The Pleyel Double Grand Piano
is an instrument rarity. Developed in the 19th century, about 50 of such double grand pianos were produced in the Pleyel piano factory until the beginning of the 20th century. Today, there are only a few models left in the world. One of them is owned by the piano duo Egri & Pertis.
PLEYEL – One Musician, One Brand
Ignaz Pleyel (1757–1831) was born in Ruppersthal in Lower Austria’s Weinviertel. As a universally gifted musician, he was also a pupil of Joseph Haydn. In 1795, Pleyel settled in Paris and founded a music publishing house and a piano factory. Pleyel owed its great success to the quality and special sound of its pianos and its numerous innovations and inventions. One of them: the Pleyel double grand piano:
- 600 kilogram in weight
- 2,5 m in length
- and a keyboard at both ends of the instrument.
A Unique (Sound) Idea
The ingeniousness of this construction lies in the fact that two pianos share the same “body”, but each with its own string system, mechanism and pedal. The cast iron frame and the soundboard, on the other hand, are continuous and thus are a uniform part of both halves. Every note that is produced sounds in the same room; the overtones enrich each other, thus creating the unmistakable, warm, bright sound of this instrument.
The Pleyel Company developed this type of instrument in the 19th century; the last double grand piano left the factory around 1930. During the two world wars, most of these instruments were destroyed. Today, only a few Pleyel Double Grand Pianos exist worldwide. The piano duo Egri & Pertis was able to acquire a copy from 1902.
Pleyel Double Grand Series
Thanks to its excellent condition, this Pleyel double grand piano is still playable and can be presented in the concert halls: for example during the Vienna Festival Weeks in the Vienna Music Society and at many other festivals. The Duo Egri & Pertis immortalised the unique sound of the grand piano in the “Pleyel Double Grand Series” (5 CDs and 1 DVD). These recordings also attracted the attention of the international press (Klassik Heute, American Record Guide, Répertoire, Classics Today, Piano Keyboard etc.).