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Fwd: [AMIS-L-LIST] publication announcement : ERARD: A PASSION FOR THE PIANO

  • 1.  Fwd: [AMIS-L-LIST] publication announcement : ERARD: A PASSION FOR THE PIANO

    Posted 03-19-2021 16:10

    

    Dear colleagues,

    I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book,
    Erard: A Passion for the Piano (Oxford University Press, 2021). This is the first of my two monographs on the history of the Erard firm; a second on the Erard harp is in preparation. Here is a brief description of the book from the publisher's website:

    Sébastien Erard's (1752-1831) inventions have had an enormous impact on instruments and musical life and are still at the foundation of piano building today. Drawing on an unusually rich set of archives from both the Erard firm and the Erard family, author Robert Adelson shows how the Erard piano played an important and often leading role in the history of the instrument, beginning in the late eighteenth century and continuing into the final decades of the nineteenth.

    The Erards were the first piano builders in France to prioritise the more sonorous grand piano, sending gifts of their new model to both Haydn and Beethoven. Erard's famous double-escapement action, which improved the instrument's response while at the same time producing a more powerful tone, revolutionised both piano construction and repertoire. Thanks to these inventions, the Erard firm developed close relationships with the greatest pianist composers of the nineteenth century, including Hummel, Liszt, Moscheles and Mendelssohn. The book also presents new evidence concerning Pierre Erard's homosexuality, which helps us to understand his reluctance to found a family to carry on the Erard tradition, a reluctance that would spell the end of the golden era of the firm and lead to its eventual demise. The book closes with the story of Pierre's widow Camille, who directed the firm from 1855 until 1889. Her influential position in the male-dominated world of instrument building was unique for a woman of her time.


    A short essay on the demise of the Erard firm can be found on the Oxford University Press blog:

     

    https://blog.oup.com/2021/03/family-secrets-and-the-demise-of-erard-pianos-and-harps/


    Thank you to everyone who supported my work during the years it took me to write this book.

    Kind regards,


    Robert


    Robert Adelson
    Professor of Organology and Music History
    Conservatoire de Nice
    Membre de l'Université Côte d'Azur
    127, avenue de Brancolar
    06100 Nice
    France
    tel: (+33) (0)6 47 32 66 98
    robert.adelson@ville-nice.fr
    robertadelson@gmail.com
    https://robertadelson.wordpress.com/

    **************************************************



  • 2.  RE: Fwd: [AMIS-L-LIST] publication announcement : ERARD: A PASSION FOR THE PIANO

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-20-2021 14:29
    Laurence and all,

    This brings up in my mind a curious memory possibly concerning Sebastien Erard. Back in 1996 or so I visited the home and workshop of the late Bjarne "Barney" Dahl, known (among other accomplishments) for his restorations of early pianos, in Los Altos, California. Among the instruments in his personal collection he showed me a rather primitive 4 1/2 or perhaps 5 octave square, with the initials S.E. carved inside the action cavity. Barney speculated that this perhaps could have been an early creation of Sebastien Erard, maybe in his days as an apprentice somewhere? If he knew where this instrument came from and how, Barney didn't tell me. Much else about the instrument I don't remember, other than lack of any identification as to its builder and its rather modest appearance, but from time to time I still wonder whether (in view of what's known about Erard's early life) this possible attribution to his early work might be within the realm of possibility, or if this was just a wild off-the-wall guess on Barney's part.

    ------------------------------
    Israel Stein RPT
    P.O. Box 68141
    Jerusalem, Israel 9168002
    510-558-0777
    istein248@gmail.com
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  • 3.  RE: Fwd: [AMIS-L-LIST] publication announcement : ERARD: A PASSION FOR THE PIANO

    Posted 03-20-2021 18:37
    Knowing Bjarne as I did, I'd say it was a guess, implausible but not an impossibility. Can't say anything more without seeing the piano. Might it be listed in the early piano database?
    Laurence

    Sent from my iPad





  • 4.  RE: Fwd: [AMIS-L-LIST] publication announcement : ERARD: A PASSION FOR THE PIANO

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-21-2021 02:34
    I took a quick look at Clinkscale online, at photos of early small squares. Didn't see anything listed in California that vaguely resembled what I remember - most of what I saw is way fancier and more elaborate than what I remember. But then, memory of what I saw briefly 25 years ago is pretty dim, and who knows where this piano might have ended up... When I have more time I'll take a more thorough look at the database...

    ------------------------------
    Israel Stein RPT
    P.O. Box 68141
    Jerusalem, Israel 9168002
    510-558-0777
    istein248@gmail.com
    ------------------------------