Ignace Pleyel, Paris 1842
Ignace Pleyel is a major representative of the so-called ‘French school’ of piano building. His instruments were much in favour of Chopin, who said:
I like playing the Erard, but when I am really inspired I prefer the Pleyel.
The portrait is allegedly of Fanny Mendelssohn, a pastel of 1841, attributed to her husband Wilhelm Henschel.
The Pleyel 1842 pinblock had many cracks near the pinholes.
The glueing joints at the tail were weak, as well as those of the ribs on the soundboard.
The pinblock was repaired without taking it out. It stayed in the piano where subsequently the middle layer was removed and renewed, and the original yoke was glued back on.
The soundboard was taken out and all unstable glueing joints of ribs were soaked. Since the sound board had to be fully taken apart, some (old wood) ‘new’ soundboard material had to be added in several places because of some shrinkage of the board.
Recordings, a selection
George Onslow, Quintet in B-minor opus70
Brilliant Classics, 94023