Pianoforte Broadwood, London, 1817

The London-based Thomas Broadwood was one of the most productive piano builders in the 19th century. After meeting the celebrated composer Ludwig Van Beethoven in Vienna in August 1817, the piano builder decided to present him with a fortepiano. To select the best instrument possible, he called in the help of five important musicians living in London: Friedrich Kalbrenner, Ferdinand Ries, Johann Baptist Cramer, Jacques-Godefroi Ferrari en Charles Knyvett. Inside the piano, the autograph of these five musicians can be found, as well as the following text : "Hoc Instrumentum est Thomae Broadwood (Londrini) donum propter ingenium illustrissime Beethoven" ("This instrument is a proper gift from Thomas Broadwood of London to the great Beethoven"). When Beethoven died, the instrument was sold to the Viennese music publisher Carl Anton Spina, who gave it to Franz Liszt in 1845. In 1874, Liszt donated the instrument to the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest.

It has always been a dream of Chris Maene to build a copy of the Beethoven piano. In 2013, when Pianos Maene celebrated its 75th anniversary , Chris Maene and his team are building a replica of the Broadwood pianoforte from 1817 owned by Beethoven.

 

Technical data: 

  • Model: Broadwood, Vienna, 1817 copy of the original from the national Museum in Budapest
  • Compass: 73 keys, CC – c4
  • Keyboard: ebony naturals, bone sharps
  • Action: English “Stoss” action
  • Pedals: Dua Corda, Una Corda, Split damper pedal: left bass, right treble
  • Dimensions: length 230 cm, width 123 cm