Fortepianos from 1830-60

Mendelssoh and Schumann period pianos

 

As the previous period categories of this collection presents the Mozart/Haydn period and then Beethoven/Schubert period, this period focuses on the pianos made in Mendelssohn and Schumann time. Of course they lived longer than 10 years but the main instruments they had available in their time were Viennese type fortepianos. (can also be found in Mendelssohn and Schumann houses today).

Even Chopin in his early period knew almost only such Viennese type fortepianos before traveling to Paris.

 

In this period piano makers in Vienna were making pianos much more robust than before, heavier hammers and bigger bodies, thicker soundboards...but still no use of metal frame!

Slowly around 1840 one and then two pieces of metal frames appeared above the soundboard first in treble, then in other registers until they went on and made a whole metal frame on the piano in 1850-60s with way too much heavier strings and hammers and twice or three times heavier bodies which I believe from that point our golden age of fortepianos is finished! so that's why there is no more next generation pianos in this collection for I am not going to show you the whole history of piano from de zwolle and Cristofori to Steinway! but presenting you only fortepianos of the pre modern times.

 

So the fortepiano in 1830-40 still had a transparency and different timber and resonance without too much tension and deserves this chapter to be dedicated too. It is perfect for its own period music and although piano makers even in Vienna were almost making pianos fast like London mass products, the quality and Viennese taste was still not scarified to modern standards of the new fashion which had began already in London and short after in Paris.