mercoledì 8 ottobre 2014

The Mellow sound of Pleyel pianos--la sonorité plein et moelleux des pianos Pleyel

It has been erroneously been thought in the past that Chopin's pianos had a bright and percussive sound.  Upon inspection of original Pleyel hammers and articles which described the Pleyel sound, as well as the way that the sound of good Pianos were described in period articles, we can now safely deduce that the sound was actually mellow in it's sonority.

There has been some dispute about the earliest Pleyel Grands being more bright than the later ones but as the following article shows, the Pleyel pianos had a Mellow sound with a large dynamic range.

The article was written in the late 1820's after Pape's patent for rabbit and hare felt had been deposited and in all likelihood the Pleyel grands of the time were making use of this very soft felt on the outer layer of the hammers.

Pape had been working for Pleyel in the past and much of his work can be seen in Pleyel's own pianos.



Il a été à tort été pensé dans le passé que les pianos de Chopin ont un piano éclatante et percussive. Lors de l'inspection des marteaux d'origine et des articles qui décrivent le sonorité Pleyel, ainsi que la façon dont le son de bons pianos ont été décrits dans les articles de la période, on peut en déduire sans risque que le son était vraiment moelleux dans sa sonorité.

Il ya eu des différends sur la sonorité des première Pleyel a queue.  On pensé que le son étant plus dur que les plus tardifs, mais selon l'article ci-dessous, les pianos Pleyel avait un son moelleux avec une large gamme dynamique des le début

L'article a été écrit à la fin des années 1820 après le brevet de Pape pour le feutre de lapin et le lièvre avaient été déposés, et, selon toute vraisemblance, le Pleyel Grands de l'époque ont été l'utilisation de ces très feutre mou sur la couche externe des marteaux

Pape avait travaillé pour Pleyel dans le passé et beaucoup de son travail peut être vu dans ses propres pianos de Pleyel.

traduction:  Il ya de nombreuses améliorations importantes que M. Pleyel a appliquées à la construction de pianos elliptiques. Jusqu'à présent, les pianos à queue anglais (en particulier ceux de M. Broadwood) possédaient un avantage certain sur les instruments fabriqués en France; mais, à l'heure actuelle, les produits de la manufacture de M. Pleyel peuvent hardiment rivaliser avec les meilleurs instruments anglais. A l'aide d'une armature en fer qui assure la solidité du corps de l'instrument, il a été trouvé possible de se passer de la menuiserie du massif underpart du piano; et une action libre étant ainsi donnée aux vibrations de la table d'harmonie, ils ont un pouvoir égal ci-dessus et ci-dessous. Le son est plein et moelleux, et son volume capable de l'extension très considérable; en un mot, il ne semble pas capable de toute autre amélioration, et la perfection semble atteint. Un autre avantage important, aussi possédé par ces pianos, est leur capacité de maintenir dans l'air, quand il est déplacé d'un endroit à l'autre.
D'autres tentatives et recherches seront sans doute réalisés, et des améliorations ont lieu dans certains détails particuliers, mais, de façon générale, il semble probable que le piano a maintenant atteint son maximum de puissance en ce qui concerne le son.

lunedì 29 settembre 2014

Andreas Streicher writes of the ideal Fortepiano sound, in the times of Beethoven



Il est très difficile, sinon impossible, de définir le son le plus 

beau de cet instrument. Chacun en juge selon son propre 

sentiment, qui diffère plus ou moins de celui d'un autre

C'est à cette diversité des goûts que nous devons attribuer le 

fait que certains n'aiment que les sons aigus, coupants, perçants,

d'autres, en revanche, les sons pleins, ronds, moelleux 



Sans nous élever contre l'une de ces opinions, nous pouvons 

néanmoins tenir pour acquis que si l'on veut qu'au fortepiano, 

tant le son des notes séparées que celui des accords soient 

plaisants ou touchants, ils devraient se rapprocher le plus 

possible du son des instruments a vent les meilleurs. 

It is very difficult, if not impossible, to define the most beautiful sound of the Fortepiano. Each judges according to his own feelings, which differ more or less one from another.
It is to this diversity of tastes that we must attribute the fact that some only like high, cutting, piercing sounds,
others, however prefer a full, round, mellow sound.
Without picking sides, we can nevertheless assume that if we want that fortepiano, both
its separate notes and it's chords should be pleasant or touching, they should be as close as possible to the sound of the best wind instruments.


Si le son d'un fortepiano est d'une qualit différente (s'il a un 

son dit argentin, qui se transforme toutefois très rapidement en 

un ferraillement, surtout losqu'on joue fort), il n'échappera que 

de peu à la sécheresse, à lamaigreur et à la ténuité, et il sera trop 

dissemblable de la voix humaine ou des instruments dont le son 

est rond, emplit l'oreille et exerce un effet si puissant sur nos 

sentiments.
  

If the sound of a fortepiano is of another quality (if it has the sound which is referred to as silvery, which transforms itself much too easily into the sound of rattling (the word ferrailement has a root derived from ferrous, as in the clanging sound of swords etc.  original German word here was iron-tone) it will not be able to escape fully from dryness, thinness and a lack of identifiable tone ( Caractérise l'imperceptibilité d'un élément [Figuré]Ex Le son est d'une extrême ténuité.) and the sound will be too dissimilar from the human voice or instruments that fill the ear with a round sound and exercise a powerful effect on our feelings.



Quite clearly stated by MR. Andreas Streicher.. 1761-1833


Montal's description of the ideal piano sound


"A good piano has to have a loud, round, full and large sound (the sound must have a long sustain). It's timbre should be a little metallic, that is to say not noisy/loverly loud/clear-cut/piercing nor dull and muffled but mellow and nervous (the sound should increase in intensity as the key is struck harder, progressively. Unfortunately this nervous quality is not always found in pianos)" Montal 1836


éclatante defined by Larousse: Se dit d'un bruit, d'un son très fort, très net, perçant : Voix éclatante.

sabato 12 aprile 2014

Removing the original gray rabbit-felt from an 1844 Pleyel hammer








In this video, I remove the original Pleyel/Pape felt from hammer 41 (middle E)

First thing to notice is the softness and weakness of the felt.

Second thing is that the felt is glued all around the hammer, including the tip.  This is in direct opposition to the usual method of glueing hammer-coverings.  The reason for this can only be because, since the felt does not hold tension, it was necessary to glue it under the strike-point in order to ensure good contact with the underlayers.

This is the same kind of felt that Chopin had on his Pleyel Grand Pianos.


In questo video tolgo il feltro originale da un martello Pleyel.  Come potete vedere il feltro è morbido e non resiste molto bene alla tensione.

Il feltro è incollato tutto in torno al martello, probabilmente perche, visto che il feltro non regge la tensione, è obbligatorio incollarlo anche sotto la punta per assicurarsi un buon contatto con i strati sottostanti.

 Questo è lo stesso tipo di feltro che Chopin aveva su i suoi pianoforti a coda Pleyel.

mercoledì 2 aprile 2014

The Salons Pleyel Concert Hall from the 1830's -- La Sala da Concerto Pleyel degli anni 1830





Here is the Concert Hall where Chopin made his first Paris Concert and where Liszt first saw him and praised his playing.  Many composers and famous pianists had concerts here during the 1830's.  Not much bigger than a modern living-room and proof that at the time loud concert-pianos were not a necessity.  When Pleyel moved to a bigger Concert Hall in the 1840's he had to build bigger pianos to match!

Ecco la sala da concerto dove Chopin Ha suonato il suo primo concerto a Parigi e dove Liszt lo ha ascoltato per la prima volta. Molti compositori e pianisti hanno suonato in questa sala durante il periodo tra 1830 e 1840.  Non molto più grande di un salone di una villa moderna.  All'epoca non servivano pianoforti con il suono forte perchè le sale da concerto erano piccole.  Successivamente quando Pleyel ha preso una sala da concerto più grande nel 1840 ha dovuto costruire dei pianoforti più grandi per farsi sentire nella nuova sala, si immagina, visto che le due cose coincidono.

giovedì 27 marzo 2014

Key-Guides of Pleyel action -- Guide tasto della meccanica Pleyel


The Key-guides of Pleyel actions were not polished as is done today.  They are made of Tinned Brass!

Le guide tasto dei Pleyel d'epoca non erano lucidate, come oggi. Sono fatte di Ottone Stagnato!

1844 Pleyel Action Restoration






Action frame -- telaio meccanica

 Key-end cloth needs replacement -- stoffa per il riposo dei tasti ha bisogno di essere cambiata



Black Keys were French Polished -  i tasti neri erano verniciati con gommalacca

 Sbiancamento dei tasti -- whitening of ivory keys
 Action cloth has been cleaned with soap and water -- stoffa fondo corsa e ferma tasto è stata lavata con acqua e Sapone di Marsiglia


 Backchecks -- arresto freno

jacks -- dita scappamento