The importance of Radbon Fortepiano collection
There are several reasons why this collection is important and needs to be known. Because the collector and restorer wants to be more famous? or because these pianos all in one place are offering today's musicians something unique? what is this collection offering there can not be found elsewhere?
This collection is doubtless the largest collection of Mozart/Haydn and also Beethoven period pianos in quantity, variety and quality. There are several fantastic pianos of Schumann, Chopin and early Brahms periods but for these periods there are several other collections worldwide that offer a lot more than this collection. But what makes this collection unique is the special attention it has given to two different periods of Mozart and Beethoven.
Of course there are many more composers in these periods but we can introduce these two periods with these big names to make it easier in reffering to them. (though they overlap for a few years and Haydn shares some of both)
There are also instruments from the early baroque in few number and for such instruments and periods there are a few other collections and museums that offer a lot more like Tagliavini collection for Italian harpsichords and Beuermann collection for all kinds of harpsichords. But namely the big Beuermann collection, its Mozart period keyboards or even Beethoven period pianos are not to be compared with the present collection. Nor the few harpsichords in this collection can offer 1/20 of what Beuerman collection has to offer.
Tagliavino and Beuermann are both dead but had left great collections behind and luckily these collections are parts of museums in Germany and Italy and a few times each year concerts are played on them but keeping the restored ones they have to offer a musician in playing order is a full time task which no one is doing.
We know how these instruments need care, tuning and maintance. The only thing that is being done for them is the control of humidity! in very few occasions tuning and regulating a few number of them in case a very keen musician asks for playing a concert on them.
In Radbon Fortepiano collection there is not possibility of visiting of the public like in museums where visitors can watch the silent body of these instruments. This collection friendly offers serious musicians to come and visit for free, play, share thoughts and ideas, knowledge, passion and appreciation for these alive creatures which are made to be played but also conservated, documented before and after restoration, being available for musicians not being hidden in private collections for the use of one or few people.
There is worldwide no collection which offers all these kinds of Mozart / Haydn pianos :
Tangent piano, Clavichords, Pantalons, early Viennese grand piano, early French, Italian, Prague, London grand pianos, square pianos from England, France, Italy, Germany and Vienna. Pianos like Baumann (two!) Buntebart (signed by J.Ch. Bach) or spinets, French Mozart period Harpsichord, English Harpsichord and more...
There are indeed collections that offer some of these like a big number of only English pianos or a number of Pantalons and some other fantastic German pianos, one French and one English but still not to be compared with a big collection of 45 keyboards of this particular period. One hardly misses anything as a keyboard instrument which was available to Mozart and Haydn!
There are some collection which offer very nice Beethoven period pianos but in Radbon Collection you find most of pianos named or used by Beethoven. Namely Erard, Broadwood, Bohack, Walter, Schanz, Seuffert...two widely known and sometimes available to add are Streicher and Graf which were used and praised by Beethoven which are absent in this collection till now but not difficult to find in a near future.
For Schumann and Chopin there are pianos like 1835 Pleyel grand, 1849 Pleyel Pianino, 1842 Pleyel square piano, 1842 Bösendorfer, Seidner ca.1840, Boisselot ca.1850, Wieck (Leipzig square piano sold by Friedrich Wieck), Eduard Seuffert ca.1850 and more...all top names of the time.
In the 18th century section of this collection there are also instruments of the same maker/brand name like two Baumanns, two Longman & Broderips, two anon Bolognese square pianos or several similar pianos (or spinets) of the same country made in one or two years. These instruments make piano duo playing possibility very wide and tasteful.
Radbon collection welcomes serious musicians from all nations, young or old etc. to come and play these instruments.
This huge collection of unique historical keyboards needs at least 700qm space for show rooms where masterclasses and concerts in form of an academy for early pianos can take place but corrently only visiting and concert rent is possible because of lack of enough space. At the moment 70% of the pianos are in storage and 30% on display. From these 30% there are 15 instruments in playing order. No concert is possible here, no masterclasses, only the workshop is running and visiting to a few number of interested musicians is possible.
There is no budget to make the academy project running and each year a few of these instruments are being sold to cover the costs, mostly for the rent of the current place. So in fact the collection despite of its activity and existence lives on the air until it finds its -big enough- place.
Friends and supporters of Radbon Collection are welcome to share thoughts about establishing this half private collection to a ''public benefit-full'' academy where not one but a great number of keyboardists can learn more in monthly masterclasses by great fortepiano and harpsichord masters, young pianists and their masters playing concerts and numerous audiences attending such concerts every month, you tube views watching concerts online worldwide and videos that can be produced from all these events that can remain forever on you tube. We live in the era of the revolutionary you tube.