Four years ago, I shared with you a beautifully designed Grand Piano by Audi and bunch of uniquely designed modern concert, grand and upright pianos by well-known German piano makers Bosendorfer and Schimmel.
above: a selection from my previous post on modern pianos
Like Bosendorfer and Schimmel, Sauter's pianos are made in Germany. With a design series by Peter Maly, their contemporary Grand, Concert and Upright pianos are like beautiful pieces of furniture, with exteriors crafted from materials like fine woods, translucent glass and steel.
Sauter pianos designed by Peter Maly largely match the Sauter R Master Class pianos, with respect to their technique: the sounding board, 25% bigger, is characterized by the unique “Sauter Spherical Concavity®” and the speciality of Sauter , the double repetition action of grand pianos. The sounding board is solely made from the finest spruce from the `Val di Fiemme´ in the high region of South Tyrol, grown at an altitude of 1,100 meters. For a better playing sensation, half tones (sharps and flats) are made of ebony. The cast plate is hand-ground and complemented with a precious finish. Experienced pianists, whose piano is in focus at their home, will be thrilled by the touch and appearance of this designer piano.
The Vitrea Translucent Glass Upright Piano by Peter Maly for Sauter:
Vitrea´s essence is the contrast between the cool glass front and the warm wooden tones of the main structure of the piano.
Vitrea´s materials: the front panels consist of matt glass, available in two shades. The form is bordered by thin chromium rail strips. Body, Lid and keyboard elements are made of oak wood.
Here you have the choice of a light natural tone of timber or of a deep dark-stained variation. All metal parts are chrome-plated.
The design is accentuated by details such as chrome-plated steel feet. The lids open upward in aliform, like wings, and, therefore, optimally project the sound waves throughout the room.
Equipment: double repetition action (RR-action), sound dampening pedal (soft pedal) and a straight-line piano stool with metal frame which complements the Vitrea.
The Rondo Upright Piano by Peter Maly for Sauter:
Rondo – elegance softly shaped, a piano that performs with the principle of round shapes. It appears natural, soft and well balanced within itself.
The Pure and Pure 2000 Noble Upright Pianos by Peter Maly for Sauter
PURE "less is more"- as little as possible, as much as necessary. The aim was archetypal, reduction to the essential. Nothing superfluous, but full of concentration; stillness and tension at the same time - just like before a big concert: PURE 2000, the purist upright piano. Purism is the art of avoiding the superfluous. The form radiates peace which inspires both soul and player.
Pure 2000 is like the room for which it was designed. It is an upright which fits into a bright living environment with simple walls and modern art. The essence of its aesthetics is the generous design which emphasizes the surfaces.
In the "PURE 2000 noble" version, the surfaces have a gloss lacquer finish. The characteristic corner details are emphasized by flush-fitting chromium-plated metal sections giving this upright its modern elegance.Details accentuate the essential design. A fine finger groove makes the upright easy to open.
The Onda Upright Piano by Peter Maly for Sauter
The body and keyboard form a solid backdrop for the focal point of the piano - an undulating panel. Onda is the ideal complement to the new minimalist look.
Materials which are typical of this look include light wood, cool metal and fabrics in natural shades.
Onda is constructed from a number of distinct, clearly demarcated components. Broad wooden side panels enclose the piano body, lending it stability and substance. The keyboard - made from light beech or maple wood like the sides - is set into the undulating panel.
As a special design feature, Onda is fitted with two top panels which can be opened upwards like wings. As well as forming a highly effective sound board, they lend the instrument the feel of a grand piano. To round off the picture, Onda stands on curved metal feet.
The panel which forms the front of the piano has a horizontal "wave" running through it - hence the name Onda, which means wave.
The Imago, the Avant-Garde Upright Piano by Peter Maly for Sauter
Imago, the Avant-Garde piano, is a fascinating new creation which redefines the concept of the piano. A great design, extravagant and classic - the sound pattern for a new age. The materials are a combination of light wood tones - modish pear, maple of beech; bright color finishes and cool metal.
A large, diagonal-grain pear wood panel frames the body of the piano like a passpartout, forming an exciting contrast between the two silk-sheen finish, different shapes and their materials. An attractive extra:
The Touch-Tronic lamps by Ingo Maurer are switched on and off or dimmed by a simply touch The designer's signature along with individual serials numbering underline the unique of value of the piano. The piano body has a light grey and the matching piano stool has metal legs.
The Artes Art Deco Upright Piano by Peter Maly for Sauter:
Artes - The Art-Deco piano is inspired by the styles of the Twenties and Thirties. Despite these historical allusions the piano embodies a timeless elegance and understatement. Artes blends effortlessly into this room, whose interior finishings embody design of a timeless quality. Materials such as fine leather, quality woods and valuable textiles are in perfect harmony with the highly polished finish of the piano.
Characteristic features of the Art Deco style: clearly defined lines, metal inlay and chromed metal brackets. These details lend depth and structure to the body with its glossy black finish.
The designer`s signature along with an individual serial number underlines the unique value of the piano. Matching piano stool with leather seats and metal legs is available.
The Cura Shaker Upright Piano by Peter Maly for Sauter:
Cura, the Shaker piano, is inspired by the puritan and perfectly crafted furniture typical of the American Shaker religious movement of the 18th Century.
"I stand in great admiration of the wonderfully simple cherry-wood furniture of the Shakers, for it form a link with my modern design concept, imbued as it is with the desire for the greatest possible simplicity - whilst at the same time ensuring the highest quality of materials and manufacture." Peter Maly
Cura has a classically-constructed frame and infull panels veneered in cherry. Cura has hand-turned brackets of cherry-wood, and feet and hinged candle holders in matt-finish high-grade steel. The lid is shaped into a single elegant sweep.
The Grand Pianos
Vivace Grand Piano by Peter Maly for Sauter:
Vivace is a contemporary interpretation of the grand piano, without compromising on any respect for the classical form. The streamlined and newly accentuated curves and the profiled steel pedestal give this most traditional of instruments a floating easiness. The special value of this grand piano is emphasized by the fact that it is signed by the designer and individually numbered.
In its new shape, the cut radii replace the traditional curves. An inlaid sequence of high-grade steel squares accentuate the new line of the piano further. Steel also plays a new role in the substructure of the grand piano.
The structure of the profiled steel pedestal enables considerably more compact dimensions. This gives the grand piano a light, fresh, friendly, contemporary effect. Hydraulic damper* for the piano fall board. Music desk** with convenient one-handed controls.
Ambiente Grand Piano by Peter Maly for Sauter:
A concert grand of new design without any twirls whatsoever, but with a 230cm long case flowing in a single sweep into a bend, shaped like a parabola.
The sides of the keyboard softly cross over into the bevelled grand´s front. Its closed lid fits perfectly into this form.
The difference between the outside appearance and the inside metal frame creates a space in the form of an ellipse in which the lid´s supports have been fitted and which are adjustable in height and angle.
Polished stainless steel accords a brand new profile to the pedal bar: light and lucent throughout “This new grand should be all-over elegant and softly rounded, of flowing design and without any twirls whatsoever” – Peter Maly
The feet have been integrated into a floating architrave which has significantly marked its new silhouette. This new line of architrave stands out with its chromed profile recurring at the foot´s lower end. All fittings and castors are chromed.
When opened, the keyboard´s lid lies flush with the bevelled niche providing a convincing solution to its form. Many of such innovations in construction and design have created the new concert grand´s appearance: “Ambiente."
above:the Reuge factory in Switzerland
NOTE: Since this post was written, Reuge has dramatically changed their website. And to one I find difficult to navigate and inexpensive looking. Therefore my following comments about the informative and well-designed site are no longer applicable.
I came across this company's site awhile ago. I can't recall what I was searching for, but I can assure you it wasn't music boxes. I've never fancied myself a music box sort of girl. Although I enjoy classical music (which most music boxes play) I've never considered buying myself a music box, let alone invest in one. But Reuge and their informative and impressive website has changed my mind. Once I landed on their page with it's austere and mechanical logo and the clean layout, I started clicking around.
Much to my enjoyment I found that I had stumbled upon not only 'art' but 'music'. Their music boxes (and that word does not do them justice) range from the traditional, elegant bird-in-the-cage-a-la-french-antiques type to black carbon and stainless steel music boxes that would make any modern maven sing with delight.
Magic Forest Singing Bird Automaton Music Box:
Volière de la Cour Singing Bird Automaton Music Box:
Singing Bird Alarm clock:
The Reverse Music Box in Mahogany:
The Reverse in white:
And their lovely melodies are there for you to listen on their site! Multiple options for each piece are playable with just the click of a mouse.
The Arche music box:
Burl wood music box with drawer to hold pens:
The Francastel music box:
They use every material you can imagine, from exotic woods to glass and enamels, and each is crafted by hand.
With music boxes containing sets of 16, 36 and 72 notes as well as ones that double as candle holders and incense burners.
The Music Box votive holder, Ambiente:
Music Box incense holder
Okay, so I was really impressed with their designs and array of offerings. But that was only half of it. Reuge (whose tagline is appropriately 'the art of mechanical music') has developed an unusually informative website. They have a time line of the history of music boxes, written in a digestible manner and not overwhelmingly pedantic.
They go into intense detail of every step of production (a lot goes into a music box!). They make it easy to browse through their products with rollover titles and nice large clean imagery. They have a wonderful section on craftsmanship with detailed images, down to applying a feather on a bird.
It's a rare product inventory indeed, but equally rare is a site that's such a pleasure to explore.
Singing Bird Poem music box:
Singing bird Sweetheart music box:
Singing Bird Black Tie Music Box:
Wood art deco music box:
Wanna really be impressed? Check out the FAQ link and you'll not only see every question a possible interested party or owner could have, but the numbers of people who have accessed that very question.
Suffice it to say, these products aren't cheap. And, as one would expect from master craftsmen they offer owner upkeep and a two year guarantee (with limitations). Even limited editions and custom designs are available. It is truly an art.
Which is why, at the beginning of this article, I said 'invest' in a music box. But from what I see and hear, it's a pretty wise investment.
Click here and see for yourself.