Steinway No.1 by Chris Maene
The first Steinway fortepiano – the No.1 – was designed and constructed by the founder of the company, Heinrich Engelhardt Steinway, in 1836. It is also known as the ”Kitchen Piano” since it was crafted in Heinrich Steinway’s kitchen in Seesen, Germany.
The Steinway No.1 featured a new innovative type of action that allowed quick repetitions and leather-covered hammer heads which produced a big sound. The soundboard bridge was made of one piece instead of two, which created a higher string tension and required a stronger case. Through this invention, H.E. Steinway made an important step forward in the evolution of the modern piano: more powerful, a richer tone and able to be in better balance with an orchestra of that time period.
In 2006 the Chris Maene Workshop at Ruiselede, Belgium, was the first and only to get the official authorization from Steinway & Sons to make a copy of this original instrument. This replica of the very first Steinway took 2000 hours to complete and X-rays had to be taken of the original to capture every tiny detail. With this replica Mr Chris Maene realized the rebirth of a legend. The innovative N°1 from 1836 still exists in its original state at Steinway & Sons, NY.
DB = David Bodin