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The commanding flagship – The DNA carrier

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Model 290 Imperial

The commanding flagship

Eight full octaves

Of all our grand pianos, model 290, the Imperial, carries the Bösendorfer DNA, our heritage in its most pronounced form. Historically, this grand piano epitomises the Bösendorfer grand piano of the 19th century.

Originally built following a suggestion by composer Ferruccio Busoni, the Imperial has 97 keys, i.e. eight full octaves. This expanded range allows faithful performances of a number of compositions by Bartók, Debussy, Ravel and, not least, Busoni.

Combining a very powerful sound-board and a high proportion of mountain-spruce from the Alps, this piano’s sound is almost orchestral. The Bösendorfer “resonating box principle” which views the entire instrument as a cohesive whole, generates unsurpassed power and a poignantly full tone. Model 290 is our only standard grand piano model to have acquired an epithet when it was first built in around 1900: Imperial (lat. imperare, to order, command).

Its commanding presence in some of the world’s great concert halls sets the standard by which other grand pianos are judged.

Inspiring Composers

Due to it's uncompromised pure Viennese sound and it's worldwide unsurpassed tone range, the Imperial inspired composers for their piano works. Following some examples:

Béla Bartók
Piano Concerto No.2
Piano Concerto No.3

Ferruccio Busoni
Several Original Compositions
J.S. Bach Transcriptions

Claude Debussy
La Cathédrale Egloutie

Ernst von Dohnányi
Piano Concerto (devoted to the first Bösendorfer Piano Competition 1889)

Frank Martin
Piano Concerto No.2

Modest Mussorgsky
Pictures at an Exhibition: The great Gates Of Kiev

Maurice Ravel
Jeu d'Eau
Scarbo (Gaspard de la nuit)

Roger Sessions
Piano Sonata No.2

Ralph Vaugn Williams
Piecesfor Pianos

Richard Wagner
Parzifal: Bells of the Gral

97 keys l: 9'6'', w: 5'9'', net: 1.255 lb
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