A visit to the August Förster factory in the small town of Löbau, Germany, transports one back to a different era. An era where time runs at a slower pace. Craftsmen sitting at traditional woodworkers' benches with well-used hand tools, glue pots, clamps and very little machinery. There used to be dozens of piano makers in this region but today only a few remain. August Förster is one that has always been held in special affection in the piano world.
This is still very much a family affair. Annakatrin Förster manages this perfect jewel of a piano factory together with one of Europe’s most distinguished master piano builders, Mr. Frank Israel. They are both on the production floor daily, putting their hand on each and every piano that leaves the factory bearing this proud family name.
Sit in front of a Förster piano and let your senses guide you; this is what the golden age of piano making was all about. Your fingers caress the flawless finish: rare, rich wood veneers emit a warm glow, the black high-gloss lacquer seems to be a foot thick and so smooth that it is hard to believe that it was polished entirely by hand. The interior finishing is like a Swiss Watch, with metalwork smooth and polished to utter perfection. The keys are a dream to touch; the sharps are still genuine ebony. Play a chord, and you will hear a tone of distinguished nobility and depth – a darker, richer tone than many pianos you have heard. If you crave sonority, power and depth of tone, the August Förster is the instrument for you.
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