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TONY CHINNERY HARPSICHORDS

Cristofori pianoforte

Cristofori pianoforte

This is an exact copy of the 1726 instrument by the inventor of the pianoforte, Bartolomeo Cristofori. It was made as part of a research project by my wife, Kerstin Schwarz. We have since made another exact copy, commisioned by the Leipsig museum of musical instruments, which owns the original. The 1726 piano has only a 4 octave range, but Cristofori also made pianos with a bigger compass, such as the 4 octave 1720 piano now in New York. (See also the page on Cristofori and the Medici) Listen to the Cristofori piano in MP3 (1.3MB)

Listen to the Cristofori pianoforte:
registers: 8'+8'

One of the 3 surviving original Cristofori pianos, from 1722, now in the instrument museum in Rome. Famous musicians such as Scarlatti and Handel knew and played on Cristofori's piano, and the Silbermann piano that Bach knew had an exact copy of Cristofori's action (no copyright in those days!). Cristofori pianoforte
Cristofori pianoforte

Cristofori's action is the first real piano action. His principal invention was the escapement mechanism, but Cristofori went on to improve the action in many ways. The result is a marvelously refined and delicate instrument with a beautiful sound, an instrument brought to a true state of perfection. All subsequent pianos, down to the modern piano, derive from this instrument, but many were not as successful as the very first!

 


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