66 Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2018 - Page 59

THE CL ASSICS WITHOUT COMPROMISE Steinway’s Spirio mixes an old-world idea with the absolute latest in programming technology. The absolute pinnacle of piano perfection played by a pro in your living room? It all comes seamlessly together here. I’m having a hard time keeping my hands to myself. Some things are so tactile you just want to stroke them. That’s rarely appropriate, of course, and certainly not here at legendary Auckland musical instrument shop Lewis Eady, where I am surrounded by gleaming Steinway pianos. They are gorgeous but I daren’t ask John Eady, the most recent member of his family to run the 130-year-old business, if I can touch. I try not to be distracted by the instruments and focus instead on what Eady is saying about the new Steinway model, the Spirio. He explains that it’s the 21st century take on a 19th century invention, the player piano, or pianola. You’ve probably seen player pianos in old movies (particularly westerns, for some reason). The instrument plays itself, the keys moving of their own accord. Player pianos produced their music using perforated paper rolls. When you wanted to change the music, you swapped out a roll. The Spirio is different. It’s run from an iPad and operates like iTunes or Spotify. Simply browse or search as you would in any music program – the database boasts a library of more than 3200 hours of music and it’s being added to all the time – select your poison, then watch and hear the piano play, like a particularly gifted poltergeist skipping across the keys before your eyes. Eady presses an icon and the familiar introductio to Rachmaninov’s C-sharp minor prelude peals from the Steinway. It sounds… well, like a concert pianist playing a Steinway. It is pure, full bodied and has that customary Steinway crispness. The pianist has a wonderful touch, too, and is obviously very, very good. Eady grins [^\]8&\\ZHXX[[݂[\[Y]^YHH\\X[\8&\ۈXܙ[[[ܝYYH]\[XܛHXY\H[\K]8&\\][\XY\[HX]\\BY\وY YY[]HXܙ[]8&\XX[HHX[\8$™YY[ NM 8$^Z[H[[Y[ 0HYX[XوH\[\HY[]^H]]\\\B[YܚH^\۝YHH\]\Y[\ܙY]H[X]HX[[[H[YH\H\XK\\ [ۈ]ٚ] ]8&\H\[X]\HXܞKXY^[HS NM