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In this programme Ronald Ratcliffe, Professor of Music at the California State Polytechnic, and Gerald Hendrie, Professor of Music at the Open University, talk about and play six keyboard instrumen...ts in the Colt Clavier Collection at Bethersden in Kent: a harpsichord of 1800 and piano of 1820 both by Kirckman of London; a grand fortepiano by Heilman of Mainz of about 1700; a grand piano by John Broadwood and Sons of 1806, a Pleyel of 1828 and an Erard of 1868. The aim of the programme is to illustrate the changes in the scale of pianos, the keyboard compass, the weight of strings and in the piano action itself which took place between about 1700 and 1868, and to allow students to judge for themselves about the problems and difficulties which early piano makers and composers faced together. The musio includes 'Mr. Counterpoint's Funeral March' by Mozart, Beethoven's Bagatelle Opus 126 No. 3 in E flat, Prelude in D flat, Opus 28 No. 15 by Chopin and Brahms' Intermezzo, Opus 118 No. 2.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A304, The development of instruments and their music
Item code: A304; 10
First transmission date: 29-06-1974
Published: 1974
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:23:52
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Producer: John Selwyn Gilbert
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Broadwood piano; Cristofori; Kirkmann harpsichord; Kirkmann piano
Subject terms: Piano--Construction--History; Bach, Johann Christian, 1735-1782; Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827; Brahms, Johannes, 1833-1897; Chopin, Frédéric, 1810-1849; Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791
Footage description: Wide shot of the Colt Clavier Collection. Ronald Ratcliffe introduces the programme by playing the minuet from Sonata in D by J.C. Bach, on a Kirckmann harpsichord, c.1800. He then plays it again on a Kirkmann piano, C.1820. Gerald Hendrie discusses the development of the piano following its invention by Cristofori in 1709. Close-ups of parts of an early piano. He points out how this development relates to the stylistic change from baroque to classical. Ronald Ratcliffe plays 'Mr. Counterpoint's Funeral March' by Mozart on a piano by Heilmann of Mainz, c.1770. Gerald Hendrie, seated at a Broadwood piano of 1806, describes the high reputation of this firm's pianos and plays Beethoven's Bagatelle in E flat, Op.26, no.3. He shows a 'square' Broadwood of 1787: precursor of the upright as alternative to the grand piano. Ratcliffe plays Chopin's Prelude in D flat, Op.28, no.15 on a French Playel piano of 1828, and then describes the instrument. He compares it with an Erard piano, built by the English branch of the French firm and introduces the Intermezzo in A, Op.118, no.2 by Brahms. Gerald Hendrie plays this on the Erard.
Master spool number: 6HT/71422
Production number: 00525_3056
Videofinder number: 2632
Available to public: no