalities of getting my piano onto Pianobook, right back in the early days of this extraordinary community project. From the moment Christian first mentioned the concept, I dreamed of my piano being available to anyone around the world to play - and that dream soon became reality, thanks to Patrick. I'm biased but I feel sure that all the wonderful composers and musicians who have submitted demos for my 1911 Bechstein Upright will agree that it has a uniquely endearing quality which, sometimes, is exactly what you're looking for...

    Andrew WardSamplist 13 October 2021
  • A Piano Book Favorite!!

    Some of the earliest libraries on the PB seemed to have been partially forgotten, so I was happy to see that the new rating system will hopefully bring some of the 'oldies but goodies' back to the top of the heap to a new group of Piano Book users who might not have seen this one before. This is one of my favorite pianos on the PB site. It ticks all of the boxes: it's a great instrument, well-played, expertly recorded, and perfectly programmed in Kontakt. It's very playable, and while very dark sounding, it's still an inspiring instrument. Don't sleep on this library! It's a great find from the Piano Book community!

    Sam EcoffSamplist 28 November 2021
  • The Piano Veteran of Pianobook!

    This piano has so much to say really! It has such an interesting character that worths exploring without a doubt. There is just a little bit of noise in the samples, but that won't let the magic go away. The GUI is beautiful too, with the option to control the release sounds, the stereo image and the reverb included.

    Alex Raptakis18 October 2021
  • Wonderful!

    It's beautifully sampled instruments like this that keep me coming back to pianobook.
    The sampling of this 1911 Bechstein Upright is incredible. It almost sounds like you're inside the piano, and you can faintly hear the action of the hammers, though it's not overpowering which I really like. The piano itself has a soft, but not overly muffled sound, making each note sing perfectly.
    Once you start playing it I'm sure you'll feel the same inspiration I did. Excellent work!

    Polter11 May 2023
  • Nice old sounding upright.

    This really reminds me of my wurlitzer upright. It has that slight chorus sound you hear on old pianos but its not too much like on some pianos. The dynamics are great and its really playable. It feels really natural. The tone is pretty mid heavy but i dont think this is a bad thing. The high notes seem to be panned which i dont like but they have a really beautiful transient and shimmer. The GUI is also alot more useful than alot of pianos on pianobook with controls for the release triggers which is always so awesome when included. Id say this is in my top 10-15 pianos on pianobook.

    septemberwalk15 November 2021
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