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Edwin Beunk Collection

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. 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.

Sounding history

With more than 20 examples the Edwin Beunk Collection covers all the important stages of piano history between 1780 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.

Anonymous, 1780
Around 1780
John Broadwood nameplate

Vienna, London, Paris

When around 1700 Bartolomeo Christofori built the first harpsichord that can both play loud and soft (il piano e il forte – pianoforte in short) it did not generate an awful lot of interest. Only after 1765 the fortepiano gained popularity and London and Vienna became the centres of fortepiano building. The subsequent centre in Paris combines Viennese and London building characteristics.  
The Edwin Beunk Collection comprises representatives of the three centres.

Conrad Graf close-up

Well sounding
Well playing

The historical instruments in the Edwin Beunk Collection may be beautiful pieces of furniture, but in the first place they are what they should be: well sounding, well playing pianos, an inspiration for modern pianists and fortepiano specialists alike. Over 200 recordings have been made with pianos from the collection with famous pianists from all over the world.  

Ronald Brautigam in concert