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Johann Gottfried Malleck in Wien ca.1790
Viennese square piano - 5 octaves FF-f'''
Action : Viennese action (Prellmechanik with brass kapsels and
A kneelever for raising all dampers and a lost hand stop for
This is one of most rare objects. There are many English
from 1790 to be found and purchased or in museums but
extremely few Viennese square pianos from Mozart time
museums or private collections. Here there is one in
All the parts are original and in very good order.
Of course the piano needed a lot of detailed work to
bring it in playing condition but mainly the structure
and all the action parts were there for a faithful restoration.
Johann Gottfried Malleck was Anton Walter's teacher in Vienna.
He was also Hoffmann's teacher and this style of making checks
are also to be found on Hoffmann's grand fortepianos.
The oldest signed and dated grand Viennese fortepiano known
is made by Gottfried Malleck in Vienna in 1787 which bears
wooden Kapsels and is preserved today in Kunst historisches
Museum in Vienna under the number SAM960.
This is the only other piano being as a square piano from him
known and the other instrument is a harpsichord in Czeck.
But there are several organs made by him in various cities that
are preserved and you can find the list on Wikipedia.
He was a well-known organ and clavier maker in his time (born 1733, died 1798). The organ in Pfarrkirche Oberberg (Eisenstadt) was commisioned to him at Joseph Haydn's disposal in 1797. There Haydn performed his Heiligmesse , Paukenmesse, Theresienmesse and finally the well-known Schöpfungsmesse.
In the German book ''das Wiener Klavier bis 1850'' you can
find interesting information about the special technique or
his craftsmanship on the soundboard wood on page 241-2.
Richard Maunder writes in his book ''keyboard instruments
in 18th century in Vienna'' on page 25 that '' Hoffmann and
Malleck were the first Meister to make fortepianos with
Stein action and remained the sole guild representatives
of their school for several years''.
On the same page he writes ''...apparently only a very small
number of Meister were making fortepianos in the late 1780s
(Christoph, Hoffmann, Kober and Malleck) '' and he suggests
that Johann Schanz also may have been Hoffmann's or
Malleck was on the other hand already a Bürger in Vienna while Anton Walter first became a Bürger in Vienna in 1791.
In the next pages Maunder writes about the close family
relationships that Moyse, Malleck and Walter had! and
Moyse who was Malleck and Walter's colleague was
probably the man who took Mozart to Walter's workshop
to buy the piano we can find now in Mozarteum Stiftung
which belonged to Mozart since 1781.
Here are some photos of the very similar square piano by
Klöchner in Presburg 1793 which belonged to Mozart's pupil
Johann N. Hummel.
Square piano Tafelklavier Piano carré
Photos taken before restoration
Mozart surrounded by friends playing on a square piano
Vienna 1787 painted by Carl Schütz
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