Beethoven concert a rare chance to hear composer’s music on an early piano
Beethoven would be proud.
Celebrating 250 years since the great German composer’s birth, the University of Canterbury’s (UC) next gala concert features a fortepiano, or early piano, replicating the exact sounds of Ludwig van Beethoven’s early work.
The upcoming concert is a rare opportunity to hear an instrument that was prevalent in the late-18th to early-19th centuries, made popular by the music of Haydn, Mozart and the younger Beethoven.
UC’s fortepiano is one of only two Viennese-style fortepianos in the South Island. Commissioned by the university in 2004, instrument maker Paul Downie handcrafted this fortepiano in his workshop from raw materials.
“Only by playing period music on period instruments can one get an idea of the sound-world the various composers lived in,” Downie says.
“One is immediately aware of the clarity of the older instruments and change in register as one ascends from the focused, at times snarling bass, up into the treble registers with their clear articulate quality.