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In the documentary film ‘The Lost Sound’ we are witness to the discovery of an extremely rare Nanette Streicher forte piano, built in Vienna in 1826. In a light and sometimes humorous tone we follow the painstaking restoration of the instrument from a horrible wreck into a beautiful sounding instrument. 
We follow restorer/collector Edwin Beunk – en route with his instruments for concerts and recordings in Europe and even to Tokyo. Famous pianists tell us why they play on historical pianos and what it means to them. 



In the course of time it transpired that a new world opened up for many when visiting the collection for the fist time; amateur players, students, professionals and even some world famous pianists alike. Therefore Edwin Beunk decided to create a number of short documentary films about the history of the early piano, in collaboration with filmmaker Patrick Drijver and fortepianist Riko Fukuda. 

The history of the early piano is extensive and complicated. As in Edwin Beunk’s collection, the focus in these short films lies on what most of the important composers knew and played in their time. 
The fascinating story of the early piano ends around 1850. The first in this 11 episode series was launched on 16 April 2022.
Subscribe to Edwin Beunk’s YouTube channel here

  • London

    Episode 1 Harpsichord by Burkat Shudi

    The harpsichord being the predecessor of the piano is the subject of the first film. Edwin Beunk explains the characteristics of the instrument.
    Riko Fukuda plays Händel.

    Watch film Burkat Shudi
  • London
    ca. 1775

    Episode 2 Harpsichord by Shudi-Broadwood

    In 1761 John Broadwood came to London and married Shudi’s daughter. Before John Broadwood started on making fortepianos, he made harpsichords with dynamic possibilities.
    Riko Fukuda plays Haydn.

    Watch film Shudi-Broadwood
  • London
    ca. 1780

    Episode 3 Square pianos by Zumpe 1773 and Beck 1780

    By 1765 the harpsichord was still in its heyday, but the square piano gained popularity in well-to-do households. Zumpe and Beck were important names.
    Riko Fukuda plays Johann Christian Bach.

    Watch film Zumpe and Beck
  • London
    ca. 1800

    Episode 4 Early English pianos

    By 1790 the English grand piano took over from the harpsichord. In this film two Broadwoods, 1792 and 1807 are being discussed.
    Riko Fukuda plays Pinto and Dussek.

    Watch film early English pianos
  • Vienna
    1780 - 1800

    Episode 5 Early Viennese grand pianos

    In this episode the very early anonymous pianoforte from ca. 1785 is compared with with the Michael Rosenberger of around 1800 See how rapidly the early piano of Mozart’s day evolved.
    Riko Fukuda plays Haydn and Beethoven.

    Watch film early Viennese grand pianos
  • Vienna

    Episode 6 Mathias Müller

    By 1810 6 octaves was the common keyboard compass. Beethoven used all these keys for his 5th piano concerto. Mathias Müller was a famous builder in his time, carrying the title ‘KK Hof Fortepianomacher (Kaiserlich Königlich priviligiert).
    Riko Fukuda plays Schubert.

    Watch film Mathias Müller
  • Vienna

    Episode 7 Joachim Ehlers

    This very elaborate piano with a painting on the block was made during the Viennese congress. Vienna was the cultural centre of Europe.
    Riko Fukuda plays Schubert.

    Watch film Joachim Ehlers
  • Vienna
    ca. 1826 - 1840

    Episode 8 Graf 1827 and Streicher 1839

    In this film we see pianos by the most important builders of the first half of the 19th. Century in Vienna. The concept stayed the same but the sound got more romantic.
    Riko Fukuda plays Liszt and Mendelssohn.

    Watch film Graf 1827 & Streicher 1839
  • Paris
    ca. 1820-1840

    Episode 9 Erard 1818 and Pleyel, 1829 and 1842

    We see an unplayable Erard of 1818 and two very nice Pleyels of 1829 and 1842. These were Chopin’s favourite pianos in Paris. The difference in soundboards is explained.
    Riko Fukuda plays Chopin.

    Watch film Erard and Pleyel
  • Paris

    episode 10 Erard 1837

    Erard was an ingenious inventor. The repetition action that we know of the modern piano was invented by him as early as the 1820’s. Riko Fukuda plays Mendelssohn.

    Watch film Erard 1837
  • London-Vienna

    Episode 11 Broadwood 1854 and Schneider 1850

    The two piano types, one with an English action and the other Viennese, are being compared – both beautiful pianos, but very different.
    Riko Fukuda plays Schumann.

    Watch film Broadwood 1854 and Schneider 1850

filmed episodes

These filmed episodes take you through the complicated procedure of the restoration of a fortepiano of historic importance, whereby as much as possible of the original is to be carefully kept. But on the other hand of course, the ultimate aim is a well playing and beautiful sounding instrument. 
The restoration was commissioned by the Carl Bechstein Foundation. 

Watch the 18 installments that take you step by step through the procedure on YouTube.

Go to YouTube