History Of The Piano

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

1811, Liszt
C. 1812 - 1813, Ear Trumpets

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

Page Sources

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.
"Sigismond Thalberg."  New Advent.  Kevin Knight, 2012.  Web.  16 Sept. 2015.
Jovell, Patrick.  "Sigismond Thalberg’s 200th Anniversary."  Piano Street.  Op 111 Productions, 2001 – 2013.  Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
Translated from: Schumann: Tagebücher II, p.146.
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.
End of Article