Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Fortepiano

  1. #1
    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Madrid, (Sp)
    Posts
    415
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Fortepiano

    I am interested to know further about 18th century fortepianos and the differences between them and modern (19th century and later) pianos in terms of building and sounds. I would appreciate also if someone can tell me which fortepianos were used by Mozart, Haydn, Boccherini (I am not familiar with Boccherini keyboard works if any), Kozeluch, Beethoven. I am also trying to listen some youtube videos since I do not own recordings so any recommendation will be very welcomed.

  2. #2
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sharon, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,358
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I don't know much about the technical aspects, or the differences between various instruments - I just enjoy the sound in the appropriate music. For Mozart, I love the recordings by Tuija Hakkila on Finlandia, unfortunately out of print. She plays on a modern reproduction of a Walter fortepiano.

    One of my favorites is the late Beethoven sonatas played by Peter Serkin on a Graf fortepiano, e.g.


  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Les Pays-Bas
    Posts
    3,198
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    These are interesting:




  4. Likes JSBach85, Gaspard de la Nuit, Marc liked this post
  5. #4
    Senior Member chill782002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,254
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Paul Badura-Skoda has made a number of recordings of the keyboard works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert on period fortepianos. This is interesting as many fortepiano recordings by other pianists are made on modern copies of fortepianos rather than original instruments.

    The fortepianos I have details of him using in relation to each composer's works are:

    Haydn - Johann Schantz (Vienna) fortepiano c.1790, John Broadwood (London) fortepiano c.1795

    Mozart - Anton Walter (Vienna) fortepiano c.1785, Johann Schantz (Vienna) fortepiano c.1790

    Beethoven - Johann Schantz (Vienna) fortepiano c.1790, John Broadwood (London) fortepiano c.1815, Conrad Graf (Vienna) fortepiano c.1824

    Schubert - Conrad Graf (Vienna) fortepiano c.1824, Johann Baptist Streicher (Vienna) fortepiano c. 1841, Johann Michael Schweighofer (Vienna) fortepiano c.1845

    So we can clearly see that Vienna was the centre of fortepiano manufacture. The fortepiano had pretty much disappeared by about 1865, being replaced by a design much closer to the modern piano. However, the fortepiano itself was changing all the time and the difference in sound between a 1785 Anton Walter fortepiano and an 1845 Johann Michael Schweighofer fortepiano is very noticeable.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    9,047
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSBach85 View Post
    I am interested to know further about 18th century fortepianos and the differences between them and modern (19th century and later) pianos in terms of building and sounds. I would appreciate also if someone can tell me which fortepianos were used by Mozart, Haydn, Boccherini (I am not familiar with Boccherini keyboard works if any), Kozeluch, Beethoven. I am also trying to listen some youtube videos since I do not own recordings so any recommendation will be very welcomed.
    One interesting fortepiano is on Robert Hill's recording of W F Bach's Polonaises for Naxos. The music is not bad at all.

    Another interesting one to explore is the Scarlatti CD by Enrico Baiano called something like The Transition to Modern Pianism.

    You may want to try to get hold of Georg Demus's Beethoven recordings made on Beethoven's Graf. I concur with the recommendation of Badura Skoda at least for Mozart and Beethoven. For Haydn you really should hear Tom Beghin.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Sep-08-2017 at 19:28.

  7. #6
    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Madrid, (Sp)
    Posts
    415
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eugeneonagain View Post
    These are interesting:



    Thank you for the videos, those are good as introduction to this topic and very educational. I think I clearly prefer viennese 18th century piano for classical era composers because I agree with David Schrader that covers the needs of composers of that time (the music was written to be played on these instruments, and the concert halls/places where keyboard music were performed suited in size the sound/volume that those instruments could produce) and also because I like "the wood resonance" over the metal and softer sound produced by modern pianos.
    Last edited by JSBach85; Sep-09-2017 at 09:12.

  8. Likes Marc liked this post
  9. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    River Forest, Il, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,939
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSBach85 View Post
    Thank you for the videos, those are good as introduction to this topic and very educational. I think I clearly prefer viennese 18th century piano for classical era composers because I agree with David Schrader that covers the needs of composers of that time (the music was written to be played on these instruments, and the concert halls/places where keyboard music were performed suited in size the sound/volume that those instruments could produce) and also because I like "the wood resonance" over the metal and softer sound produced by modern pianos.
    I would stay open minded. It isn't clear that the Composers of the Classical Period were all that happy with the then current state of their instruments and their correspondence to manufacturers is filled with suggestions for improvements, and the evolution in Piano manufacturing was largely due to the realization that fortepianos were limited and not up to the demands of Composers and players.
    I was pretty allergic to fortepianos until I heard Ronald Brautigan play Beethoven. It depends on the player. The best Mozart players can scale down the power of the Steinway or Bosendorfers and get outstanding results

  10. #8
    Senior Member Gaspard de la Nuit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    548
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSBach85 View Post
    Thank you for the videos, those are good as introduction to this topic and very educational. I think I clearly prefer viennese 18th century piano for classical era composers because I agree with David Schrader that covers the needs of composers of that time (the music was written to be played on these instruments, and the concert halls/places where keyboard music were performed suited in size the sound/volume that those instruments could produce) and also because I like "the wood resonance" over the metal and softer sound produced by modern pianos.
    I totally agree....I think the timbre of the earlier piano and the harpsichord are a lot more interesting than the modern piano generally, but especially for the repertoire made during their time. I certainly wouldn't trade the dynamic capability of the modern piano for what the other ones provide.

    The modern piano, besides having a uniform tone color as he said, has kind of a non-complex sound compared to the others to my ear.....the other ones have a lot of charm, the sound is more delicate but more interesting. And I thought the one pedal that muted the sound on the fortepiano was great, the ability to manipulate the timbre (which certainly seems to be a thing on a lot of harpsichords though I don't know if those are historical ones) to me is more alluring than what the modern piano offers.
    Last edited by Gaspard de la Nuit; Sep-09-2017 at 13:23.
    "Only in being hidden does the Divine reveal itself."

  11. Likes Marc liked this post

Similar Threads

  1. Music composed specifically for fortepiano?
    By JSBach85 in forum Solo & Chamber Music
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Nov-21-2017, 02:29
  2. Mozart Fortepiano Concertos
    By hocket in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Jan-09-2016, 20:36
  3. Beethoven Piano Sonatas on period fortepiano
    By Olias in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Sep-09-2012, 02:59
  4. Mazurka for violin and fortepiano
    By Aramis in forum Today's Composers
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Dec-03-2011, 03:54
  5. Piano vs. Fortepiano
    By Rod Corkin in forum Keyboard Instruments
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Jun-08-2007, 21:16

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •