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What did composers have to deal with; how did it sound; how did it feel?
This we learned: the pianoforte is not a deficient version or a simple step in a development that finally gave us the modern piano.
In Mozart’s time builders like Walter and Schanz knew exactly what they were doing and their instruments were precisely what Mozart and Haydn wished for. Developments in the piano were parallel to what happened in society, where another type of audience started attending concerts. Concert halls and orchestras got bigger and romanticism required the piano to sing and replace the speaking quality of the instrument of Mozart’s days.
Competition between builders was not only about quality of sound but very much about loudness and tuning-stability. A rapid development of the piano took place between 1770 and 1870.

With more than 20 examples the Edwin Beunk Collection covers all the important stages of piano history up to 1870. Pianos by great builders like Rosenberger, Graf, Streicher, Broadwood, Erard, Pleyel and Blüthner give a perfect impression of the sounding history of the fortepiano.

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