Welcome to Friends of Square Pianos! This is a sort of on-line club for anyone who owns, or would like to own, a square piano. Or anyone who is just interested, possibly to learn a little more.
Please get in touch with me, David, on email@example.com with questions, comments, or just to say 'Hello'. This is a site for everyone, especially those new to the world of Square Pianos. And of course, we very much appreciate the support of those with more experience.
Update 28th July
Broadwood Free to Good Home
Clementi on Clementi
Making a Spinet - Progress Report
A Concert in Petworth
Broadwood c, 1812 - Free to Good Home!
This piano seems to be mostly all there and mostly original, but it is definitely a Restoration Project. Please see the Sale Page for details of this one, which does need a new home before the end of August.
A New Clementi CD - Clementi on Clementi
Our Friend Marina Rodriguez Bria has recently recorded a splendid new CD of Clementi's music played on an 1824 piano carrying his name.
The CD is number UMCCD001, and it is now available via this link.
Fine music, beautifully played on a beautiful piano - what more could we ask for? For Finchcocks this year, Marina very kindly sent copies which we gave to Christopher Clementi, and to Martyna Kazmierczak, winner of this year's prestigious Clementi Award.
I have a copy, I enjoy listening to it, and I can strongly recommend it.
Making a Spinet - Progress Report
This project - making a replica of the beautiful 1704 Edward Blunt spinet - is going well, and the first part of the making of the basic structure and the case is now complete. Please go to the Spinet Page to follow this.
There are so many concerts, recitals, and other events that I cannot possibly maintain details of them all, but I will make every effort to publicize events in which Friends are directly involved. So we now have a new Events Page, and I will endeavour to carry headlines here on the Front Page. Please support them if you possibly can.
Looking further ahead, a concert in October by the wonderful Café Haydn, who entertained us at Finchcocks in 2014. This one will take place in Dordrecht, Netherlands.
and Meeting of Friends of Square Pianos
Piano Auctions have confirmed that their interest in historic keyboard instruments is undiminished - the absence of square pianos at the June auction was simply because no suitable instruments had been presented. A Beck piano has already been promised for September, and we hope for others.
However, a group of us did meet informally for a little party anyway, and we had a very enjoyable chat in the beautiful summer weather in the café in Red Lion Square gardens.
Gardiner Houlgate Auction
Thursday 18th June
The results of this auction are now on the Gardiner Houlgate website
The items of particular interest are lots 352 - 368.
Results were generally encouraging, although keyboard instruments still represent remarkable value when we consider the work that has gone into them.
Making a Spinet
There is no better way learning about Early Keyboard instruments than to make one. And it's a lot of fun. There's also the bonus that with a bit of care, it should turn out well, and yield an instrument that plays decently.
One of the highlights of Finchcocks 2015 for me was the presentation of the 1704 Blunt spinet, which it has been my privilege to restore. It was an emotional experience to work on an instrument that was making music when Queen Anne was on the throne, and when Bach and Handel were teenagers.
The next stage in this journey is for me to make one, or probably two replicas, as accurate as I can make them, and to be able to compare the sound of original and replica side-by-side.
There is no rush for this - I am supposed to be 'retired', and I am an amateur anyway, which means that I will take as long as I need to do the work to the best of my ability.
I will be recording the progess of the project on the Spinet Page. The first sections are on there now, and more will follow as the work progresses.
If you have any comments or questions, do please email me, David at firstname.lastname@example.org I do hope that you will join in the fun and have a go - two Friends are involved already! I cannot promise to solve all problems, but at least you will have someone to talk to.
Go to the Spinet Page
Armann Piano For Sale
Please see the Sale Page for details of this latest arrival.
We all love those beautiful English Spinets, and now they have a Page of their own, where I hope to encourage interest, ownership, and amateur makers.
Please take time to visit our sister website www.squarepianotech.com This is run by our Friend Tom Strange in America, and is rapidly growing into a treasure-store of permanent wisdom.
About the 'Webmaster' (David Hackett)
My only claim to respectability is that Carl Dolmetsch once offered to take me on as an apprentice. This was in 1962, when I had just shown him my first clavichord, and been his guest at Haslemere. However, he also advised me that it would be better to go to University, and I accepted his advice. Early Keyboard Instruments have therefore remained a hobby, and now happily retired, I am able to spend a bit more time enjoying them - and encouraging others, I hope..
My real work is with homeless cats now, though - I have the privilege to be Co-ordinator of the local voluntary branch of Cats Protection.