DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

COFFEE BREAK | The World's Oldest Surviving Piano Sounds Better That You'd Think

By Ludwig Van on May 1, 2019

oldest known piano in the world(Photo: MetMuseum)
Watch a performance of one of the piano pieces ever written, played on the oldest known piano in the world. (Photo: MetMuseum)

Preserved historical instruments provide a tangible link to our musical past, but pianos are delicate creatures, and unlike violins, violas, and cellos, don’t always age well.

So when we find a video featuring a performance on a piano nearly 300 years old that sounds as good and this, it’s a special treat.

This priceless instrument was made in 1720 by the inventor of the piano, Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731). The video features pianist Dongsok Shin performing one of the first pieces ever written for the piano — a Sonata composed in 1732 from the 12 Sonate da cimbalo di piano e forte detto volgarmente di martelletti, Op. 1, by Lodovico Giustini (1685-1743).

The early fortepiano is part of the collections at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and is the oldest of three surviving Cristofori pianos.

One of the most striking things is how different the fortepiano sounds from the modern piano (pianoforte). While the mechanics behind the instrument are essentially the same as a modern piano, the methods of piano construction and materials are what has made the most significant impact on the sound characteristic.

Modern pianos (those produced after 1820) have higher string tensions, iron frames, and felt lined hammers rather than leather/cork or plain wood.

Take a listen here:

Kristian Bezuidenhout walks us through the ins and outs of the fortepiano:

 

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

Want more updates on classical music and opera news and reviews? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for all the latest.

Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

COFFEE BREAK | Six Classical Music Pieces To Help You See The Beauty In Winter

By Anya Wassenberg on November 12, 2019

Classical music can be relied on to create moments of beauty, even in unexpected situations...like winter. And snow. Here are six compositions inspired by the coldest season that turn the ice and snow into sublime sound.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

ON THE RADAR | Two Biographies Bring The Lives Of Unsung Canadian Musical Heroes To Life

By Robin Roger on November 19, 2019

'The Organist: Fugues, Fatherhood and a Fragile Mind' (Mark Abley) and 'Jan in 35 Pieces' (Ian Hampton) illuminate the lives and struggles of working Canadian musicians.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

COFFEE BREAK | Opera Singer Breaks Curfew Silence In Chile By Singing Aria (VIDEO)

By Anya Wassenberg on October 29, 2019

Soprano Ayleen Jovita Romero surprised her Santiago, Chile neighbourhood with an a capella version of “El derecho de vivir en paz” — or “The right to live in peace” — by composer Victor Jara, breaking the silence of a government-imposed curfew.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.