1911 Bechstein Upright

A Bechstein upright piano from 1911....

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…




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

  • 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
  • Old fashioned upright

    This reminds me of the first piano I ever played as a child at my aunties house. Loads of character and not perfect but sometimes imperfection is exactly what's called for

    Jim Sanger15 October 2021
  • 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 Ward13 October 2021
  • Solid Piano with homely charachter

    Well recorded instrument with a characterful feel for an imperfect, vintage sounding upright piano.

    Boag110 October 2021