top of page

Johann Gottfried Malleck  in Wien   ca.1790  



Viennese square piano - 5 octaves FF-f'''

Action : Viennese action (Prellmechanik with brass kapsels and

quasi checks!)

A kneelever for raising all dampers and a lost hand stop for



This is one of most rare objects. There are many English

square pianos

from 1790 to be found and purchased or in museums but

there are

extremely few Viennese square pianos from Mozart time

existing in

museums or private collections. Here there is one in

very good


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's pupil.



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

bottom of page