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#2917593 11/29/19 09:24 AM
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David-G Offline OP
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Notable day today! The 215th birthday of my square piano. Delivered from Broadwoods 29 Nov 1804 for conveyance to "The Swan", Holborn Bridge, London - and thence by Lye's Waggon to Linterns, the principal music shop in Bath. Lye was the principal carrier from London to Bath and Bristol at this period. Bath was at the height of its Georgian elegance, and this was the time when Jane Austen lived in Bath - she might have visited the shop and seen the piano! It is still giving enormous pleasure after all this time.

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Congratulations and birthday wishes to your antique square grand, the Blüthner? Is it still playable? I just finished the book, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart, which is a wonderful book all about the author learning about pianos from a piano restoration expert in a small shop on Paris. The author, the shop owner, and I love the design and workmanship of the antique pianos. Can you post some pictures if you have the opportunity?
How amazing and what a wonderful history your piano must have! wow


J & J
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I hear the spirit of a piano wailing in the æther. It's saying something like "Post pictures of me, post pictures of me. It's my birthday." I wonder what it could mean.

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David-G Offline OP
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Sorry, it's taken my whole lunchtime for me to work out how to post a picture! This is my 1804 Broadwood which is celebrating its 215th birthday.

It's a wonderful thing that all the Broadwood records are in existence, hence how I discovered when the instrument left the Broadwood workshops.

[Linked Image]

I am playing Haydn on it - it's perfect for Haydn! The treble is exceptionally sweet, the bass rather rich - for an 1804 piano, the sound is of course nothing like the sound of a modern piano. The structure is entirely of wood - no metal frame. The touch is incredibly light. This means that it is extremely easy to execute ornaments, and the relatively short sustain means that one has to pay enormous attention to micro-details of phrasing and articulation. This opens up a dimension of possibilities, and increases the challenge to the pianist. It is altogether very rewarding.

The Bluthner is a mere 138 years old (1881), but as the Bluthner records were destroyed, I do not know its actual birthday!

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How beautiful! Thanks for the pic!

I'd love to play Haydn on such a piano.

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That is pretty cool. Congrats on its birthday.



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Many happy returns of the day to your beautiful piano!


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I'm astounded that it is still working.

Pwg


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Quite the interesting provenance! thumb
And, as Peter said, it's amazing that it's still playable.
Squares don't get much love around here.
Thanks for sharing.


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P.S. post some recordings if you've got any! smile


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Amazing instrument! Happy birthday dear old Broadwood piano.
A recording would be nice .Thank you for sharing.

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David-G Offline OP
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The Broadwood thanks you all kindly for your birthday wishes. Here are a couple more photographs.

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

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I don't unfortunately have any recordings of my Broadwood.

But you can listen here to a recording of music by J W Hässler played on a 1798 Broadwood square, a little earlier than mine. This will give you a general idea of what such instruments sound like. But be aware that the sounds of pianos of that era were much more individual than is the case nowadays. On my piano, the high treble is rather sweeter than the instrument on this recording, and the bass is rather richer. But you should be able to appreciate the delicacy, musicality and charm which are characteristic of these early squares.

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Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures and the sample recording of your Broadwood. Amazing. Now that you figured out how to post pictures here maybe when you have some spare moments you can also post pictures of your Blüthner.

I love how the Broadwood’s keys are made and they’re in amazing shape for 215 years old.


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Quote
Notable day today! The 215th birthday of my square piano.


Find me a match !!

...To lit the candles on the cake wink


San Mateo Piano
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Thank you for the recording on the 1798 Broadwood ! This sound brings us closer to knowing the kind of sound Mozart experienced when he wrote his piano works ! We are all so caught up in the modern plush sound of the late 19th/20th centuary piano tone that we can miss so much in this different world of sound.
I once heard the G minor Symphony of Mozart performed with authentic instruments and was overwhelmed by how exciting and meaningfull those different (timbres)instruments sounded.


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