Fortepiano

fortepianistforte-pianofortepianosforte pianoearly pianoforteHammerflügelPianoforteearly pianohistorical instrumentsinstruments of Beethoven's time
A fortepiano is an early piano.wikipedia
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Piano

grand pianopianistacoustic piano
A fortepiano is an early piano.
The word piano is a shortened form of pianoforte, the Italian term for the early 1700s versions of the instrument, which in turn derives from gravicembalo col piano e forte and fortepiano.

Harpsichord

cembaloharpsichordsclavecin
The fortepiano has leather-covered hammers and thin, harpsichord-like strings.
During the late 18th century, with the development of the fortepiano (and then the increasing use of the piano in the 19th century) the harpsichord gradually disappeared from the musical scene (except in opera, where it continued to be used to accompany recitative).

Gottfried Silbermann

SilbermannGottfried
It was Gottfried Silbermann who brought the construction of fortepianos to the German-speaking nations.
He built harpsichords, clavichords, organs, and fortepianos; his modern reputation rests mainly on the latter two.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

MozartW. A. MozartW.A. Mozart
Most typically, however, it is used to refer to the late-18th to early-19th century instruments for which Haydn, Mozart, and the younger Beethoven wrote their piano music. Such instruments were the subject of criticism (particularly, in a widely quoted 1777 letter from Mozart to his father), but were simple to make and were widely incorporated into square pianos.
Mozart bought a fine fortepiano from Anton Walter for about 900 florins, and a billiard table for about 300.

Soft pedal

una cordaDue cordesoft-pedal
Cristofori was also the first to incorporate a form of soft pedal into a piano (the mechanism by which the hammers are made to strike fewer than the maximum number of strings; Cristofori's was a hand stop).
By Mozart's time (see Fortepiano), mechanisms had been invented that permitted the same function to be carried out by a knee lever (located below the keyboard), and in the late 18th century the pedal mechanism familiar to us today was introduced.

Classical period (music)

ClassicalClassical periodClassical era
Throughout the Classical era, even when the more flexible knee levers or pedals had been installed, the lifting of all the dampers was used primarily as a coloristic device.
The harpsichord was replaced as the main keyboard instrument by the piano (or fortepiano).

Johann Andreas Stein

Stein
One of the most distinguished fortepiano builders in the era following Silbermann was one of his pupils, Johann Andreas Stein, who worked in Augsburg, Germany.
He was primarily responsible for the design of the so-called "Viennese" fortepiano, for which the piano music of Haydn, Mozart, and the early Beethoven was written.

Anton Walter

WalterWalther
Another important Viennese builder was Anton Walter, a friend of Mozart who built instruments with a somewhat more powerful sound than Stein's.
Like all early pianos, those of the Viennese school were of far lighter construction than modern instruments and had a quite distinct sound; for general discussion, see fortepiano.

Philip Belt

Among the more prominent modern builders have been (in the United States) Philip Belt, Margaret F. Hood and Rodney Regier; and (in the Czech Republic) Paul McNulty.
Philip Ralph Belt (2 January 1927 - 11 May 2015) was a pioneering builder of pianos in historical style, in particular the 18th century instruments commonly called fortepianos.

Johann Sebastian Bach

BachJ.S. BachJ. S. Bach
Silbermann's instruments were famously criticized by Johann Sebastian Bach around 1736, but later instruments encountered by Bach in his Berlin visit of 1747 apparently met with the composer's approval.
Bach obliged, playing a three-part fugue on one of Frederick's fortepianos, which was a new type of instrument at the time.

Paul McNulty (piano maker)

Paul McNultyPaulMcNulty
Among the more prominent modern builders have been (in the United States) Philip Belt, Margaret F. Hood and Rodney Regier; and (in the Czech Republic) Paul McNulty.
Within the community of builders, McNulty is noted for his efforts to extend the production of historically informed instruments later into history: while he has built many fortepianos in 18th-century style, he has also progressively sought to span the gap between the fortepiano (the cradle of modern historical-piano construction) and the fully modern piano that emerged around the last third of the 19th century.

Hendrik Bouman

Henk Bouman
A number of modern harpsichordists and pianists have achieved distinction in fortepiano performance, including Susan Alexander-Max, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Hendrik Bouman, Ronald Brautigam, Gary Cooper, Jörg Demus, Richard Egarr, Richard Fuller, Robert Hill, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Levin, Alexei Lubimov, Steven Lubin, Bart van Oort, Trevor Pinnock, David Schrader, Peter Serkin, Viviana Sofronitsky, Andreas Staier, Melvyn Tan, and Jos van Immerseel.
Hendrik "Henk" Bouman (born 29 September 1951, in Dordrecht) is a Dutch harpsichordist, fortepianist, conductor and composer of music written in the baroque and classical idioms of the 17th and 18th century.

Malcolm Bilson

MalcolmMalcom Bilson
A number of modern harpsichordists and pianists have achieved distinction in fortepiano performance, including Susan Alexander-Max, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Hendrik Bouman, Ronald Brautigam, Gary Cooper, Jörg Demus, Richard Egarr, Richard Fuller, Robert Hill, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Levin, Alexei Lubimov, Steven Lubin, Bart van Oort, Trevor Pinnock, David Schrader, Peter Serkin, Viviana Sofronitsky, Andreas Staier, Melvyn Tan, and Jos van Immerseel.
He is the Frederick J. Whiton Professor of Music in Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. Bilson is one of the foremost players and teachers of the fortepiano; this is the ancestor of the modern piano and was the instrument used in Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven's time.

Gary Cooper (musician)

Gary Cooper
A number of modern harpsichordists and pianists have achieved distinction in fortepiano performance, including Susan Alexander-Max, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Hendrik Bouman, Ronald Brautigam, Gary Cooper, Jörg Demus, Richard Egarr, Richard Fuller, Robert Hill, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Levin, Alexei Lubimov, Steven Lubin, Bart van Oort, Trevor Pinnock, David Schrader, Peter Serkin, Viviana Sofronitsky, Andreas Staier, Melvyn Tan, and Jos van Immerseel.
Gary Cooper (born London, 1968) is an English conductor and classical keyboardist who specialises in the harpsichord and fortepiano.

Susan Alexander-Max

A number of modern harpsichordists and pianists have achieved distinction in fortepiano performance, including Susan Alexander-Max, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Hendrik Bouman, Ronald Brautigam, Gary Cooper, Jörg Demus, Richard Egarr, Richard Fuller, Robert Hill, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Levin, Alexei Lubimov, Steven Lubin, Bart van Oort, Trevor Pinnock, David Schrader, Peter Serkin, Viviana Sofronitsky, Andreas Staier, Melvyn Tan, and Jos van Immerseel.
Susan Alexander-Max was an American-born British fortepianist best known for her period performances of baroque and classical music.

Piano history and musical performance

adjust their interpretation of historical compositions
The reintroduction of the fortepiano has permitted performance of 18th- and early 19th-century music on the instruments for which it was written, yielding new insights into this music; for detailed discussion, see Piano history and musical performance.
During the Classical era, when pianos first became used widely by important composers, the piano was only somewhat more robust than in Cristofori's time; see fortepiano.

Richard Fuller (pianist)

Richard Fuller
A number of modern harpsichordists and pianists have achieved distinction in fortepiano performance, including Susan Alexander-Max, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Hendrik Bouman, Ronald Brautigam, Gary Cooper, Jörg Demus, Richard Egarr, Richard Fuller, Robert Hill, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Levin, Alexei Lubimov, Steven Lubin, Bart van Oort, Trevor Pinnock, David Schrader, Peter Serkin, Viviana Sofronitsky, Andreas Staier, Melvyn Tan, and Jos van Immerseel.
Richard Fuller (born July 14, 1947) is an American classical pianist and interpreter of the fortepiano repertoire.

Margaret F. Hood

Among the more prominent modern builders have been (in the United States) Philip Belt, Margaret F. Hood and Rodney Regier; and (in the Czech Republic) Paul McNulty.
Margaret F. Hood (New York, New York, November 19, 1937 – Platteville, Wisconsin, June 7, 2008) was an American fortepiano, clavichord, and harpsichord builder.

Richard Egarr

Egarr, Richard
A number of modern harpsichordists and pianists have achieved distinction in fortepiano performance, including Susan Alexander-Max, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Hendrik Bouman, Ronald Brautigam, Gary Cooper, Jörg Demus, Richard Egarr, Richard Fuller, Robert Hill, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Levin, Alexei Lubimov, Steven Lubin, Bart van Oort, Trevor Pinnock, David Schrader, Peter Serkin, Viviana Sofronitsky, Andreas Staier, Melvyn Tan, and Jos van Immerseel.
Richard Egarr is a British conductor and keyboard player, performing on the harpsichord, fortepiano, organ and modern piano.

Leopold Mozart

Leopoldhis fatherfather
Such instruments were the subject of criticism (particularly, in a widely quoted 1777 letter from Mozart to his father), but were simple to make and were widely incorporated into square pianos.
According to Halliwell, Nannerl depended on him in many ways: he did "shopping [and] the engagement of servants. ... He relayed news from Salzburg, Munich, and Vienna to divert her, did his best to organize the maintenance of her fortepiano, paid for Wolfgang's music to be copied and arranged for her to receive it; collected musicians together when she had visited him so that she could play it with most of the parts; .. tried to look after her health; and encouraged her to stand up to her husband when he was being unreasonable."

Gustav Leonhardt

LeonhardtLeonhardt, Gustav
A number of modern harpsichordists and pianists have achieved distinction in fortepiano performance, including Susan Alexander-Max, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Hendrik Bouman, Ronald Brautigam, Gary Cooper, Jörg Demus, Richard Egarr, Richard Fuller, Robert Hill, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Levin, Alexei Lubimov, Steven Lubin, Bart van Oort, Trevor Pinnock, David Schrader, Peter Serkin, Viviana Sofronitsky, Andreas Staier, Melvyn Tan, and Jos van Immerseel.
Leonhardt professionally played many instruments, including the harpsichord, pipe organ, claviorganum (a combination of harpsichord and organ), clavichord, fortepiano and piano.

Robert Hill (musician)

Robert Hill
A number of modern harpsichordists and pianists have achieved distinction in fortepiano performance, including Susan Alexander-Max, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Hendrik Bouman, Ronald Brautigam, Gary Cooper, Jörg Demus, Richard Egarr, Richard Fuller, Robert Hill, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Levin, Alexei Lubimov, Steven Lubin, Bart van Oort, Trevor Pinnock, David Schrader, Peter Serkin, Viviana Sofronitsky, Andreas Staier, Melvyn Tan, and Jos van Immerseel.
Robert Stephen Hill (born November 6, 1953 in Philippines) is an American harpsichordist and fortepianist, widely regarded as one of the most important and influential harpsichordists of the present.

Jörg Demus

Jorg DemusDemus, Jörg
A number of modern harpsichordists and pianists have achieved distinction in fortepiano performance, including Susan Alexander-Max, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Hendrik Bouman, Ronald Brautigam, Gary Cooper, Jörg Demus, Richard Egarr, Richard Fuller, Robert Hill, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Levin, Alexei Lubimov, Steven Lubin, Bart van Oort, Trevor Pinnock, David Schrader, Peter Serkin, Viviana Sofronitsky, Andreas Staier, Melvyn Tan, and Jos van Immerseel.
Demus was instrumental in bringing the historic fortepiano to concert podiums.

Alexei Lubimov

A. Lubimov
A number of modern harpsichordists and pianists have achieved distinction in fortepiano performance, including Susan Alexander-Max, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Hendrik Bouman, Ronald Brautigam, Gary Cooper, Jörg Demus, Richard Egarr, Richard Fuller, Robert Hill, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert Levin, Alexei Lubimov, Steven Lubin, Bart van Oort, Trevor Pinnock, David Schrader, Peter Serkin, Viviana Sofronitsky, Andreas Staier, Melvyn Tan, and Jos van Immerseel.
Alexei Lubimov (born 1944 as Алексе́й Бори́сович Люби́мов, Alexey Borisovich Lyubimov) is a Russian pianist, fortepianist and harpsichordist.

Historically informed performance

performance practicehistorically informed musical performanceauthentic performance
In the 20th century the fortepiano was revived, following the rise of interest in historically informed performance.
During the second half of the 18th century, the harpsichord was gradually replaced by the fortepiano, a precursor to the modern piano.