The Unplugged Show '03 is referred on Nihon Bösendorfer's web page http://www.bosendorfer-jp.com/. (Click on the Chihiro Onitsuka link at the middle of the page.) It says that a Bösendorfer Model 290 will be used at the concert in August. According to this page, the two pianos used for the Ultimate Crash '02 Live at Budokan, as well as the piano at the Shibuya-AX, were the same models. During this lull before the storm anticipated in the next month, I'm going to write about this piano used for Chihiro's songs.
Unlike all other concert grands that have 88 keys (i.e. seven and a quarter octaves), Bösendorfer Model 290 Imperial has 97 keys (eight octaves). The extra 9 keys are added to extend the lower range. The lowest note played on this model is the low C (a fundamental of 16 Hz as against the low A at 27 Hz on other pianos), which booms below the lower specification limit of the Compact Disc. Thanks to this extra room, this piano is characterized by rich tones that can never be heard from others.
For those who wish to fully enjoy Bösendorfer Imperial's sound: the CD you should get may be Water Music of The Impressionists, solo piano by Carol Rosenberger (Delos, DE 3006; recorded at Bridges Hall, Claremont, California, June, 1979). This is one of the earliest digital recordings but it still sounds fairly good.
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