Chapter Four - The Lure of una corda
The Erard spring
Adagio: Fantaisie from his Sonata in G Major, Op. 64 (Paris, publ. 1805)
Performance by Tom Beghin, filmed during CD recording sessions, Sint-Truiden, February 15, 2019
“Go sit at the back of the room,” [Steibelt] says to me one day at his home, “close your eyes, and listen.” Then he played the great adagio of his Op. 64, where he employed the pedals so well, the usage of which was little known before him.
“Va t’asseoir tout au bout du salon, me dit-il un jour chez lui, ferme les yeux, et écoute.” Et il joua le grand adagio de l’op. 64, où il employait si bien les pédales, dont l’usage était peu connu avant lui.
[Charles Chaulieu], Le pianiste 1 no. 6 (April 10, 1834), 83.
Plates 3 and 5 (alternative photo):
Compare Beethoven’s portrait by Willibrod Joseph Mähler (1804/1805, Wien Museum) with our replica of Beethoven’s Erard (1803, 2016; photo by Pieter Peeters).
Testing a jalousie:
On June 10, 2022, at the Domaine royal de Randan in Randan, France, we encountered a square piano by J. J. Swanen (Paris, 1798) with a lid-opening pedal. Of course, I was curious to try it out.