Home Music Lane

It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.

"Chris, please repeat your feelings on the fortepiano"

Well, John, as you know, I'm very sensitive to the feelings of others around here on AA, and, over the years, I've noticed that some inmates here just don't like to be exposed to my opinions about fortepianos (even though I have actual experience playing on them!). ;-)

But because YOU specially requested it, I'm dredging up my post from a decade ago on this topic. The context was CB's recommendation of a certain recording of the Trout Quintet:
"To pick Simon Standage once again, I find that the recordings he made of Mozart and Schubert quartets with the Salomon Quartet (Hyperion), or especially the recording he made of the Trout Quintet with [forte]pianist Steven Lubin (gasp--playing a lovely-sounding Graf [forte]piano of about 1830) on L'Oiseau Lyre to be very close to my ideal in terms of tasteful, expressive violin playing."
To which I responded:
"That's one of SS's recordings I've actually heard - but here I wasn't so bothered by his playing as by the tone of the fortepiano - a kind of desiccated cross between a toy piano and strung-together rubber bands!"
I would only add that, on the one Sonata I heard from Brautigam's cycle (thanks to the kindness of BIS Boss Robert von Bahr), the piano also had an unpleasant, percussive, metallic sound (which I blame on the piano itself, not at all on the engineering) - just IMHO. Other than the instrument itself, I thought the performance was well played.


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