66 Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2018 - Page 60

“IT’S HARD TO GET YOUR HEAD AROUND THE FACT THAT THIS IS NOT THE HIGHEST OF HIGH-FIDELITY RECORDINGS, IT’S ACTUALLY THE PIANIST – WHO DIED IN 1943 – PLAYING THE INSTRUMENT.” 58 66 MagAzine SPRING 2018 It’s aesthetically beautiful, features bleeding-edge technology and sounds fantastic – but why would you want one? Starting at $225,000, the Spirio is not cheap. You can buy an awful lot of stereo for that sort of money. “You can,” says John, “but it’s still a stereo, a digital tune. The Spirio will do whatever a Steinway is capable of doing in the hands of a performer. I was extremely sceptical to begin with because everyone thinks of the dreadful player pianos you find in hotel lobbies, but when we saw what the Spirio was, we realised this is a serious piece of kit.” Despite the rarefied financial atmosphere in which the Spirio operates, Eady says he’s selling more of them than standard Steinways. That makes sense. Average Steinway owners are, with all due respect, rarely as good as their instruments. But they tend to love their music. With this they can play the piano of their dreams, then press a button and hear it played by a pro. Steinway aims to install Spirios in concert halls, the idea being that owners will be able to stream concerts in real time directly to their own instruments, potentially with a corresponding video feed. It’s Lang Lang in your living room, wrapped in a piece of wooden art. Watch those fingerprints.