HPC: INFO & NAVIGATION

PIANO TIMELINE

History Of The Piano

Tracing the roots of the piano to the very beginning of consciousness, when man first became aware of sound.

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1811, Liszt

Portrait of Franz Liszt in 1885.
Portrait of Franz Liszt, 1885. 1

Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886): Hungarian Composer, Pianist, Teacher – Romantic Period

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[1]
Lindadesign.  "Portrait of Franz Liszt, 1885."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 29 April 2010.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.

1812, Thalberg

Portrait of Sigismund Thalberg, lithograph by Joseph Kriehuber in 1841 and photographed by Peter Geymayer.
Portrait of Sigismund Thalberg – Lithograph by Joseph Kriehuber, photographed by Peter Geymayer, 1841. 1

Sigismond Thalberg (1812 – 1871): Swiss Pianist, Composer – Romantic Period

  • A pupil of Mittag, Simon Sechter, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, J.P. Pixis, Kalkbrenner, and Ignaz Moscheles.
  • Considered an important virtuoso pianist of the 19th century, rivaling Franz Liszt.
  • Developed a “three-handed technique” using his thumbs that gave the impression that three hands were playing. “He not only possessed the mastery of touch in a transcendent degree and excelled in sostenuto playing by the use of the pedal, but actually discovered a method of making two hands produce the triple effect of melody, accompaniment, and bass on one keyboard.” [ 2 ]
  • In his work The Art of Song Applied to the Piano (L’art du Chant Appliqué au Piano, Op.70) (1853/1854), Thalberg’s “method comprises twenty-five transcriptions of vocal works by other composers, primarily operatic material. Each piece usually included Thalberg’s own introductory comment, consisting of some remarks and instructions based on a set of rules.” [ 3 ]
On Monday Thalberg visited us and played to the delightment beautifully on my piano. An even more accomplished mechanism than his does not exist, and many of his piano effects must ravish the connoisseurs. He does not fail a single note, his passages can be compared to rows of pearls, and his octaves are the most beautiful ones I ever heard.
Clara Schumann wrote of Thalberg in her diary 4
YouTube Placeholder Image for eV76VDDKriY
Mosè Fantasy (Synthesia) by Sigismond Thalberg. 5

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[1]
Kriehuber, Joseph, lithographer, and Peter Geymayer, photographer.  Portrait of Sigismund Thalberg.  1841.  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 6 Jan. 2007.  Web.  9 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
[2]
"Sigismond Thalberg."  New Advent.  Kevin Knight, 2012.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.
[3]
Jovell, Patrick.  "Sigismond Thalberg’s 200th Anniversary."  Piano Street.  Op 111 Productions, 2001 – 2013.  Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
[4]
Translated from: Schumann: Tagebücher II, p.146.
[5]
PianoCzarX.  "Mosè Fantasy — THALBERG [Piano Tutorial] (Synthesia)."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  Youtube, 14 February 2016.  Web.  8 Jan 2020.  Standard YouTube License.
Additional References:
  • Wangermée, Robert.  "Thalberg, Sigismond (Fortuné François)."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.
  • Gailey, Meredith.  "Sigismund Thalberg."  AllMusic.  All Media Netwrok, LLC., n.d.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.

C.1812 - 1813, Ear Trumpets

Beethoven's small ear trumpet made by Johann Nepomuk Mazel, c. 1812 - 1813.
Beethoven's Small Ear Trumpet by Johann Nepomuk Mazel, c. 1812 - 1813. 1

Ear trumpets in a variety of dimensions invented by Johann Nepomuk Mälzel (1772 – 1838) to assist Beethoven as his hearing worsened.

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Under License, Image © Beethoven-Haus, Bonn.  Beethoven’s Small Ear Trumpet Made by Johann Nepomuk Mazel (1772-1838).  c. 1812 – 1813.

1813, Verdi

Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi, photographed by Ferdinand Mulnier, c. 1870.
Photograph of Giuseppe Verdi, c. 1870. 1

Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901): Italian Composer, Organist – Romantic Period

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[1]
Mulnier, Ferdinand, and uploaded by Al Pereira.  Photograph of Giuseppe Verdi.  c. 1870.  Private Collector originally reproduced in Galerie Contemporaine, France.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 18 Sept. 2007.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.

1813, Wagner

Portrait of Richard Wagner, photographed by Pierre Petit, in 1861.
Portrait of Richard Wagner by Pierre Petit, 1861. 1

Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883): German Composer – Romantic Period

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[1]
Petit, Pierre, and uploaded by QwertyUSA~commonswiki.  Photograph of Richard Wagner, Paris 1861.  1861.  3rd-Party Reproduction from Die Bildnisse Ricahrd Wagners.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 15 May 2007.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.

1814, Henselt

Signed portrait of Adolf von Hensel.
Signed Portrait of Adolf von Henselt. 1

Adolf von Henselt (1814 – 1889): German Pianist, Composer, Teacher

  • Prior to the piano, Henselt studied violin.
  • He was a pupil of Abbé Vogler (1749 – 1814), Johann Nepomuk Hummel, and Simon Sechter (1788 – 1867).
  • Practiced for ten hours a day.
  • Developed a technique to extend the reach of his hands (which led to his now famous legato), giving him more control over the keyboard without using the sustaining pedal.
  • Retired from performance due to stage fright.
  • Most of his works composed by his 30’s.
  • He became a great teacher in St. Petersburg, influencing many Russian pianists. Some of his pupils: Nikolay Zverev (who taught Sergei Rachmaninov), Nikolay Ber, and Ingeborg Stark.

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[1]
File Upload Bot.  "Signed Portrait of Adolf von Henselt."  Scan.  Located in the New York Public Library Digital Gallery, New York.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2 Dec. 2009.  Web.  12 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
Additional References:
  • Davis, Beattie.  "Adolf von Henselt (1814 – 1889)."  Henselt Society.  Gillian Davis, 2013.  Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
  • "Adolf von Henselt."  Saint Petersburg.  Saint-Petersburg.Com, 2001 – 2015.  Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
  • Stevenson, Joseph.  "Adolf Henselt."  AllMusic.  All Media Network, LLC., n.d.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.

1818, Theodor Kullak

Portrait of Theodor Kullak, c. 1892.
Portrait of Theodor Kullak, c. 1892. 1

Theodor Kullak (1818 – 1882): Polish Pianist, Teacher – Romantic Period (Brother of Adolph Kullak)

  • Pupil of Czerny, Nicolai, and Simon Sechter.
  • Founded along with Julius Stern and Adolf Bernhard Marx, Tonkünstler-Verein, a conservatory for music education in Berlin. (Due to differences, Kullak resigned and it became the Stern Conservatory 1855, with Hans von Bülow succeeding him).
  • After leaving Stern, he founded Neue Akademie der Tonkunst primarily for pianists. Also known as ‘Kullak’s Academy.’
  • Considered one of the greatest pedagogues in 19th century.
  • Wrote Octave‐school or School of Octave Playing (Die Schule des Oktavenspiels) (1848).
  • Some of his pupils: Moritz Moszkowski, Nikolai Rubinstein, and Xaver Scharwenka.

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[1]
Андрей Романенко.  "Portrait of Theodor Kullak, c. 1892."  Scan of a Drawing.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 3 Sept. 2010.  Web.  12 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
Additional References:
  • "Kullak: (1) Theodor Kullak."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.
  • Palmieri, Robert, ed.  The Piano: An Encyclopedia.  2nd Edition.  New York: Routledge, June 1, 2004.  Google Books.  Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
  • Lane, Piers.  "Theodor Kullak."  Hyperion Records.  Hyperion Records Limited, 1999.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.

1819, Hanon

Cover of Charles-Louis Hanon's book 'The Virtuoso Pianist, in Sixty Exercises, for the Piano.'
Hanon's 'The Virtuoso Pianist in Sixty Exercises.' 1

Charles-Louis Hanon (1819 – 1900): French Composer, Piano Pedagogue – Romantic Period

  • Trained and worked as an organist.
  • Among his writings, his most famous is The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises (Le Piano Virtuose en 60 Exercices) (1873/1874). Regarded highly by his contemporaries such as Felix le Coupey and Georges Mathias. Sergei Rachmaninoff is said to have used Hanon’s exercises on a daily basis.

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[1]
Schirmer’s Library of Musical Classics.  "Hanon’s 'The Virtuoso Pianist in Sixty Exercises'."  Sheet Music.  di-arezzo.  DI-AREZZO, n.d. Web.  12 Oct. 2015.  No Known Copyright Restrictions.
Additional References:
  • Clarfield, Ingrid Jacobson, ed.  "Burgmüller, Czerny & Hanon – 32 Piano Studies Selected for Technique and Musicality, Vol 1."  New York: Alfred Music Publishing, 2001.  Google Books.  Web. 17 Sept. 2014.

1819, C Schumann

Portrait of Clara Schumann, photographed by Franz Hanfstaengl, in 1857.
Clara Schumann Portrait 1857. 1

Clara Schumann (1819 – 1896): German Pianist, Composer, Teacher (Daughter of Friedrich Wieck, wife of Robert Schumann) – Romantic Period

Celebrate the bicentenary birth of Clara Schumann!

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Hanfstaengl, Franz and uploaded by ‪Meister Raro~commonswiki.  Clara Schumann.  1857.  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 11 Jan. 2006.  Web.  17 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.

1819, Offenbach

Portrait of Jaques Offenbach, photographed by Fritz Luckhardt, c. 1874, in the National Portrait Gallery, London, England.
Jaques Offenbach Portrait, c. 1874. 1

Jacques Offenbach (1819 – 1880): French Composer of German Origin – Romantic Period

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[1]
Luckhardt, Fritz, and uploaded by ChristophT.  Jaques Offenbach.  c. 1874. National Portrait Gallery, London.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 30 Dec. 2007.  Web.  17 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.
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