Fortepiano Graf op. 318, 1819

You are welcome to use/reprint our texts and photos with credit and/or a link back to Paul McNulty fortepianos.


Conrad Graf, (1782 — 1851), who held from 1824 the title of «Imperial Royal Court Fortepiano Maker» (» k k. Hofpiano und Claviermacher»), was born in Riedlingen (Wurttemberg) and came to Vienna in 1799 as a joiner. He became a piano builder and opened his own workshop in 1807. By 1820 his instruments were considered «the greatest and most renowned in Vienna and throughout the empire.» Graf not only supplied instruments to all the apartments of the imperial court but also provided a pianoforte for Ludwig van Beethoven in 1825. Chopin, Robert and Clara Schumann, Liszt and Mendelssohn held Graf pianos in the highest esteem.

The McNulty instrument is a copy of Graf opus 318 (ca. 1819) from Castle Kozel near Pilsen, Czech Republic. In this period the pianos of Graf still retained the thin soundboard and light hammers of the Viennese classical era, with somewhat thicker strings. The fuller tone is nonetheless clear and projecting, which, coupled with the various expression tops, provides a convincing Schubertian palette.


Back to previous page