The sensitive, elegant touch of the 18th and early 19th century Fortepianos.

Here Matt Bengston demonstrates what makes the Viennese fortepiano so special. I think it is not so extreme to say that we have these instruments to thank for some of the brilliant music of the late 18th century and early 19th century. He explains how the action differs from the English one and modern pianos. Whilst it is true modern pianos have a bigger sound, the fortepiano allows for some greater subtleties of expression.

Here is a page on the Stein fortepianos- a make Mozart admired.


I must tell you right now about Stein’s pianofortes… No matter how I decide to touch the keys, the tone is always even, never scratchy, louder or softer, or non-existent…
When you play on his keys, the hammers rebound at the instant they strike the strings, whether or not you continue to depress the keys…

 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, letter to his father from Augsburg, October 17, 1777