Sun, Jun 26 Anders Muskens: Beethoven & the English pianoforte
Canadian fortepianist Anders Muskens presents a solo concert of Beethoven sonatas on a newly restored, original English grand pianoforte.
Anders Musikens Musik
Canadian fortepianist Anders Muskens presents a solo concert of Beethoven sonatas on a newly restored, original English grand pianoforte made by John Broadwood & Sons in London in the year 1806. Beethoven was professionally acquainted with and captivated by these types of pianos during his career, and even owned a Broadwood from 1817. The English piano differs greatly from the familiar Viennese design, and this program explores the capabilities of this instrument. The Broadwood was recently restored by Paul Kobald in Amsterdam, and this marks its premiere performance.
The invention of the English-style grand piano is credited to Dutch harpsichord maker Americus Backers, who first exhibited his new design during February 1771 in London. Its mechanics differ substantially from the fortepianos built in Vienna, favouring a much more powerful sound, resonance, and innovative pedals: one for raising the dampers, and the other for shifting the keyboard to change the number of strings struck by the hammers. Backers’ design patterns immediately became extremely popular and would be replicated by other builders of the day, including John Broadwood in London and Sébastien Érard in Paris. Joseph Haydn became acquainted with the English grand in 1792 during his visit to London, and later brought an instrument back to Vienna where his student Beethoven came into contact with it. Beginning with the acquisition of his Érard in 1803, Beethoven’s piano writing would consequently undergo a marked and deliberate stylistic change, suited to the new possibilities offered by these instruments. Inspired by this history, this program explores Beethoven’s relationship with the English pianoforte.
Supported by the Adriana Jacoba Fonds
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Sonata No. 23 in f minor, op. 57 'Appassionata'
Sonate nr. 21 in C major, op. 53 'Waldstein'