"Europa", Steinway Art Case Piano, Model B, 2005
"Europa" uses Carpathian Elm Burl and Walnut burl throughout. In a manner similiar to "Reflections" and "Reflections in Cardinalwood",
a radial "fan" pattern was used in a number of variations throughout the instrument. This fan pattern appears on the fallboard, (behind the
keys) and on the music desk, using differing figure from same burl but in a tighter configuration. The underside of the lid is an overall
pattern entirely of Walnut burl radiating from the inside bottom up toward the viewer. The top of the lid uses a Carpathian Elm Burl in
a radiant central panel with the alignment joints converging on the pianist. When the lid is raised and the flap folded over the top, the
exposed Walnut burl is in alignment with the Carpathian Burl of the central portion of the lid.
Most of the parts of the piano used bookmatched Carpathian Burl interior panels separated with filletti (using Sapele veneer, a reference to
Reflections, my first Steinway commission) with a bookmatched Walnut Burl border. The border on the outside of the upper lid surface
presented very special issues, and opportunities. The angle at the front right (treble) side of the lid is 90 degrees, making a 45 degree mitre
possible, but the left front (bass) side is around 93 degrees, calling for a differing mitre angle. Going up the bass side was and end-for end
bookmatch, which changed to a varying-angle radial bookmatch around the end, and an inverted radial bookmatch in the recurve of the
middle treble side.
The upper lid of "Europa" may be the most complex piece of bookmatched burl work done in this country, or elsewhere.
Rim detail, "Europa"
The rim called
for special attention. Because of the aesthetic need for
the burls to bookmatch over the rear leg and the different
lengths of the treble and bass sides from the front shoulders to the rear center, different sizes and numbers of booking were necessary.
This was true of the central Carpathian Elm, and also of the bordering Walnut burls. At seventeen feet in length, it likely
represents the longest continuous piece of bookmatched burl existing.
A thumb of "Europa" is used by Steinway on their website as the representative image for their Art Case collection.