Fortepiano Pleyel op. 1555, 1830

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Ignaz Pleyel (1757 — 1831) was born in Ruppersthal (lower Austria). He studied with J.Haydn and, according to the 1791 review in London’s “Morning Herald”, became even more popular than his teacher. He lived in Strassburg from 1783 and came to Paris in 1795. In 1797 he founded the music publishing firm, — Pleyel, which for years published more than 4000 compositions by such composers as L. Boccherini, L. v Beethoven, M. Clementi, J. N. Hummel, F. Kalkbrenner and F. Chopin.

Pleyel started piano making in 1805, aged 52. When Chopin arrived in Paris in 1831 he rated Pleyel’s pianos “non plus ultra” (nothing above that!). Liszt described the sound of Chopin’s Pleyel as being “the marriage of crystal and water” and quoted Chopin’s remark “When I am not in my best form, I prefer Erard’s piano where I can easily find a ready-made piano tone. But when I am in a good mood and strong enough to find my own piano tone, I prefer one of Pleyel’s pianos.”

The McNulty instrument is built after Pleyel op. 1555, 1830, from the Paris Museum of Musical Instruments.

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