Carlo Arnoldi Trentino   in Roma   ca.1770

 

5 octaves FF - f'''

Stossmechanik without escapement

4 Klangänderungen (sound effects!)

2 kneelevers for divided dampers lifting - piano stop - harp stop

(except of the dampers lift, the  harp and pianos stops are addition according to the 

 

ca.1770 styles of fortepianos and tangent pianos in Italy and central Europe)

 

 

 

This amazing fortepiano is one of the jewels of this collection!

This is one of the 4 known fortepianos of this maker and of this kind!

One of them was sold in the USA 20 years ago, the other one is in original musical

instruments museum in Rome and a too short grand in Veneri collection in Italy.

 

After Cristofori's death his pupil Ferrini (and very few others) continued to make

fortepianos in Italy, Portugal and also Germany. Silbermann and Helen made 

fortepianos in German harpsichord case style but with exactly the same action as

Cristofori. Another example is the great fortepiano and harpsichord maker Friederici

in Gera from whom are 2 upright fortepianos surviving. One in Brussels and one in 

Goethehaus in Frankfurt which belonged to Goethe himself! (Probably Leopold

Mozart had a double manual Friederici too)

The action that Cristofori made just before 1700 and was the norm for several decades,

was simplified to some extent by makers like Friederici (his Brussels fortepiano) and

Zumpe (Silberman's pupil who made the first pianos in England from whom you can find

a 1777 square piano in this collection) but also our Carlo Arnoldi and probably a few

more in those early decades of mid 18th century.

Friederici in 1745, Zumpe in 1767 and Arnoldi probably from 1760s or 1770s were

making the so called Stossmechanik derived by Cristofori but in a much simpler version!

It means that the action has no lever and no escapement.

In Vienna people like Kober and probably even Anton Walter (we are not sure about

Walter's case) and several more makers still made Stossmechanik but with escapement

and without lever.

Another similar action in similar case (Stein style, like the Arnoldi) is found and 

preserved in Greifenberger Institute near Munich. 

Also Taskin made fortepianos with same action but of course with his own design

in Paris even in 1787 on a grand piano.

Although in the 1780s not only English square pianos but also Pantalons, Clavecin

royales and German, French and even some Italian square pianos had this action

until ca.1805! 

 

 

...so this early grand piano which also looks like a Stein or as Henckel said about it

(20 years ago when it was still in Beuermann collection) that its body is similar to

the Tangentenflügel in Deutsches Museum Munich) can be a very good choice for

also Mozart's music specially works from his childhood to 1777.

 

 

 

So we are lucky that still some of them are preserved for some reason and even some of them has had minor alterations or are structurally very good and healthy condition. 

Even if in a case like in Arnoldi ca.1770,  95% of hammers are missing or the whole dampers lost...one still can save such a marvelous instrument from being forgotten and ignoration.

When I purchased it, it had a set of new hammers that were at least 1 gram heavier than they were allowed to be! How I could say they are allowed to be around 1,6 grams? from the string gauges that were a correct for a fortepiano in that seize and scaling. So I had to adopt the shape of the few original hammers and experiment all other factors until I get a not only good but pleasing sound.

 

So experiments based on reading, thinking, consultations and discussion and retrying were done within a whole year and finally the piano is ready to play! I believe on these important antique instruments one should always think of reusing them (making them playable) but also think the same time of conservation. It means, when it is not necessary no big surgery or operation should be done! This piano is twisted more than a bit and its soundboard in the treble and in tenor and even bass has swelling cracks. In the past someone has tried to repair it a bit from below but luckily has not gone too far. I left it as it is and despite all of that there is not a problem or weakness in the sound or noises etc.

 

 

 

!

The final state, restored.

The final state, restored.

After historical examples the following hand stops and kneelevers are added on it by Pooya Radbon. 1 Dampers lift for the alto & treble (kneelever) 2-Dampers lift for the tenor & bass (kneelever) 3-Basson (kneelever) (from FF-c') 4-Harp stop (hand stop) 5-Moderator or piano stop (hand stop) From the combination of these hand stops and kneelevers according to historical documents and instruments like tangent pianos and clavecin royals we can have more sound effects (Klangänderungen).

At present condition, restored!

At present condition, restored!

Below the piano there is a serial number carved 350. The other 3 Arnoldi fortepianos seems to be later than this one. So this maker had made for sure a lot more than this amount but unfortunately only these 4 pianos from him have come down to us.

Handwritten numberings of keys by th

Handwritten numberings of keys by th

None functional action

None functional action

Hammera were 1 gram heavier but generally similar to the originals...probably done in 1985 surely without success!

Bridge details

Bridge details

One of the very few original hammers

One of the very few original hammers

There is one layer of leather on this and very few other original hammers that were surviving... the leather covering is carelessly stretched on the hammer head which proves me that this piano like many other pianos of pre 1777 had originally no leathers on the hammers. So I made all of them simply without leather ''bare wooden'' and added a piano stop, so to say a set of thin leathers, to have the usual piano stop or moderator (similar to Stein vis-a-vis in Verona) and also made a harp stop.

Pinblock in generally good condition

Pinblock in generally good condition

In the style of Stein

In the style of Stein

Making a piano stop for it!

Making a piano stop for it!

All keys are original except one.

All keys are original except one.

Restoring the body of the piano...

Restoring the body of the piano...

You can see the name of the previous owner ''Dr. Andreas Beuermann in Hasselburg'' who sold me with piano. Without his kind permission and special appreciation for my work I could not have privilege to have this unique fortepiano in my collection.

From above

From above

The piano's case has yew veneer

The piano's case has yew veneer

Water damages the wood badly!

Water damages the wood badly!

The nameboard

The nameboard

Cracks on the treble of soundboard

Cracks on the treble of soundboard

This is now repaired. This photo is taken before its restoration.