NAMM 2024: There are plenty of signature guitars, and even the odd artist-endorsed synth, drum machine and plugin, but we weren't expecting Korg to rock up at NAMM with a digital piano that bears homage to a composer who died more than 150 years ago. That’s what we’ve got with the Poetry, though - an instrument that “resonates with the spirit” of Romantic era icon Frédéric Chopin.
This is certainly a surprising move from Korg - not least because it missed a golden opportunity to call it the ‘Chopiano’ - but if you’re a Frédéric fan, the details of this instrument could be very exciting.
The first of Poetry’s two piano tones is based on Chopin’s 1843 Pleyel piano, which had 80 keys and was pitched at 430Hz rather than 440Hz, the modern tuning standard. This gives it a distinct tone that promises to be authentic to the one that Chopin would have experienced.
The second piano is derived from a contemporary Italian concert grand that’s used in the International Chopin Competition, no less. This one has a “breathtaking, transparent and profoundly expressive sound,” says Korg, adding that, “Were Chopin alive today, he would surely find inspiration in expressing his soulful genius through the resonant notes of this modern masterpiece”. We’ll never know if that’s true, but if it sounds good, who cares?
Based on what we can see in the pictures, the Poetry is certainly a tastefully designed piano, coming in a ‘Poetic Brown’ woodgrain finish and sporting gold-trimmed pedals and toes. It’s also nice and compact - with a depth of just 26cm and a flat top when the lid is down, it could be a good option for smaller rooms.
The Poetry uses Korg’s RH3 Real Weighted Hammer Action, which is designed to replicate the feel of a grand piano as closely as possible (the keys feel heavier at lower registers than they do at higher ones, for example) and you can choose from five touch sensitivity options. There’s a three-pedal setup with half-damper capability, and the piano is pre-loaded with 50 Chopin pieces that you can listen to at your leisure. Poetry also ships with 23 piano scores for you to play yourself.
A 2-track recorder enables you to capture your performances, too, and you also get such modern niceties as a built-in metronome, sound layering (so you can create a piano/strings sound, for example) and a Partner Mode that splits the keyboard in two and can be used for teaching purposes. Connectivity includes a line input, two headphone outputs, MIDI I/O and Pedal and Speaker connections, and the built-in sound system comprise two 25w speakers.
Poetry is set to ship in March priced at around £1649/€1899. Find out more on the Korg website.