Beethoven’s Piano

We have just been to a Sunday morning concert in which Melvyn Tan played two Beethoven piano sonatas – Nos. 21 and 30.   Before the second he told the story of how one of his first recordings had been on Beethoven’s piano.   Beethoven had acquired a Broadwood piano, which was transported to Vienna and customised by Conrad Graf.   After Beethoven’s death, the piano was sold at auction to C.A. Spina, an art dealer and publisher, who in turn gave it to Liszt.   Liszt gave it to the National Museum in Budapest.   EMI arranged for it to be restored and for Melvyn to play it in concerts across Europe, with recordings in Forde Abbey in Dorset.   At night, it was guarded by Interpol.   Now it’s back in Budapest.   The knowledge that Melvyn had played Beethoven’s piano gave an extra frisson to his performance.

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5 thoughts on “Beethoven’s Piano

  1. Isn’t Melvyn a wonderful pianist ? (Beethoven, but also brilliant with Schubert, Mozart and Czerny).

    We’ve been lucky to have him playing for the Rugby Portobello Concert for the past two years.

    He and Paul are getting a house on the Firle estate in Sussex (very close to Alfriston which has a lovely, small, Music Festival every July, on whose Board I am a member).

  2. And I stroked it, no, caressed it, no, worshipped it, when no-one was watching! This was when they brought it to England for repairs. Then, two years ago, I got close to it again in Budapest for another adulation, but alas I’d left it to my last day there and the museum was closed. Oh, to press some of the keys He had pressed . . . . .

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