Concert Grand Ignace Pleyel, Paris, 1843

Although Erard was the biggest piano manufacturer in Paris, it was the instruments of Ignace Pleyel that had the preference of Frédéric Chopin.

In December 1842, Ignace Pleyel built two concert grands with seven octaves. The oldest remaining instrument is the piano with number 9872, dated from 1843. This instrument is classified as ‘Monument Historique’ in France.

In 2007 Chris Maene was able to buy an identical instrument for the collection in his museum. The purchased instrument has the number 9861, also dating from 1843. For the Chopin Year in 2010, Chris Maene decided to make a exact copy of this instrument, also called ‘the Chopin piano’.

The instrument symbolizes the transition between the pianoforte and the modern grand piano.

Equal to the pianoforte, the Chopin Piano still has straight stringing, making thus a difference in sound between bass, medium and treble. On the other hand, the heavy soundboard and supporting beams are similar to the construction of a modern piano. Although the soundboard and the beams are still constructed in wood, they are combined with a frame of metal and supported by plates and bars. This way, bigger and heavier strings can be used, giving the instrument a much larger volume.

Technical data:

  • Compass: AAA - a4
  • Dimensions: L 250 cm / W 136 cm
  • Case: mahogany, hand polished
  • Keyboard: naturals in bone tops, sharps in ebony
  • Action: Stoss
  • Pedals: Damper, una corda