The decision to use an original fortepiano by Conrad Graf (Artesis Antwerp, deposited at the Museum Vleeshuis) for Schubertiade was founded on two considerations. First of all, the instrument takes us very close to the composer: it was built in 1826 – two years before Schubert’s death – by a maker he knew personally. Secondly,
This type of harp was patented by Pierre-Orphée Érard (1794-1855) in London in 1836. The instrument is bigger and heavier than the double-action pedal harp patented and produced by his uncle, Sebastian Érard1 (1752-1831). The ‘Gothic’ model (named after the ‘Gothic’ style of column decoration) has 46 or 47 strings (rather than 43) – the
In 1988, Christopher Clarke finished a reconstruction of a fortepiano by the Viennese instrument builder Anton Walter (late 18th-early 19th century), that today forms part of Jos van Immerseel’s collection of historical keyboards. The following article by Clarke elaborates on the genius of Walter and his creations.