Forte Piano

Instruments and players

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Program notes

When invented in the early eighteenth century, the fortepiano was revolutionary because of the great possibility of nuances it allowed, compared to the harpsichord, its ancestor. The instrumentalist can vary the sound volume by their touch: loud or soft, forte o piano in Italian.

A great collection of ancient instruments is exhibited here and this documentary is the occasion of a rich sound demonstrations from famous Fortepiano players. Malcolm Bilson and Stanley Hoogland, among other fortepiano specialists, tell their feelings about their instrument and explain why they chose it over modern-day piano or over harpsichord. They also give us comparative samples so we can enjoy the specific sounds of the instrument for which Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven wrote some of their most famous masterpieces.

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